A group of four people on the move from Pakistan and Afghanistan, between 20 and 26 years old, entered a truck on 8th March, somewhere near Šid. The respondents spent four days traveling until they arrived in a Slovenian factory somewhere near the Slovenian village Kozina, close to the Italian border. Their arrival was on 11th March, around 4pm.
The respondents remembered that they were about 5km away from the Italian border when the truck entered the factory. The group in the truck had checked their location on google maps some minutes before the arrival. Thus, they could recall that they were somewhere on the E61 road (approximative location: 45.604630, 13.948851), in the direction of the Italian city Trieste.
As soon as they were found by the truck driver and the workers of the factory, the police were alerted. The respondents said that they perceived immediate hostility towards them by the workers of the factory.
“They [the factory’s workers] called us Taliban”
After an uncertain amount of time, allegedly not more than one hour, the police arrived at the spot. According to the respondents, five police vehicles arrived in the factory, along with a green van. The group members recalled that 10 police officers were present, all of them wearing blue uniforms, described as “normal police uniforms”.
Once the authorities arrived, the group was immediately ordered to sit down on the ground. Reportedly, the officers forced them to obey, by threatening them with two growling dogs.
After approximately 5 minutes, the Slovenian authorities started striking the respondents for about 10 minutes with kicks and punches in all parts of the body. Apparently, all people present on the spot kept standing and looking at the scene.
Then the group was forced to enter the van. Half an hour later the respondents arrived in a spot described as a local police station, where they spent the next two days.
The respondents could not recall the location of the detention’s place: according to them, it was impossible to check the mobiles and google maps, while they were in the van. They also explained that the van was without windows, thus they could not see where they were brought.
The respondents stressed that they suffered bad treatment from the Slovenian authorities during their detention. Indeed the respondents claimed that they received neither water nor food, even after they asked for it. The respondents highlighted being really hungry and thirsty at the moment of the detention since they had spent 4 days in a truck without eating or drinking.
As soon they arrived at the detention place, pictures and fingerprints were taken. The respondents mentioned that they had to sign some papers (around 10 documents), which they could not understand due to the absence of a translator. Moreover, the authorities answered with a refusal when the respondents expressed their intention to seek asylum.
“We stayed two days with [Slovenian] police officers. No food, no water…(…) We asked for asylum, but they answered: «no asylum». (They) just (took) our fingerprints.”
On the evening of 13th March, the respondents were ordered to enter in what they recall to be a Slovenian police car. Then, they traveled for about 2 hours, until they were close to the Slovenian Croatian border. Reportedly, the group arrived at the Croatian Border Crossing ‘Bregana’ at 8:30/9:00 pm 13th March (location: 45.842218, 15.699239). There, the Slovenian authorities handed them over to an unknown number of Croatian authorities. According to the respondent, they spent about four hours in a closed space described by one of the respondents as a “jail” at the Bregana Border Crossing.
During the detention, the respondents described that they had to wait sitting. At this station, some pictures were taken again and the group members were searched. The respondents pointed out that the Croatian authorities also refused to give them water or food, even after they asked.
The respondents about their detention in Croatia:
“Croatia big problem: food no, water no…”
They could not remember the exact number of Croatian officers present at the spot, but they mentioned that a high number of them were in the room where they were held. Reportedly, the officers were wearing dark blue uniforms.
The primary respondent highlighted that he expressed his wish to ask for asylum to the officers he recalled to beling to the Croatian police. Nevertheless, the group was put in a white van in which they spent about 4 hours traveling, until arriving at some location close to the Serbian border. It was on 14th March around 4:30/5:00 am when each group member was ordered to go out of the van one by one. The respondent recalls being in a spot close to a river, near Bajakovo Border Crossing (approximate location of the spot: 45.055163, 19.101304 ). Four male Croatian officers wearing dark blue uniforms were described as being present at that moment.
After the men had left the vehicle they had to hand over their mobile phones and money. Their phones were broken by the officers with batons. Immediately after, each of the group members was struck with batons by the authorities three times. Thereafter, the group was allowed to leave the spot, cross the border, and walk in the direction of the Serbian village Batrovci.