Archive for ‘refugeeslo’

27 novembra, 2015

Asylum in Slovenia


Answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the international protection procedure (asylum)


1) Why will they take my fingerprints again, if they already took them at the police station?
At the police station the fingerprints are taken from the persons who crossed the border illegally. In the Asylum home the fingerprints are taken from the persons that ask for international protection, even if their fingerprints were already taken at the police station. The fingerprints are saved in two different databases. Rejecting the taking of fingerprints can be a reason that your request for international protection will be rejected in an accelerated procedure. Fingerprints are taken from the persons older than 14.
2) What will they do with my fingerprints?
In Asylum home the fingerprints are taken for the purpose of executing the Dublin Regulation. This is an act that determines which country is responsible for your application. Fingerprints will be entered into the computer base Eurodac, from which it is evident if you already applied for asylum in another EU Member State. If you did, it is possible that Slovenia will not consider your application (it depends on when you asked for asylum in another state and how the procedure ended) and you will be sent to the State that is responsible for considering your application. The same applies if you will, after the submission of the application, leave the Republic of Slovenia and go to another EU Member State (or to Norway, Island, Switzerland, Liechtenstein) and ask for asylum there. You will be returned to Slovenia, to end your procedure. Arbitrary leave from the Asylum home and from Slovenia will be considered as an abuse of the procedure and your chances to obtain the status will be reduced. Fingerprints in the computer base Eurodac are kept for 10 years.
3) Why will they take a picture of me?
You will get a card of asylum seeker with photography, with which you will prove your identity.
4) Informing – who will inform me and about what?
You will be informed by the representative of a non-governmental organization or by an inspector, with the help of the interpreter, about the course of the procedure, rights and obligations of the asylum seekers, deadlines,…
5) Can I change my mind and not apply for asylum?
You can. In that case you will write a statement that you do not want to ask for asylum and why, and you will submit this statement to the official (inspector).
6) Will I be allowed to return home on my own, or to continue my way to where I want, if I do not ask for asylum?
If you arrived to the Republic of Slovenia illegally the answer is no; the inspector will call the police which will take you to the Center for foreigners, from where you will be returned to your country.
7) What will happen with my fingerprints if I do not ask for asylum? Will the fingerprints taken at the police station be »erased«?
If you will not ask for asylum your fingerprints that were taken from you in the Asylum home will not be used (will not be entered into the Eurodac base), but the fingerprints that were taken from you at the police station, because of the illegal crossing of the border, will not be erased. They will be kept in the base for 2 years.
8) I decided to apply for asylum. Why am I being asked if I already applied for asylum somewhere else, if this is evident from the EURODAC base?
This is important for the assessment of your credibility; covering this data could be a reason for the limitation of your freedom of movement and for a negative decision about your status.
9) What does the procedure of submission of asylum application look like – what will I be asked?
In the first part of the application you will give your personal data such as your name, last address, employment, family members, if you belong to a political party,… In the second part (statement) the questions will refer to the exact course of your travel from your country of origin to Slovenia, reasons, why you left your country and if you were ever persecuted for reasons of race, nationality, religion, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. It is important that you describe exactly all the events that relate to the reasons why you left the country.
10) Why should I repeat all this, if I already wrote a statement at the police station? Is that not enough?
No, at the police station you wrote the short statement with which the inspector of the Asylum home will be acquainted before the submission of your application. In Asylum home you will be interrogated more exactly about the reasons that forced you to leave your country. It is in your interest to explain all the reasons as precisely as possible, because it is not necessary that you will have another interview.
11) For which reasons can I ask for protection?
Even though you can state any reasons, you should know that not all the reasons are of a kind to get the protection from another state. Asylum (refugee status) is granted for exactly determined reasons that are: persecution for reasons of race, nationality, religion, membership of a particular social group or political opinion (those are the reasons as contained in the Geneva Convention and in the Slovenian International protection Act). Persecution means that your human rights were severely violated in your country of origin; either by one sole action, which was of extreme gravity, or by repeating actions. Different actions are relevant, for example, physical, psychological, sexual violence, discriminatory judicial or administrative measures… Persecution should be performed by state organs, such as police, army, state officials, etc. If you claim that you were persecuted by non-state actors (for example neighbors), you need to prove that you tried to get protection from state agents, but your state cannot or does not want to protect you. Even if you were not persecuted and therefore you do not fulfill the conditions for refugee status recognition, you can be granted a subsidiary protection status, if there exists a real risk that upon return to your country you would suffer serious harm (death penalty, execution, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, serious and individual threat to a civilian’s life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict).
12) I do not understand the interpreter very well – what should I do?
It is very important that you understand the interpreter; if you do not, you need to tell this immediately to the official (inspector)! If you will not be able to solve this problem with the use of other words or dialect, the inspector will have to provide different interpreter without charge. You can also provide your own interpreter, but you will have to pay him by yourself. If you had any difficulties in communicating with the interpreter, you can submit a note on the record, at the end of the submission of the application.
13) Why do I need to sign each page of the record and why do we need to read everything all over again?
The purpose of reading of the record is that you make yourself sure that everything in the record is as you have said it, since changing your statement later in the procedure can represent a reason for rejection of your application. If something is miswritten or is missing, you need to notify the official (inspector) immediately, in order for the notes to be written down. The signature of each page means that you agree with what is written.
14) Is the procedure confidential or everybody will get to know my story?
The procedure is confidential, which means that nobody will find out about your procedure, therefore there is no reason to keep something a secret. The inspector will notify you about this as well.
15) I already asked for the protection in another state, but I did not get the status. Is this important?
Yes, it is important. In Slovenia you will submit the application (the first interview) and then it will be decided which country is responsible for considering your application. It is possible that this will not be Slovenia, but the state, where you first asked for asylum. In this case you will receive a decision that Slovenia will not consider your application and which state will do it. In the case that you returned to your country of origin after you asked for asylum at the first place and new events happened, which for you mean new reasons for asylum, it is very important to bring them up.
16) I already asked for the protection in Slovenia. Will now the submission of the application be different?  
a) YES, if your first application was finally rejected or you withdrawn your application. In this case you will submit the application anew. You should focus on the reasons and on the time after you left Slovenia. Difference is that you need to submit ALL the evidence that show that you fulfill the conditions to obtain a status of refugee, already at the submission of the application, because you will not have a second chance.
b) NO, if you arbitrary left the Asylum home. In this case you will submit a »classical« application.


