In their recently published reports, Slovenian organizations Amnesty International Slovenia and Legal Information Center for NGOs , confirm that since June 2018 refugees entering Slovenia are being systematically pushed back to Croatia and from there to Bosnia. People’s right to asylum is being systematically obstructed.
These organizations conducted almost 100 interviews at the end of June in Bosnian towns of in Velika Kladuša and Bihać. They found that out of 70 people they interviewed, 51 refugees described how after reaching Slovenia they were returned to Croatia despite asking for asylum. Some refugees report that police promised to take them to an asylum home but were instead taken back to the Croatia. There are also accounts and documents of police fining refugees for illegal crossings of the border (fines can amount up to 500 EUR), although the International Protection Act stipulates that people who intent to ask for asylum are exempt from the fine. Despite numerous reports Slovenian police denies these claims.
The official police statistics, however, show a large increase in returns to Croatia in June 2018. Between January and May 2018, police reported 2437 irregular crossings and returned 370 people back to Croatia. In June 2018, out of 899 reported irregular crossing 631 people were returned back to Croatia. Moreover, the official number of people asking for asylum in June 2018 has dropped significantly.
Amnesty International Slovenia and Legal Information Center for NGOs are calling for an independent investigation into this concerning evidence. Slovenia and Croatian authorities are violating international law. They are denying people the right to seek asylum then further stripping their humanity away with police brutality. Enough has to be enough.
This is a repost from Are You Syrious
Photo: refugees in Velika Kladuša, credit: Niklas Golitschek, Are You Syrious volunteer