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We were exhausted. We couldn't run even if we wanted to. We surrendered, but the police cheated on us. 

Date & Time 2021-10-09
Location Near the E61 and 20 km to the border with Italy, Slovenia
Reported by Anonymous
Coordinates 45.69259004, 13.8558196
Pushback from Croatia, Slovenia
Pushback to Bosnia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 18 - 24
Group size 9
Countries of origin Afghanistan, Pakistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, fingerprints taken, photos taken, personal information taken, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 19
Violence used forcing to undress, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
Police involved 7 Slovenian special police officers with camouflage uniforms, about 12 Croatian policemen, 2 vans

The respondent reports that one Pakistani and eight Afghan men left Bihać, Bosnia-Herzegovina on August, 27. He states that they walked for about 14 days through the Croatian forests and then crossed the border into the Slovenian forests. The respondent describes that they tried to stay away from the main roads for fear of being caught. When they were only about 20 km from the Italian border, the respondent reports that they were captured and subsequently pushed back.

On Friday, September 10th at 11 am, they were stopped by what the respondent referred to as one Slovenian policeman who was described as wearing a camouflage uniform and was therefore referred to by the respondent as a “Commando”, or a special forces official. The group was reportedly asked to stop and obey, in order to be helped by the police.

“We were exhausted and we had nothing left with us after the long journey, no food, no water. We couldn’t run even if we wanted to. We surrendered, but the police cheated on us.”

The respondent reports that the Slovenian policeman called other officers to the scene and six additional persons joined him. Reportedly they began by speaking English to the transit group, but when they realised the group did not speak English very well they began speaking Slovenian. At some point, the respondent reports that they were loaded into, what he referred to as, a police van and driven away.

After approximately 30 minutes drive, they are reported to have arrived at an unknown police station. Here, the policemen tried to take their fingerprints, but due to an electrical malfunction of the machine, they had to drive them to another station. Both the drives were described by the respondent as reckless: the van was too crowded and the driver would speed up abruptly and brake randomly, causing sickness within the group.

The respondent states that it was 1 pm when they reached the second police station. Here, their pictures were taken aswell as their fingerprints. Moreover, the respondent reports that they were forced to undress and deprived of their shoes, clothes, and the money they had with them. They were reportedly detained for the entire night without access to food and water. The respondent reports the terrible physical conditions they were in: he describes that they were starving, exhausted, cold, and frightened.

On the following day (11th Sept) at around 4pm, the respondent reports were taken back across the border to a police station in Croatia. They were kept there for reportedly about two hours. The respondet states were fed yogurt and bread and they received their clothes back before once again being loaded into what was described as a police van. It was a long drive and they didn’t know where in Croatia they were. Reportedly, the policemen were again driving recklessly – in the back of the van, some were vomiting and one of the nine men passed out.

In the middle of the night, they were dropped in Lika, Croatia, close to the Bosnian border. After that, they walked to Velika Kladuša, which they reached at around 3 AM on the 12th September. Some locals helped them with food in the morning. They spent the whole day walking to Bihać and at midnight their journey was finally over.