““we will not hit you anymore if you go now.””

  • Date and time: September 23, 2020 02:00
  • Location: Podlehnik, Slovenia
  • Coordinates: 46.336735992723, 15.878269672394
  • Push-back from: Slovenia, Croatia
  • Push-back to: Croatia, Serbia
  • Demographics: 2 person(s), age: 18,21 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), forcing to undress, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 3 Slovenian officers, 2 in light blue uniform (1 being a women), 1 in civil clothes, 6 Croatian police officers, 4 in light blue uniform of border police, 2 in dark uniforms
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of 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: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The respondents were first apprehended by Slovenian authorities approximately 15 km inside Slovenia, South of Ptuj in a village called Podlehnik around 2:00 am on the 23rd of September. The police officers arrived to the scene with one civil car and a white van without police insignia written on it. There was one officer in civilian clothes and one in a light blue uniform. After some time, they transported the two people-on-the-move to the police station in Podlehnik (Slovenia) [46.336616, 15.878350].

The police station in Podlehnik (Slovenia) [46.336616, 15.878350] where the respondents described being apprehended and denied access to asylum procedures before being chain pushed back to Bosnia-Herzegovina
One of the people-on-the-move said he asked, “Are we going to be deported?” and the answer he got was no.

“I was very happy, they said no, we will not deport you”

At the police station was a policewoman. During their stay at the police station they were asked many detailed questions about their journey from Afghanistan to Slovenia. Why they left Afghanistan, how much money they spend, which countries they travelled through and so on. The police took their pictures, fingerprints and asked for their family`s names. After that they asked the people-on-the-move to sign many papers. The whole time a translator was not present, but they were communicating in English.  The respondents were kept at the police station for one day and one night and were provided with food and water.

Besides being led to believe they would be able to claim asylum in Slovenia they were pushed back the following morning with one van to Croatia.

In Croatia they were taken by two officers in light blue uniform and with a car to a police station in Zagreb. The officers were wearing light blue uniforms of the border police but after 15 minutes at the station, new officers came. These officers were wearing dark uniforms and checked their phone, fingerprints, pictures, and personal information again. At the Zagreb police station, the respondents did not receive any food or water. Not even a glass of water despite them asking for it.

After approximately two hours the two were taken in one van directly to the Serbian border. During the ride, one respondent asked to go to the toilet, but the police did not stop.

The approximate area, south of the A3 highway border crossing, where the respondents described being pushed back by Croatian authorities

They arrived at the Serbian border, in a remote area close to and south of the A3 highway border crossing at Lipovac, at around 10:00 pm. There were two more officers already waiting for them, wearing blue uniforms. The respondent said that the officers in the blue uniform were acting worse towards them, than the ones in the black uniforms who came with them from Zagreb. At the push back location the Croatian police took everything, clothes and money, bags and phones and burned their belongings. They hit them with batons, while it was raining and the respondents were freezing. In the end they took their shoes and told them “we will not hit you anymore if you go now.”