1) For which reasons can my freedom of movement be restricted?
For one or more of the following reasons:
– Establishing of the identity (when you do not have your documents with a picture with you, such as passport, ID card,…)
– Suspicion of abusing the procedure
– Threat to other persons’ life or property
– Prevention of the spread of contagious diseases
2) Which personal documents are important?
Official documents with picture, such as: valid passport, valid ID card, birth certificate, driving license, etc.
3) What if I receive the documents afterwards? Is it enough if they send me my documents by fax or by e-mail?  
The document needs to be original. When you receive it, you need to hand it over immediately to the official (inspector), who manages your procedure, in order to examine if it is original. In the case of the suspicion that the document is not original, it will be sent to the expert for analysis. If your freedom of movement is restricted only for this reason, the measure will be abolished. If your freedom of movement is restricted for some other reason as well (for example for suspicion of abusing the procedure), it will continue to be restricted.
4) What is the abuse of the procedure?
Several actions can signify the abuse of the procedure. Here are only some of them: fake presentation of the reasons, your statements are contradictory or in contradiction with the publicly accessible information about your country of origin; if you did not ask for asylum in the shortest time possible (usually this means the same day), rejection of taking your fingerprints and photographing, stating fake data about yourself and submission of falsified documents.
5) Who decides if my freedom of movement will be restricted and what can I do in order to avoid it?
The inspector who will accept your application decides about this at the end of the submission of the application. You will be announced orally, for which reasons your freedom of movement will be restricted. This reason will be as well contained in the record and later in a written decision that you will receive. Against mere oral announcement you cannot complain, you can only complain after 48 hours, when you receive the written decision. If within this deadline you do not receive the decision, you need to turn to the official immediately and to the counselor for refugees. The complaint is lodged with the help of the counselor for refugees. You can get the list of counselors from the official person.
6) Where will I be lodged during the restriction of movement?  
Three locations are possible: the area of entire Asylum home, the closed part of Asylum home or Center for foreigners.
7) How long does the limitation of movement last?
Until the reasons ceased to exist, but not longer than 3 months. It is possible that after 3 months the measure is prolonged for another month. In this case you need to get a new decision, already before the expiration of the 3 months deadline, where it is explained why the measure was prolonged. You can complain against this decision to the Administrative court as well. If during this time you withdraw your application, the restriction of movement ceases as well.
8) Can I complain? Who will help me at this?
You can complain to the Administrative court (and later to the Supreme Court if necessary). The complaint is lodged by the counselor for refugees, who you choose by yourself.
9) How fast is this procedure before the court? Will I be able to talk with the judge? Will the interpreter be there as well?
The deadline to lodge a complaint is 3 days from the reception of the written decision (first day is the next day from reception of the decision, even if holiday or weekend). The court calls the hearing within one week, which you will attend together with your lawyer. The interpreter will be there as well.
10) If the court decides that there are no reasons for the restriction of movement – will I be released immediately?
The court can reject or grant your complaint. In the case of the latter, there are two possibilities: the measure is abolished or the inspector complains to the Supreme Court if he does not agree with the Administrative court’s decision (in this case your freedom of movement is still restricted). If the Supreme Court agrees with the inspector’s complaint, your freedom of movement will be restricted for as long as it was determined in the decision. If the Supreme Court agrees with the Administrative court that there are no reasons for the restriction of movement, the measure will be abolished.
11) What are my rights during the time of limitation of movement?
Except that you cannot move freely, you have all the rights, as other asylum seekers.
12) Does the limitation of movement mean that I received a negative status decision as well?
No, these are two different procedures. But it is true that an asylum seeker whose freedom of movement was restricted because of the suspicion of abusing the procedure, most of the time (but not necessary), receives a negative decision in asylum procedure for the same reason as well.


