A group of 7 men, including one minor, walked from Velika Kladusa through Croatia until they reached the river Sava on the Croatian-Slovenian border, which they crossed. After a few minutes of walking in Slovenian land, they were detected by two Slovenian police officers. When the police caught the men, they called 20 additional police officers, who arrived with a big van and transported the group to a nearby police station.
In the police station, the police officers took the men’s finger prints for identification and detained them for one day. The interviewee and another person from the group kept asking the police for asylum in Slovenia, and the police responded only, “Ok”. But after one day of detention in the police station, all the men were deported to Croatia, without any access to asylum procedure and explanation of why they were denied access.
In Croatia, they were handed over to a team of Croatian police officers, who transported them to the Bosnian border, close to the official check-point, for their deportation. The respondent further reported that when they reached the Bosnian border point, the police searched through the men’s pockets and stole all of their money and phones. The interviewee once again tried to ask the Croatian police for asylum, but instead of a response, he was physically attacked with metal batons:
“Croatian police beat me here [pointing under his left eye], you see. And here, also [pointing at his bandaged hand and arms]. I asked for asylum, you know. I just asked for asylum, but they did not accept it, they just attacked me and after said: “Shut your mouth and go back.” And directly go back to Bosnia. And after, I was feeling more pressure, and asked for some water the police, because the blood was coming under my eye. But they told me no water, they refused my request”.
When the other men saw how the police attacked him, they were scared and did not talk throughout the whole deportation process. The respondent told me that this was his third attempt to try and cross the border from Bosnia to Europe and exercise his right to claim asylum in Europe, and explained me his frustration from his denial.
“I have worked for military in Afghanistan, Kandahar, very dangerous place, for 6 years. Taliban was sending me letters, saying they kill me if I continue to cooperate with my American friends. Many people died from my village. I can’t go back. I have all documents in my hands and can give them in other country in any immigration department. But the way is closed now, and we don’t know where we go”