“The men were forced to hand over their Syrian passports and ID's to the border police who teared them into pieces and burned them”

  • Date and time: July 27, 2018 15:00
  • Location: Close to Johovica, Slovenia
  • Coordinates: 45.0922077, 15.791496199999983
  • Push-back from: Slovenia, Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 7 person(s), age: 17-28 , from: Syria
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, threatening with guns, gunshots, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: Four Croatian border police officers with two cars. All waring black suits and masks.
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

    Original Report

    A group of men walked from Velika Kladuša (Bosnia and Herzegovina) for three days and nights until they reached Slovenia. In Slovenia, in a forest close to the village called Johovica, they were caught by the Slovenian police. The police did not take the men to a police station and did not enable any of them to apply for asylum in Slovenia, although they clearly stated that they were from Syria and wanted asylum in Slovenia. The men were directly deported to Croatia, where they were handed over to the Croatian police who drove them to the Bosnian border for their deportation back to Bosnia.

    When the men were being driven by Croatian police to the Bosnian border, there was a lack of oxygen in the van and the men had problems breathing inside the back of the van. They asked the police to open a window, but the police responded to them: “Fuck you, no oxygen!”. The van was driving fast and some of the men were feeling sick.

    When they were deporting us with the car, they were driving really fast and people were vomiting. I asked please help, but nothing. The car was driving about 1,5 hours driving from Johovica to Velika Kladuša.

    When they reached the Bosnian border, the police told the men to get out of the car, searched their bodies and stole their money. The police took 300 euros from one person and 200 euros from another person, afterwards the police broke their phones. The men were forced to hand over their Syrian passports and IDs to the border police who teared them into pieces and burned them.

    No problem that they take my mobile and money as I can buy again, but passport I cannot buy again. Maybe I will want to go back to Syria, but I don’t have passport or ID, and I don’t have any proof that I am really from Syria”

    After the police stole and destroyed the men’s possessions, they shouted at the men: “Go back to Bosnia!”, and started physically attacking them with metal batons, kicking them, and punching them, including the minor. One officer pushed one of the men to the ground, stepped on his back, and was kicking him into his shoulders and back. They told the police that one of the guys had a heart problem and asked them to not to beat him, but the police only responded: “Fuck you! Shut up!” and attacked him, hitting into his chest, targeting his heart.

    Finally, the border police again shouted at the men to go back to Bosnia and started shooting multiple rounds of gunshots near them and under their legs. The men started running across the border and when they did not hear the sound of guns anymore, they walked back to Velika Kladuša.

    One person sought medical treatment in the hospital in Velika Kladuša, but was refused by a doctor: “Sorry, but we cannot do anything for you.” The following day, they were treated by the MSF team. After the examination of the patient, the MSF medical staff found a left fractured clavicle, which is the part of the shoulder that connects arm with ribcage, caused by the beating (see photo of medical report). Other men had bruised arms, face, and back, and one had a swollen injury on his left hand caused by the attack with a metal baton.