“He Asked For His Inhaler and The Officer Told Him, "No."”

Red mark from Croatian special officer's baton
  • Date and time: October 29, 2019 18:00
  • Location: Dolž, Slovenia
  • Coordinates: 45.762283, 15.251647
  • Push-back from: Slovenia, Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 5 person(s), age: 25, 29, 30, 33, 39 , from: Morocco, Algeria
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, forcing to undress, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving, denial of medicine
  • Police involved: 7/8 Slovenian officers in blue uniforms, 1 Slovenian police van; 10 Croatian police in all black uniforms with the Croatian flag embroidered on the arm and ski masks; 1 Croatian police van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, fingerprints taken, photos 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, No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On 29th October 2019 a group in transit consisting of five men from Algeria and Morocco were apprehended in Dolž (SLO) at approximately 18.00. The group was close to the town center when they were stopped by seven or eight male Slovenian officers in blue uniforms. The group was transported in a Slovenian police van to a police station. 

The respondent believes they were taken to Metlika border police station (45.635993, 15.322618). At the station the respondents were given documents to sign asking for personal information, including name and family name. The document was in Slovenian and Arabic. Officers then took the respondents’ fingerprints using two fingers on one hand and one finger on the opposite hand and photos were taken of their faces. The respondent expressed intent for asylum but did not receive an answer. There was no translators present. The group was detained from 18.00 on 29th October 2019 and slept in the station. At 10.00 on 30th October 2019 the group was transported by Croatian police in a white Croatian van. 

The group was taken to a police station in Croatia but is unsure of the location because the van had no windows in the rear and their mobile devices were confiscated. At the station in Croatia they were detained until about 12.30. They were denied food and water and had no translator. The respondent stated,

“Police Slovenia good, police Croatia no good.” 

At approximately 12.30 the group in transit was again transported in a Croatian police with no windows in the rear. They were driven for about 2.5 hours and report that the officer drove recklessly, making quick turns which made them nauseous. Two members of the group vomited in the van.

The vehicle stopped at approximately 15.00 at the HR/BiH border near the Šturlić BCP. There were ten Croatian police in all black uniforms with the Croatian flag embroidered on the arm and three of those officers were also wearing ski masks. One officer who was wearing a ski mask was holding the documents which the group had signed at the station in Slovenia.

The officer called them individually by name and then beat them using batons and sticks from trees about two meters long. The respondent said that the officers had the sticks prepared prior to the group exiting the van. The respondents leg was targeted, drawing a scratch and bruising.

Red mark from strike by Croatian officer’s baton.

The group was forced to remove their jackets and several of the Croatian police threw their jackets into the river. The officers searched the respondents’ pockets and confiscated all remaining mobile phones, power banks, and wallets. The respondent also had an inhaler which was confiscated. He asked for the inhaler to use it because he felt his asthma was becoming an issue, the officer said, “No.”. Then the group were ordered out of Croatia, and into BiH.