On the 15th September, a group of 42 people were pushed back from the Italian city of Trieste to Slovenia, then Croatia and then Bosnia. They arrived in Trieste as a group of 56 people, from both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
According to the respondents, the group went to the camp in the city and spoke to the authorities there. The two primary respondents, both of whom are in their twenties, stated that officers, whom they referred to as ‘commandos’, recorded the fingerprints of two of their fingers into a computer and asked the age of each person. Each group-member expressed an intention to seek asylum in Italy.
Allegedly, after this, those in the group who were under 18 years of age were admitted to camp, while those who were 18 and older were told to get into a waiting vehicles which then brought them directly back to the Slovenian border with Italy. No papers were given to those being pushed back. Once they arrived to the Slovenian border, the group-members were transferred over to the custody of Slovenian authorities and underwent a similar procedures of rapid processing and then transportation in different vehicles to the Croatian border, where they were transferred over to Croatian custody. The Slovenian authorities had paperwork which they gave directly to the Croatian authorities.
The respondents did not see what was written on these papers. Reportedly, neither the Slovenian nor the Croatian officers spoke to the group during the long journey. At the border between Slovenia and Croatia, the group were transferred to ‘small’ vans. The respondents described that in one vehicle even there was what seemed to be 30 with only enough space to stand.
Finally, the group was then driven back to a secluded area of the Croatian border with Bosnia whereupon they were ordered out of the vans and saw between ten and fifteen officers who were described as ‘commandos’ wearing black ski masks. According to the respondents, these officers ordered the group-members to take off and leave their shoes and clothing and took a number of valuables from the group such as money and mobile phones. Finally, the group-members were told to enter back into the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina during which time they described being struck by batons from the police officers.