On the 2nd of September, a group of 20 single men from Afghanistan and Iran left Bihac, BiH trying to seek asylum in the EU. The respondent is a 46-year-old man from Iran and his group was composed of 6 minors and 14 adults. The group had reached Slovenia after eleven days of walking. They had finished all the food and water and were eating grass to survive. The third day after their stock had finished the group decided to reach the nearest town and hand themselves over to the Slovenian Police, telling them they wanted to seek asylum.
It was 1 p.m. when the group was taken to the Slovenian police station in a white van. Here they were subjected to violence that happened behind the closed doors of the police station. Reportedly, the men were put in a row in a room and one by one they were forced to undress and remain only in their underwear. There were three male police officers in dark blue trousers and blue shirts. They were reaching for the genitals of the respondent and other members of the group, grabbing and palpating at them for a prolonged time
“One person is take off all dress and check. I don’t know they maybe check for money or for drugs. They pull our underwear and touch inside. Maybe one person 10 minutes 20 minutes. It feels bad to be touched in this way.”
After being “checked”, the telephones of the group were subtracted, their photos and fingerprints were taken and three different papers were handed to them to sign. The respondent recognizes amongst them what he calls a “deportation paper” and refuses to sign it. Thus, a translator was called that signed the papers for the respondent. The group was then detained until 9 a.m on the sequent day. Then they were forced to get on the white van that took them to the border with Croatia. At the border, the respondent reported a white Croatian police van was waiting for them with two Croatian police officers in a light blue uniform.
Here the group was handed over to the Croatian police officers who drove them to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina near Bihac (BiH). The journey took a couple of hours and the driver drove very recklessly. The respondent described how the driver was steering very abruptly from the left to the right. Additionally, the air in the back of the van was unbreathable to the point the respondent fainted. He was later woken up by the police officers spitting on his face.
“We don’t have oxygen in the car, we couldn’t breathe and I fainted. They spit on my face and I wake up”
When the respondent got out of the van he noticed that besides the two officers that were driving there were four other police wearing a black uniform with their faces covered in balaclavas. These black uniforms with balaclava masks are normally worn by the Croatian Interventna Policija.
“Here they beat us. Baton, baton, kick in the face. I fainted again. I wake up they still beating”.
The respondent remembers only five minutes of the brutal violence. He recalls being pushed on the ground and being beaten with kicks and strikes with a baton on his legs, back and arms to the point he fainted again. Then, the group had to hand over all the personal belongings: power banks, jackets, shoes, and bags. The clothes and bags were then set on fire.
The group was then told to go back to Bosnia.
“I really don’t know why this things happens. I only know I was deported illegally and interpreter signed my papers”