1) What is now my status and what is the difference with the time before submission of the application, when I was in pre-reception area?
Now you have a status of asylum seeker (you are no longer an alien); until the procedure becomes final no one can deport you from the country; you also have rights, as guaranteed by the law to the asylum seekers.
2) Where will I be lodged?
In one of the departments of the Asylum home: department for families, department for single men, department for unaccompanied minors, department for women, department for restriction of movement.
3) How long will I wait for the decision? I heard that some people wait for more than a year, while others get it in few weeks?
Each case is different. According to the law you would need to receive the first decision in 6 months. If this will not be possible, you will be notified in writing, together with the information on when you can expect the decision. It depends as well whether your application will be assessed in regular or accelerated procedure.
4) What is the difference between the regular and accelerated procedure?
In the regular procedure you have one more interview and the content of application will be assessed. The result of this procedure can be a negative decision or recognition of a refugee or subsidiary protection status. In accelerated procedure there is no additional interview; it is examined if some of the conditions to reject the application as manifestly ill-founded are fulfilled (negative decision).
5) What if I find out afterwards that I should add something or if I obtain new evidence?
You should go to the official (inspector) who manages your application to write those additional reasons on the record, or to submit new evidence. You can do this in a set deadline, or until the end of the second interview. If you wish, the inspector needs to issue you an attestation about this.
6) When can I speak with the official (inspector) and who decides about my application?
You can see the inspector within the official hours (the list is on the notice board at the entry); for the name of the inspector that manages your case, you can ask social service or representative of the non-governmental organization.
7) I got the deadline for the submission of evidence. I tried to obtain them, but it turned out that the deadline is too short. What can I do?
In the set deadline you need to call on the official (inspector) who decides about your application and you need to explain this to him and ask for the extension of the deadline. Not respecting the deadline can have negative consequences for you (negative decision).
8) Why the inspector does not find out by himself if it is true what I am saying (for example he can call the relevant office in my country)?
The inspector or the Ministry of Interior (this is the competent authority) is by the law not allowed to contact the authorities in your country of origin and ask questions about you, in order to guarantee the confidentiality of the procedure and your need for protection. However, the inspector will obtain the information which is publicly accessible.
9) What counts as evidence?
All that supports your story: court decisions, medical attestations, proofs of the reporting to the police station, personal documents, journal articles,…
10) Will I be invited to another interview?
Not necessary, since the accelerated procedure can be conducted before additional hearing, therefore it is important that you tell EVERYTHING about your story already when submitting the application.
11) I do not have money for the attorney. Who will help me?
A counselor for refugees (lawyer, usually attorney) can help you without charge. If you have money and you do not want to be represented free of charge by the counselor for refugees, you can choose any other attorney to represent you (the list of names is published on the web page of the attorneys’ assembly (
12) The counselor told me that I need to pay for his services. Is therefore not true that he works free of charge? Do I really need to pay him?
A counselor for refugees gets payment from the Ministry of Interior. For the asylum seekers his work is free of charge. If he demands a payment from you, we suggest you to look for another counselor for refugees and report the one that asked for payment to the non-governmental organizations and to the management of the Asylum home. However, payments for the representation at submission of the application and at the hearing (interviews in the Asylum home) need to be arranged with the counselor, since this is not paid by the Ministry.
13) How can I contact a counselor for refugees?
Upon the arrival to the Asylum home you received a list with the names and telephone numbers. You call the counselor by yourself, or with help of social service or representative of non-governmental organizations.
14) What can I do if I cannot communicate with the counselor because of the language?
You should look for the help of the representative of non-governmental organizations or an asylum seeker, who you trust. An interpreter, you will need to pay by yourself.
15) The counselor will lodge a complaint. What follows?
