“The Minor Was Forced to Sign Documents and Told by the Officer 'You Were Born in 2000'”

  • Date and time: October 24, 2019 00:00
  • Location: Veliki Cerovec, Slovenia
  • Coordinates: 45.743586, 15.22657
  • Push-back from: Slovenia, Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 24 person(s), age: 16, 24, 26 (ages of orignial transit group) , from: Yemen, Western Sahara
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 2 Slovenian officers blue uniforms, 1 Slovenian police vehicle, 7 Croatian police in black uniforms, 1 Croatian police van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, fingerprints taken, personal information taken, papers signed, no translator present, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring

Original Report

On 24th October a group of two men from Western Sahara and one minor from Yemen were travelling in Slovenia. In the afternoon they were stopped by two Slovenian authorities in blue uniforms in Veliki Cerovec (SLO). 

The group in transit was brought to a Slovenian police vehicle. The respondent believes they were taken to Metlika border police station (SLO), coordinates 45.636281, 15.322302. The respondent expressed intent for asylum and received no response from the officer who he tried to speak with. At the station their fingerprints were taken and they were forced to sign five different documents in the Slovenian language. There was no translator present. Each person was called up to a desk one by one to sign the papers. 

“They force you to sign.”

The respondent wanted to refuse to sign the document which he did not understand, but was forced to. When signing the documents the 16 year old boy with the group told the officer:

“I am a minor.”

The officer told him:

“No you are not, you were born in 2000.” 

The minor had his camp ID and a photo of his documents which stated his birth year as 2002. On the document the officer wrote the individual’s birth year as “2000.” He was forced to sign the same documents as the adults and was not offered a social worker or translator to speak with. The respondent asked to keep the documents which they signed but was denied. 

The group was detained for 3.5 hours in the station.

During the night the group was transported by one Croatian police van, and driven to a police station in Croatia. The respondent is unsure of the location of the station because there were no windows to see out of the van and he saw no signs for the alleged police station. The group was detained for six hours in what the respondent described as a “tiny room” with no furniture. After this detention in Croatia, the three respondents were put into one Croatian police van with 21 other people. Some were standing, some sat on the two benches, and some sat on the floor. The authority driving was speeding, making wide turns and sudden stops. There were no windows on the van. 

The van stopped on the Croatian border near to Šturlić (BiH). Seven male Croatian police officers in black uniforms demanded everyone to give their mobile phones. The group of three in transit had two mobile phones which were confiscated. One officer then said, “Go to Bosnia” and the individuals headed towards the center of Šturlić. The group then walked back to Velika Kladuša (BiH).