The respondent is a 25 years old man from Afghanistan. He was apprehended in Slovenia on the 1st of November together with another man who is 28 years old, and also from Afghanistan. Subsequently, they both got pushed back to Croatia first and afterward to Serbia.
The two men were near a factory in Slovenia when someone called the police on them. So they tried to run out of the area. They stopped in a park because his friend needed to go to the toilet, so the authorities approached them there. Two Slovenian police officers – a man and a woman – arrived in a police car at the spot. The respondent remembers seeing the Slovenian flag on the left arm of their uniforms. The authorities ordered the two men to lay down and started to beat them. This was around 3:00 pm but nobody was around because the weather was very bad. The male officer was beating the group members, kicking them on all their bodies. The officers also checked everything and took the phone of the respondent to throw it to the ground. After the respondent could take back his broken phone.
These officers called others and after a while, a dark blue van from the Slovenian police arrived, with 2 police officers, a man and a woman in it. They forced the group members to sit inside and after 20-25 minutes, at around 4:30pm, they arrived at a police station. As the respondent did not remember where they got apprehended he was unable to indicate where this police station might have been.
In the police station, after giving some food and water, and waiting for 2h, they were called one by one to answer some questions. A female police officer was asking the questions and a male officer was sitting next to her all the time. The respondent said that they asked lots of questions, like from which countries they entered Slovenia and if they knew the driver, to which, they answered that they came from Serbia and Croatia, and they did not know the driver. One hour later, they were called again one by one to ask about their personal information like their age, and they registered their phones. The friend of the respondent who was part of the army in Afghanistan had a kind of ID card backing it. After a while, they were called again one by one to answer all the questions again and the authorities took their fingerprints. This time, they were also asked if they wanted to stay in Slovenia, to which, they answered yes, that they wanted to ask for asylum there. After 20-25 minutes of interview each and 45 minutes waiting, they were called to get tasted for Covid. As soon as they finished, they were called for another, final interview. This time there was a pashto and farsi translator, so they repeated the questions again for 20 minutes each.
“Do you want to stay in Slovenia? – Yes, I want.”
In the police station they had to sign 3 papers that they did not know what was written because they were in Slovenian and they could only recognized their name, their father’s and mother’s name, and where they were born, but the respondent thought that they would be taken to the camp. Instead, they took them into a van with 2 police officers, a man and a woman, and the translator, and after 30-40 minutes they reached a Slovenia-Croatian border crossing check point.
At the Croatian border, the authorities stopped the cars and everybody went out. The female officer asked the respondent’s friend if he wanted to stay in Slovenia. The respondent explained that his friend did not understand English so that he was also unable to understand the officer’s question and he answered “no”. The translator and the respondent translated the question for him, and the two men from the group members answered again “yes, we want to stay”. At that moment, the Slovenian authorities went to the office at the border crossing for 10 minutes with the Croatian authorities, and when they came out, they left, leaving the group members in that office with the Croatian authorities. 30 minutes later, at around 11:00 pm in the night, a Croatian police officer order them to follow him. This was the moment that they were pushed back to Croatia.
They were forced to sit in a Croatian police car, with two police officers in dark blue uniforms. The respondent described the driving as very fast, so in 25 minutes they reached a police station in Croatia. They did not go into the police station, they just changed into a Croatian police car in which there were two other people that were also going to be pushed back. These two people were also two men from Afghanistan 19 and 15 years old, and coincidentally they even knew each other. After 5h driving, they reached the Serbian border near Tovarnic (Croatia). The authorities stopped the car near the train tracks at around 5:00 am, on the 2nd of November, telling the group to go back to Serbia.
“Don’t stay here, there is a camera, go to Serbia.”
None of them asked for asylum in Croatia.