You need to wait for the decision of the Administrative court. If the deadline for lodging the complaint was 3 days, the court will have to decide in 15 days; if the deadline was 15 days, the court has 30 days to decide. In practice these deadlines can be longer, particularly in the summer. You are still an asylum seeker and you cannot be deported!
16) Can the court grant me the status?
No, the court does not grant the status. Positive decision from the court means that the court agreed with the statements in the complaint; the court most often returns the matter to the inspector for the renewed determination. However it is not necessary that the inspector will conduct the renewed procedure right away, since he can complain to the Supreme Court against this decision.
17) What can I do if I receive a second negative decision?
If you receive a second negative decision from the Administrative court (the court rejected your complaint) you can complain against this decision to the Supreme Court.
18) How long will it take for the Supreme Court to decide?
By the law, the Supreme Court needs to decide within 15 days.
19) Will I go to the court for the hearing? How will the judge know what is true, if he will not speak with me?
No! The judge will decide only on the basis of the files (decision, complaint, evidence). The judges do not have official hours where you could talk to them.
20) I obtained new evidence – can I send it to the court?
You can, if the evidence already existed at the time when the inspector was deciding about your application and you legitimately could not submit it. If you could submit it to the inspector, then the court will not be allowed to take it into consideration.
21) Will the court send the judgment to me or to my attorney?
If you have an attorney, the court will send the judgment to him and the attorney needs to notify you.
22) I am not satisfied with the attorney. What can I do?
You can revoke his mandate in writing, and then authorize another attorney. We suggest that you previously agree with another attorney, so that you will not stay without attorney. You should also find out if this is reasonable, considering in which phase of the procedure you are.
23) What happens if I am unsuccessful at all three instances?
With the notification of the negative judgment by the Supreme Court (regardless whether this is 2. or 3. negative decision) you become an alien and you do not have a right to accommodation in the Asylum home. In the judgment is also written that you need to leave Slovenia immediately. In few days the police will take you to the Center for foreigners, where the procedure for extradition to your country begins.
24) Can I leave Slovenia voluntarily?
If you arrived to Slovenia illegally or if you are without documents or if you do not have any other legal basis to stay in Slovenia, then you CANNOT.
25) My application for asylum was rejected. Can I ask for subsidiary protection?
No, because this was already decided within the procedure. During the procedure it is first examined if the conditions for recognition of the status of refugee are fulfilled. If not, the conditions for recognition of subsidiary protection are examined as well. This is a unified procedure; therefore 2 different applications are not possible.
26) Is there any other possibility after I receive the negative decision from the Supreme Court? What about European Court of Human rights (ECtHR)?
It is possible to lodge the constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court in 15 days from the notification of the Supreme Court judgment, but only if during the procedure your constitutional rights have been violated. At the same time you should ask for the withholding of the Supreme Court’s judgment to leave Slovenia immediately. During this time you are not lodged in the Asylum home, but in the Center for foreigners, or if your request is granted, in a private address. Only when this possibility is exhausted, you can complain to the ECtHR.
27) How can non-governmental organizations help me during the procedure?
Several non-governmental organizations are active in the domain of international protection. Some offer psychosocial help (different workshops, trips, discussions), other are dealing with research and do not have direct contact with asylum seekers. PIC offers legal help: counseling, also representation before the court.
28) I was granted the status of international protection. What about my relatives who are still in my country of origin? Can they join me?
You can ask for family reunification with your family members: spouse or marriage-like partner, minor, unmarried and without means children, and in the case that you are an unaccompanied minor, with your parents. It is important that the persons are members of a family that already existed in your country. If the request will be granted, they will obtain the same status as you.
29) I asked for asylum in Slovenia. I have relatives in another EU country. Can I reunite with them?
You can ask for family reunification with a family member that is your spouse (or marriage-like partner), minor, parent (if you are an unaccompanied minor), who has a status of refugee or a status of asylum seeker in another EU Member State.
International protection in Republic of Slovenia means status of refugee and status of subsidiary protection.

