The respondents in this case, a group of 35 people, six of which minors and all the rest aged 20-40, from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, were walking separated in small groups on the streets in the Italian city of Trieste, when they were stopped by five Italian police officers with one police car and 10 Italian army officers, men and women, around 9:00 am, on the 5th of July 2020.
The officers shouted orders in Italian to the respondents and made them sit on the side of the street for around one hour, according to the respondent’s memory. The group was frisked by the officers and had their backpacks checked as well. After one hour, a bus arrived and the respondents were loaded on it and driven to a place which the respondent describes as a “close army camp”, close to which there was a “park” and another “open camp”. Two of the 15 officers travelled in the bus with the group.
At the camp, the respondent interacted with two police officers, one male and one female, wearing official blue uniforms. A Pakistani translator, which the respondent describes as “bad”, mediated the whole administrative procedure at the police station.
“We want speak with translator but he not speak with me, no listen and no care”, says the respondent referring to the translator’s behaviour.
The respondents were asked for personal information and had the fingerprints of all fingers of both hands taken, as well as pictures of their faces. The respondent did ask for asylum but the officers told him “no asylum”. The officers gave to the respondents a document written in Italian, which they could not understand. At the camp, the respondents did receive some biscuits to eat but were denied water.
Around 5:30 pm on the same day, a total of 10 respondents was pushed back to Slovenia by the Italian police. Three respondents were loaded in a police car driven by one male and one female Italian police officers and the other seven respondents were loaded in a police van. After an approximately 15 minute-long trip, the respondents reached the border to Slovenia. The respondents waited in the Italian police car for around half an hour, and could step out of it only when an unspecified number of Slovenian police officers arrived with a police van and a police car, loaded all the 10 respondents and drove them to a police station. The respondent does not remember for how long they travelled.
Before accessing the police station, the whole group of respondents was frisked “body and clothes”. Once inside, the respondents interacted with two people, supposedly officers, wearing “civil clothes”, who asked them for personal information. A policewoman took their fingerprints as well as pictures of their faces. The respondents were also asked how they reached Italy. At the station, the Slovenian police withheld the document which the Italian police had released to the respondents.
The respondents spent the whole night at the police station and, around 12:00 noon, on the afternoon on the 6th of July 2020, they were loaded in a police van driven by two Slovenian police officers. The group of respondents did not know where they were travelling to and they could not see outside, since no window was at the back of the van. According to the respondent, the trip lasted many hours, maybe six or seven, after which the van reached the Croatian border. There, around 7:00 pm on the 6th of July 2020, the Slovenian police pushed the group of 10 respondents back to Croatia, by handing them over to the Croatian police.
The respondents were loaded in another police van driven by two Croatian police officers, which headed directly to the border to Bosnia Herzegovina (approximate coordinates 45.143023, 15.772111).
“This time very darkness, I not see and I am too much thinking police hitting this time”, says the respondent, explaining how he feared to be beaten up heavily at the border.
There, around 12 Croatian officers were waiting in line for the respondents to come. The officers beat them with the batons and then the respondents were pushed back to Bosnia Herzegovina, around 11:00 pm, according to the respondent. After walking for around two hours and half, the respondents reached the city of Velika Kladusa, BiH, on the 7th of July 2020.