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May 7, 2023

Slovenia Rejects Allegations of Pushing Asylum Seekers Back Into Croatia

The Slovenian authorities have rejected the allegations that the country does not consider applications for international protection following a report by Human Right Watch.

In one of its most recent reports, Human Right Watch said that along with some other countries, Slovenia had used readmission agreements and has returned many asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants to the country they passed through on their journey.

Human Right Watch further said that Slovenia has been returning the above-mentioned groups of people to Croatia and required that the country should not seek to return people to Croatia until the latter’s authorities end collective expulsions.

Nonetheless, not long after such a report was published, the Ministry of Interior of Slovenia came out with an official statement, rejecting all the statements made by Human Right Watch, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The Ministry said that these allegations are not true and stressed that the country’s police return only foreigners who entered the territory of Slovenia illegally and did not express their intention to apply for international protection in the country.

“We reject statements that we do not consider applications for international protection on the basis of their content. As we have explained several times so far, we deal with each case individually, taking into account all the specific circumstances of each case and in accordance with the applicable legislation. We also reject allegations of systematic return to Croatia,” the statement of the Ministry reads.

In addition, the Ministry emphasised that they treat every case individually and take into account all the specific circumstances of each case in accordance with the applicable legislation.

The Ministry also shared data on the number of people who have been granted international protection in the country. The Ministry said that in 2022 the country granted international protection to 203 people – 38 were granted refugee status, and 164 were granted subsidiary protection status.

Earlier today, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that in the same report, Human Right Watch accused Croatia of violently pushing back migrants to Bosnia and Herzegovina without assessing their asylum requests or protection needs.

Human Rights Watch found that the Croatian authorities engage in pushback and that they frequently destroy and steal phones, identity documents, and money.

Moreover, Human Rights Watch said that migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees are often subject to degrading and humiliating treatment by the Croatian authorities.

“Border police frequently steal or destroy phones, money, identity documents, and other personal property, and often subject children and adults to humiliating and degrading treatment, sometimes in ways that are explicitly racist,” the statement of Human Rights Watch.

The latter required Croatia to put an end to collective expulsions and said that the Commission of the EU should investigate the matter.