Asylum = international protection

4 novembra, 2015

Poročila ekip s terena/Report of groups from terrain, 03.11.2015 #RefugeeSlo

– english below –

+++++ ‪#‎Sentilj‬ +++++

Še vedno prihaja do situacij, ko so ljudje ujeti na medmejnem območju, kjer množice po več kot 1000 ljudi čakajo, da jih avstrijska stran spusti naprej. V Avstrijo se jih spušča res počasi, nekaj deset na enkrat. Nazaj v slovensko taborišče ne smejo. Na medmejnem območju ni ničesar – ne humanitarnih organizacij ne zdravnikov. Samoorganizirani prostovoljci so ljudem kupovali cigarete, pice in bureke iz bližnjih trgovin. Nekaj prostovoljcev iz manjših avstrijskih organizacij je delilo sendviče in vodo, hoteli so tudi kuhat, a jim tega policija ni dovolila. Ljudje, ki čakajo na mrazu nimajo nikakršnih informacij.

Prostovoljcev je v taborišču dovolj, bolj so potrebni ob ograji na nikogaršnji zemlji, predvsem za informiranje ljudi, ki jih med drugim zanima, kako dolgo bodo v Avstriji, ali so prevozi organizirani in če so zastonj, kupili bi radi SIM kartice, kaj jih čaka v naslednjem taborišču ipd.

+++++ ‪#‎Dobova‬ +++++

Spodaj še poročilo prostovoljke, ki je prek Karitasa pomagala na železniški postaji v Dobovi:

»Okoli 23ih prispejo, začnejo jih popisovati. Vse poteka mirno. Pri deljenju hrane so strogi, mleko pripada le družinam z otroci. (Kasneje moramo umakniti tudi jabolka, saj je 1 že v v naprej pripravljenem paketu in ne dovolijo, da bi kdo vzel 2.)

Mlajši fant prosi za mleko (prijazno, saj je bilo razstavljeno na mizi), policaj z njim postopa zelo grobo (ga porine v vrata vlaka in udari, vpije nanj). Po tem nihče več ne prosi za mleko razen mladenka, ki ji je slabo in že več dni bruha. Dva fanta prosita za deke, ki jima jih ne dajo, saj bi si jih morala sama vzeti (čeprav gospa omeni, da jim tega nihče ni povedal).

Vse ostalo poteka brez problemov, ljudi razvrstimo v vagone. Malteški vitezi jim delijo čaj, mi jim naskrivaj damo še kakšne čokoladice, cigarete. Vse smeti dajo v vrečke in nam jih podajo čez okna.

