“The 17-year-old female minor was forced to sign as an adult”

  • Date and time: September 25, 2018 04:00
  • Location: Close to Vinica, Slowenien
  • Coordinates: 45.4614158, 15.253571
  • Pushback from: Croatia
  • Pushback to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 7 person(s), age: 17-26 , from: Syria
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: insulting
  • Police involved: Several Croatian border police officers in sky blue uniforms, aided by Slovenian border officers, 1 estate car
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, personal information taken, papers signed
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Balkan Info Van

Original Report

The group of seven, including women, men and one minor, walked for four days through the Croatian forests. Their interaction with the authorities began near the Croatian border with Slovenia. The group was walking beside the border river and were observed by Slovenian officials from the far bank. The border officers pointed flashlights in their direction and shouted at them to go back. Soon after, some Croatian officers caught them and transported them to a police station. The seven individuals asked for asylum but the officers simply ignored the request. When one man began to insist, one of the officers just shrugged his shoulders, saying:

“I don’t know.”

The officers took their names and other personal details and forced them to sign papers. The 17-year-old female minor was forced to sign as an adult. When the group questioned this, the officers started to shout and harass her. They hurried the process by shouting: “Name, photo and go!”
After this, the group was put into two separate cells, one for the men and one for the women. They were detained there for around six hours.

“There was no window, no air in the cells.”

The small cells were around 2 x 2 meters big with one single bed, and not enough space for the individuals to lie down or sit comfortably.
Finally, they were driven with what the respondents described as an estate car for around five hours to the Bosnian border. The journey was sickening due to the stuffy air and heat inside the car. The seven of them had to get off at a rural border spot leading down onto a steep section of the Gina river. Then, the officers pushed them towards the border and told them to walk back to Velika Kladusa (BIH). It was just daybreak when they started walking and in the early afternoon they finally arrived back to the camp.