“Now there is no asylum. If you give me money, I can help”

  • Date and time: July 26, 2019 00:00
  • Location: Bic, Slovenia
  • Coordinates: 45.925709, 14.889084799999978
  • Push-back from: Slovenia
  • Push-back to: Croatia, Serbia
  • Demographics: 1 person(s), age: 26 , from: Algeria
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: no violence used
  • Police involved: 3 Slovenian police, 2 Croatian police
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, personal information taken, papers signed, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water, forced to pay fee, translator unwilling to translate, bribes requested
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring, No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On Friday the 26th, alone 26-year-old Algerian man aged crossed into Croatia from Serbia and then purchased a ticket and then boarded a train heading for Zagreb. On arrival in Zagreb, the man walked north and crossed into Slovenia on foot. Once In Slovenia the man managed to hitchhike towards the capital but stoped 40 kilometres short of Ljubljana, in the village of Bic. After exiting the car he was travelling in, the 26-year-old found a fountain and started to wash his hands where he was spotted by a passing police car. 

The 2 Slovenian police immediately detained the man and drove him to the police station. The young man was taken to the Slovenian police station at Štefanova Ulica 2, Ljubljana as indicated by his arrest documents. He willingly went with the police as he told them he wanted to apply for asylum. Whilst at the Slovenian police station he was provided with a translator and then left alone in a room with him. Once alone the translator told him “I do not have time for you, if you have money, then I have time” and then asked for 200 euros. The Algerian told the translator that he did not have money and wanted to apply for asylum but the translator affirmed his request and told him again that “if you do not have money, there is not asylum if you give me money I can help you”.

Shortly after the police (one male and one female) re-entered the room and gave him a document that he could not understand or read and which the translator that had been provided did not aid him in understanding. He was told to sign the document and that if he signed it would not cause him any problems. The translator was described as being short, fat and possibly Syrian. 

Once the Algerian man had signed the document the police took him to a police car and drove him to a closed camp. He stayed at the closed camp until 8 am the next morning when a policewoman came into his room, placed his hands behind his back and brought him to Croatia. The policewoman, described as being around 28 years of age with long blond hair, was the same police officer who had arrested him the day before and this time was accompanied by a different male officer. They drove for around 4 hours to the Croatian border where they then handed the man to the Croatian police. 

This “exchange” between the Slovenian police and the Croatian police happened at the official border crossing between the two counties. This exchange was orchestrated inside of the police station at the border crossing where the Algerian was left alone in a room for 4 hours without access to food, water or a bathroom. Once the Croatia police came to collect him it was already dark outside and they drove him through Croatia into Serbia and to a forest outside of Sid. Once there, the police removed the man from the car, stole the 40 euros he was carrying, broke his phone and punched him on the nose.