Okoli dveh zjutraj vlak odpelje, do konca pospravimo, in čakamo na naslednji prihod (napovedan ob osmih).

Med policisti potekajo žolčne debate, eden izmed njih pravi, da bi jih bilo treba vse pobiti, in naj mu jih pošljejo domov, kjer se jih bo sam lotil z mačetami.

Vsesplošno neprijetno vzdušje, posmehljiv odnos do beguncev.«

‪#‎slotaborisce‬ ‪#‎RefugeeSlo‬ ‪#‎RefuggesWelcome‬ ‪#‎OpenBorders‬

——————————– english ——————————–

+++++ #Sentilj +++++

There are still situations when people are stuck in the no man’s land, where crowds of people (more than a thousand people) wait for the Austrian side to let them through. They are being let very slowly into Austria, a coule of dozen at once. They are not allowed to go back to the Slovenian camp. In the no man’s land there is nothing – no humanitarian organizations nor doctors. Self-organized volunteers were buying people cigarettes, pizza and burek from nearby stores. Some volunteers from smaller Austrian organizations are distributing sandwiches and water, they also wanted to cook meals, but police did not allow it. People who have been waiting in the cold have are left without information.

There are enough volunteers in the camp, they are needed more at the fence on the no man’s land, especially to inform people, who are interested, for example, how long they will be in Austria, if transport is organized and if it is free, what awaits them in the next camp, they want to buy SIM cards, etc.

+++++ #Dobova +++++

Below is a report from a person who volunteered through Caritas at the trainstation in Dobova:

»People arrive at 23.00, then they are registered. The procedure is calm. Distribution of food is very strict, milk is given only to families with children. (Later, we had to put away the apples, because one apple is already in the prepared food package and they do not allow people to have two apples.)

A younger boy male asked kindly for milk, which was there, and the cop treated him very harshly (he pushed him into the doors of the train, hit him and yelled at him). After that no one else asked for milk, except a young woman who felt sick and had been vomiting for some days. Two boys were asking for blankets and they won’t give them blankets, because they are supposed to take them themselves (even though the lady remarked no one had told migrants about this).

Everything else works without problems. People are put into wagons, tea is being distributed, secretly we give them some chocolates and cigarettes. They put all the thrash into bags and hand it over to us through the windows.

Around two in the morning the train departs, we clean up what is left and wait for the next arrival, which is scheduled at eight.

Cops are having hateful discussions, one of them said refugees should be killed and that they should send people to his house, where he will take care of them with machete.

Overall, a distressing environment, scornful attitude to refugees.

#slotaborisce #RefugeeSlo #RefuggesWelcome #OpenBorders

Protirasistična fronta brez meja
4 novembra, 2015

Action 2600 candles for dead refugees, 5th of November, 2015, at 7pm in front of slovenian parliament


for death refugees and migrants

for different approach to refugee crisis by Slovenian government

for different border and migration policies of the EU

While Slovenian PM Miro Cerar daily threatens to build the fence on the border with Croatia and Slovenian members of the Parliament with wast majority prohibit the referendum on the change of the law on defense that grants police authorities to the army, refugees and migrants on Balkan Route are subjected to dehumanizing treatment. Authorities treat them as toxic waste, they are subjected to police and army arbitrariness, they are mistreated by criminal gangs and turned into dehumanized population that is easily instrumentalized by populist politicians and advocates of criminal ideologies to spread the fear and hate. All this results in catastrophic humanitarian conditions with many instances of tragic deaths. Every day we get informations of shipwrecks in Aegean see and according to some data this year already 2600 people lost their lives while trying to cross the sea.

