“Chain push-back from Trieste to BiH”

  • Date and time: July 20, 2020 11:00
  • Location: Caught from Italian special forces in a park near the centre of Trieste and pushed back from Croatian police near the Glina river
  • Coordinates: 45.23558838887845, 15.89851407320284
  • Push-back from: Italy
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 26 person(s), age: 20-40 , from: Pakistan
  • Minors involved? Unknown
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, insulting, gunshots, forcing to undress, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 10 italian police officers + italian police officers to take personal informations; 7 slovenian police officers + police officers in slovenian closed camp; 7 croatia police officers
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, fingerprints taken, photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed, denial of food/water, forced to pay fee
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Independent person

Original Report

On July 20th, two groups of 26 persons in total (all from Pakistan) were apprehended by Italian authorities – ten officers in all – in a park within the Italian city of Trieste. According to the respondent the authorities, who were described as wearing specialized camouflaged uniforms, stopped the group in the park and, after some time, loaded them them into different police vans and drove them to the community of Fernetti [45.698004, 13.827726], straddling the border area with Slovenia. In this area, nearby the border station, there is a section recently built consisting of a large tent in which interviews are made along with  corona test and pre-pushback procedures.

The style of dress of the officers who initially apprehended the group in Trieste

The group spent between four and five hours in this location during which time the Italian police officers took their fingerprints (all fingers), photo ID and asked for personal informations and they signed an Identification Report.

The people-on-the-move had the opportunity to speak with a cultural mediator from Afghanistan who reportedly blackmailed them, asking money in order to request asylum in Italy in exchange.

After some time, they were handed over the Slovenia police officers (7 officers) at 5 pm that brought them to the Center for Foreigners in Postojna (45.785654, 14.194854) where they took their fingerprints, photo ID and asked for personal information. At this location, they received food and a place to sleep for the night.

The day after (July 2st), in the late morning, the group described being transported in vehicles to the Croatian border with Slovenia, at which point they were transferred over to Croatia police officers (7 “regular” officers) at around 1:00 pm. These officers then put them into three other vans on the Croatian side of the border.

The 26 people were inside the vans until the evening, with the possibility to go out several times one-by-one. They did not receive any kind of information and they did not receive any food or water during this time.

After this, the group was then driven back to the Croatian border with Bosnia. The respondent claimed that, during the transportation, most of them did not feel well due to poor driving conditions.

At 9:00 pm on July 21st, the group was taken out of the vehicles in a secluded area of the Bosnian-Croatian border near the Bosnian village of Poljana, bordering the Glina River, at which point the group encountered violence from the Croatian police officers at the site.

The respondent claimed that him and his friends were beaten, insulted, kicked, a tear gas was lit and a policeman shot in the air during this time. Their personal belongings were also destroyed by the police, who took almost 100 euros from them. Finaly, after this ordeal, the people-on-the-move were left to cross the border with just t-shirts, trousers and no shoes.