“I don't have another way”

  • Date and time: September 27, 2021 00:00
  • Location: border area around Sid, Serbia
  • Coordinates: 45.188060560996, 19.172759993962
  • Pushback from: Croatia, Slovenia
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 1 person(s), age: unknown , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Unknown
  • Violence used: kicking
  • Police involved: 4 Slovenian Police officer, 2 Croatian Police officer
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, fingerprints taken, photos taken, personal information taken, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On September 27, at approximately 8 pm the respondent says he was stopped by police at the Slovenia-Croatian border crossing.

He was traveling hidden inside of a truck. He told that the truck stopped and one police officer entered. The respondent said that he was crouched behind the boxes with his heart racing because he was scared the police would find him. The police passed the box he was hiding behind and he said he breathed a sigh of relief. However, seconds later he felt something hit his head. It was the officer kicking his head with his foot. The officer asked, “Where is your mask?” and the respondent said he pulled it from his bag and put it on his face quickly so as not to get struck by the officer again. The respondent described the officer as wearing a blue uniform which said, “Republic of Slovenia” and had one star on his shoulder. Another officer entered the truck, with three stars on his uniform and snapped a picture of the respondent sitting near his things. Then the officer checked through the respondent’s things. Both of the police officers left the truck and then the driver walked inside. The respondent described him as a Turkish man who asked him, “Why did you enter my container?”. The respondent said he told the man “I don’t have another way.” The driver then asked the respondent if he was Muslim. The respondent told him that he was indeed Muslim, and the driver laughed saying that the respondent was not a real Muslim. Then the driver began punching him in the back.

After the confrontation, the two left the truck and were led by the police to a police station about 50 meters from where the truck was stopped. The respondent says that he does not know the exact location of where he was stopped because he did not have a cellphone with him. At the police station, the officers began interrogating the respondent and the driver. The respondent said that they questioned why he was alone and if he was a smuggler. They also asked and investigated how the respondent entered the truck. After the questioning, they took the respondent’s picture and took another picture of his camp card from Serbia. Afterward, they took his fingerprints and made the respondent fill out a document asking where the respondent was from, his mother’s name, and other personal questions. The questions were written in English and Pashto. The respondent said that after he completed the document the officers called the Croatian police.

Shortly after, two police officers arrived in a car dressed in light blue uniforms. The respondent said that “Policija” was written on their uniforms. They put the respondent in the police car and drove around two minutes to the Croatian police station. The respondent said that in the station, he also completed a similar document to the one in Slovenia. He said that the police officers took his belt and shoelaces. When asked why he thought they did this, he responded by saying that it was so he could not run away. He was then placed in a jail cell with six other guys who he said were also from Afghanistan. They waited for nearly an hour, he said with no access to food or water before they were placed in a van and driven to the Serbian border. The respondent said they were given back all their things before they left the police station. They arrived at the Serbian border around 2 am, the respondent said where they were forced to walk across back into Serbia. The respondent says in the darkness he was unsure where exactly they took them along the border.