Representatives of the EU are showing scandalous degree of hypocrisy. They express being sorry for the deaths of refugees and migrants but at the same time stick to policies that result in those deaths. The only EU answer to suffering and deaths is more suffering and deaths. More deportations and the externalization of repressive border regime to authoritarian regimes in EU vicinity do not establish safe routes but lead to even more violence against people that are on the run because of the war and social and economic devastation. In this situation representatives of Slovenia headed by PM Miro Cerar are showing extreme inhumane, servile and coward face. Instead of acting in the name of humanity to ease the suffering of the people on their way and demanding changes in European policies that would lead to establishment of safe routes and legalization of migration based on freedom and right to move for everyone and not only for privileged minority, Slovenian government and vast majority of political caste dehumanize refugees and migrants, gradually push country into uncertainty of authoritarian rule and threaten to close the border and by this prepare immense crime against refugees and migrants, fellow human beings on the Balkan route for freedom and dignified life.

Slovenian government, Slovenian politicians and EU representatives do not have our approval and mandate for such attitude and policies. For this reason we are going to light the candles for victims of infamous policies concerning refugees and migrants. To express that we care and feel responsible for every victim, 2600 of us must appear. We believe that we are many more. We meet with candles on Thursday, November 5 in front of Slovenian Parliament.

FB event: Action 2600 candles

4 novembra, 2015

Poročila ekip s terena/Reports of groups from the field, 01.11.2015 #refugeeslo

// POROČILA S TERENA / 1. 11. //
// REPORTS FROM FILED / 1. 11. //
– english below –

++++ ‪#‎Dobova‬ / 1. 11. ++++

Po neuradni poti je zelo težko priti noter v samo taborišče (vsaj čez dan). Vsi prostovoljci so poimensko navedeni in morajo biti tam prek humanitarne organizacije ali NGO-jev.

Prostovoljcev je bilo čez vikend dovolj (RK, Adra, Karitas, UNHCR). V Dobovi se več ne spi, ampak gre za prehodno taborišče, kjer ljudi najprej preiščejo in jih registrirajo, čez maksimalno nekaj ur gredo naprej v Šentilj. Prisotni so tudi prevajalci, šotor za prvo pomoč, zdravnik.

++++ ‪#‎Sentilj‬ / večer 1.11. ++++

Ker je bila noč zelo mrzla, so se ljudje zadrževali znotraj taborišča. Prisoten je bil prostovoljec Karitasa, ki je pojasnil, da je situacija mirna in ne porebujejo pomoči za čez noč, čeprav je bil za noč napovedan prihod novega vlaka. Tudi na medmejnem območju se ni zadrževal nihče. Področje je bilo izpraznjeno samo stvari so ostale.

Srečali smo avstrijski prostovoljki iz organizacije TWO, ki skrbi za kuhinjo. Bili sta zelo jezni na avstrijski rdeči križ, ki različnim samoorganiziranim prostovoljcem onemogoča, da bi brez registracije nudili pomoč. Hoteli so jim zapreti kuhinjo, na srečo do tega ni prišlo.

Ker se sedaj teži vse bolj k hitremu prehodu čez Slovenijo, humanitarne organizacije dajejo občutek, da ni več velikih potreb za delovanje na terenu. Seveda pa je situacija nepredvidljiva in se lahko to zelo hitro obrne. Kljub averziji humanitarnih organizacij do samoorganiziranih prostovoljcev, je prisotnost na terenu še vedno potrebna. Mogoče ne za deljenje humanitarne pomoči, vsekakor pa za stik z ljudmi, deljenje informacij in spodbujanje solidarnosti.

‪#‎RefugeeSlo‬ ‪#‎RefugeesWelcome‬ ‪#‎OpenBorders‬

———————————– english ———————————–

++++ #Dobova / 1. 11. ++++

It is very hard to enter the camp unofficially, at least during the day. Personal info from volunteers is taken and volunteers have to work there through a humanitarian organization or through an NGO.

There were enough volunteers during the weekend (Red Cross, Adra, Caritas, UNHCR). People do not sleep anymore in Dobova, since it is now a transit camp, where people are first searched and registered and in a of couple of hours at most they are sent to Šentilj. There also translators there, tents with first aid and a doctor.

++++ #Sentilj / večer 1.11. ++++

Because it was very cold during the night, people stayed inside the camp. A volunteer of Caritas was present who explained that the situation is calm and that they do not need any help for the night, even though a new train with people was announced tp come during the night. Also there was no one in the no man’s land, it was emptied out, only things were left there.

