A group of 8 men from Iran walked from Velika Kladuša crossing Croatia to Slovenia. Once they arrived in Slovenia, walking on a road near Dol, one of the men contacted the number of PIC lawyers to ask for help with the asylum procedure and prevent their deportation back to Bosnia. He shared their GPS location with one of the lawyers from PIC and stated in the message that he wanted to apply for asylum in Slovenia (see screenshots). The lawyer advised the men to go to a local police station to apply for asylum and to show his mobile phone conversation with the PIC as a proof for his expressed intention to apply for asylum in Slovenia. On their way to a police station, they were caught by the local police:
“We said to the police that we contacted PIC, and they told us: ‘Fuck PIC!’”
The police transported all the men to the police station in Cernomejl, where the interviewed man repeatedly asked the police for access to the asylum procedures. He received only verbal threats as a response and was forced to sign a document that he did not understand because it was written in English.
“The Police was rude to us. I told them, I want asylum, I want asylum, but the police denied and did jokes with us when we asked for asylum. They told us sleep on the ground and we beat you if you wake up. Please brother I want asylum, but the police said no, no. After, the police gave us paper and told us to sign it, but we did not want this. But one Nigerian got beaten because he did not want to sign this paper. And when I supposed to sign that paper, I wrote on the paper that I want asyl in Slovenia. And I did not have an option and had to sign that paper”.
After that, the respondent was locked in a cell at the police station for 6 hours without any water or food. When he realized that he was denied asylum in Slovenia and was going to be deported back to Bosnia, he found a razor and attempted to commit suicide by cutting his left arm. A police officer found him lying on the ground, bleeding, but did not provide any help. After ten minutes, another person came to treat his open wounds. The police’s only comment about the whole incident was:
“Why did you cut your hands? Cut your neck and kill yourself”
After few hours, all men in the group, except the two minors, were transported back to Croatia by car and from there to the Bosnian border, 20 km away from Velika Kladuša.
“When they [Croatian police] sent me back, they broke my phone, charger and sim card, they broke phones of all people. Slovenian police wanted to take our money, but we did not have any money”.
On their way back to Velika Kladuša, they were picked up by the Bosnian police who took them to the hospital by car where the man who attempted to commit suicide got medical treatment.