On December 17, 2018, the respondent, a Pakistani man, along with his 15-year-old friend (also from Pakistan) crossed the border from Bosnia to Croatia near Velika Kladuša (BiH), coordinates 45.173858,15.7583761. After four nights of walking, they reached the Slovenian border without having been detected by the Croatian authorities. In the morning of December 21, they entered Slovenia near Vukovci (SVN), coordinates 45.429706,15.2146405, by walking through the border river. The water was less than knee-deep, but very cold.
Only a few minutes after they entered Slovenia, they were caught by a group of four male officers and one female officer, wearing blue uniforms, in a white car with was not labeled as a police car. The officers made a call, and soon after two more officers arrived in a big white estate car, labeled as a police car. The two of them were driven by car for less than ten minutes to a police station. There, they were frisked and their phones and chargers was taken from them, though not their money. Their fingerprints were taken and they had to write down their names.
Both individuals stated that they wanted to claim asylum in Slovenia. An officer then checked the contents of the respondent’s phone, i.e. the WhatsApp messages, GPS data, and conducted a computer search of maybe 20 minutes as the respondent recalled. The officer then said that the respondent couldn’t receive asylum in Slovenia; he justified this by the fact that he had entered Slovenia before, the respondent asserted. The respondent received a report which he destroyed later on. By contrast, the case of his 15-year old friend was checked in more detail, and his friend stayed in the police station in Slovenia when the respondent was pushed–back; by the time of the interview, the respondent didn’t have any information on the whereabouts of his friend.
After spending one night at the police station, the respondent was taken into an estate car and driven to the Croatian border. The Slovenian and Croatian officers talked to each other, and the former handed over the respondent’s phone to their Croatian colleagues.
There were already six other people on the move with the Croatian officers and the group of seven was driven in two cars, one big estate car and one of the size of a regular passenger car, to the Bosnian border. They were accompanied by three officers with dark blue uniforms with epaulettes and a white badge on their sleeves.
The cars stopped at the border just after Maljevac (HRV), coordinates 45.1974968,15.7919508. The group of seven was told to get off and when they excited, all of them were beaten by three of the officers, shouting:
“Go back, go back!”
The officers also crashed the individual’s phones and chargers.
“They beat me in my leg and in my back. It hurt so much. They beat me with sticks.”
Afterwards, the Croatian officers handed over the seven of them to the Bosnian authorities. After a short talk between the Croatian and Bosnian officers, the latter told them:
“Go back to your camp.”
The respondent then walked back to the camp in Velika Kladusa (BIH) some four kilometers from the border post.