The group of three was walking from Velika Kladuša (BIH) to Croatia, and further to Slovenia, where they wanted to apply for asylum in Ljubjana. The fifth day, when they were walking in a forest between the villages Susak (SVN) and Rupa (SVN), Slovenian officers, one woman and one man, wearing police uniforms detected them. They treated the three people on the move like criminals, giving them orders like:
“Sit! Stand! Move!”
The three individuals told the officers that they wanted to apply for asylum in Slovenia, but the police responded:
“You are a Muslim. Living in a good Country. There is no asylum here. You aren’t a Catholic, you’re a Muslim. Go back to your country. What are you doing here? You are not regular, this is the big problem here.”
Then, all of them were transported with a car to the police station in Lisac – Susak (SVN), where they were detained for one day. At the polices station, they were provided a translator, an older man from Palestine, who refused to help them to access the asylum procedure:
“He [the translator] was just sitting there and did not speak. Just sit. Just asked us for our names and country and where from we crossed the border and what time. I asked him for asylum. He told me just “Silence”. When I asked them to translate that I need asylum, and he told me: “No asylum here. No talk about this. No asylum in Slovenia, Go back to Bosnia.”
The following day, before they were transported to Croatia, they got a paper to sign, which they didn’t understand because it was written in Slovenian. They were told by the officers to sign the paper anyway. Later they found out, that the paper was declaring that they had to pay a fee €200 each for irregularly entering Slovenia:
“They gave me all these papers, but not in English, Arabic or French. I did not understand. I asked the police man: Can I ask you, can you get me this paper in Arabic? He told me: ‘You can’t. Just sign.‘.”
The three of them were then transported to a police station close to the Croatian border, where they were detained for two days in a small room, similar to a cell, which was already crowded with other people on the move. They got only one food during the whole time of their detention.
After two days, they were handed over to the Croatian authorities, who transported them together with other seven men to the Bosnian border. They were driven only for a few hours to some location, where they were detained inside the car for ten hours.
All of them had problems to breath inside of the car because there was no ventilation, resulting in lack of oxygen. Around 2 am, the car started to move again, and they were driven to an unmarked forest location at the Bosnian border next to a river, around 10 km away from Velika Kladuša (BIH).
When they arrived at the border, they were told to get off the car and found some officers in black uniforms and balaclavas and equipped with batons and guns waiting for them. These officers first broke their phones and stole their money:
“They were policemen with masks. They told us: ‘Five persons come out. Who can speak English?‘ My friend and me can speak English. I told him that I need my phone and my money. He gave me a plastic bag and said that this was my phone. I opened the plastic bag and found mine and the others’ phones broken. And no money. One man has lost 1300 Euro.“
Then, they attacked all of them with batons and kicks, while shouting at them to go back to Bosnia, and started shooting around with their guns:
“They had masks. I don’t understand. They had guns and ta ta ta ta ta, for maybe just telling me to move. But where I could move? There was just a forest. They shot around me maybe twenty times. Maybe for making me move. But where I move? I did not see anything.”
“They ware acting like animals. They his you, no respect. In the night, not able to see anything. But I am not a criminal, not a terrorist, just an immigrant. They twisted my finger.”
Afterwards, all of them slept outside and later walked back to the camp in Velika Kladuša. The individual who was robed by the authorities was crying because he had no more money left.