We met an Austrian volunteer from the organization TWO, who take care of the kitchen. They were furious about the workings of the Austrian Red Cross, because RC prevented different self-organized volunteers to help if they did not want to register. RC wanted to shut down their kitchen, but luckily this did not happen.

The tendency now is to send people quickly through Slovenia so humanitarian organizations give the impression that there is not much need for help there. But since the situation is unpredictable, this can change very quickly. Therefore, despite the aversion of humanitarian organization towards self-organized volunteers, presence there is still needed. Perhaps not to distribute humanitarian aid, but certainly in order to talk to people, to distribute information and encourage solidarity.

#RefugeeSlo #RefugeesWelcome #OpenBorders

Protirasisticna fronta brez meja

29 oktobra, 2015

Poročila ekip s terena/Report of groups from terrain, 29.10.2015 #RefugeeSlo

Poročilo s terena, 29.10.2015
Report from the field (English below)

+++ ‪#‎Rigonce‬ +++

V Rigonce prihajajo vlaki s Hrvaške, nato ljudje s slovenskimi vlaki nadaljujejo pot do Šentilja.
Kuhinja še vedno deluje, hrana in čaj se deli med prestopanjem na drugi vlak. Rdeči križ in Adra otežujeta delo samoorganiziranim prostovoljcem.

+++ ‪#‎Dobova‬ +++

// Dobova 1 (‪#‎Beti‬) //
Večina ljudi je nagnetenih v tovarniški hali in nekaj šotorih, nekaj jih je ostalo zunaj na mrazu zaradi pomanjkanja prostora. Potrebujejo odeje in jakne. Dostop do ljudi je čez dan zelo otežen.

// Dobova 2 (novo taborišče) //
Dobovo 2 praznijo, ljudi, ki so tam čakali tudi 5 dni, z busi vozijo na Šentilj.
Zjutraj je policija dovolila prostovoljcem deliti čaj.
Prisoten je bil tudi Karitas.

+++ ‪#‎Brežice‬ +++

V Brežiškem taborišču je trenutno okoli 1000 ljudi. Vsako uro jih z busi nekaj odpeljejo, kam, ni znano. Taborišče se namerava postopno izprazniti.

‪#‎RefugeeSlo‬ ‪#‎RefugeesWelcome‬ ‪#‎OpenBorders‬


+++ #Rigonce +++

There are trains from Croatia coming, than they go to Šentilj by Slovenian trains. The kitchen is still running, they tried to distribute food and tea while people were changing trains. Red cross and Adra is making self-organized volunteers’ work harder.
It is best to be there half an hour before the train arrives.

+++ #Dobova +++

// Dobova 1 (#Beti) //
Most of people are crowded in a hall and few tents, some are still left outside on cold because of lack of capacities. They need blankets and jackets. It is really difficult to hand out food and clothes.

// Dobova 2 (the new camp) //
They are emptying this camp, people, who were waiting there up to 5 days, are being transported by buses to Šentilj. In the morning the police allowed to hand out tea.
There was Karitas present.

+++ #Brežice +++

In Brežice camp there are still around 1000 people. Every hour buses come to drive some of them away – there is no info of where they take them. The plan is to empty the camp.

#RefugeeSlo #RefugeesWelcome #OpenBorders

Protirasistična fronta brez meja
29 oktobra, 2015

Poročila ekip s terena/Report of groups from terrain, 28.10.2015 #RefugeeSlo

Poročilo s terena, 28. 10. 2015
Report from the field (English below) ‪#‎Vrhnika‬ / ‪#‎Logatec‬

+++ #Vrhnika +++

Danes je na Vrhniko prišlo okoli 20 avtobusov. Zasedli so skoraj vse kapacitete ene stavbe (vojašnice), ljudje so dobili prigrizke in v vrstah čakali na obleke in obutev. Prostovoljci so skavti, taborniki, gasilci (civilna zaščita) …
Proces sprejemanja ljudi je bil dokaj dobro organiziran, odnos organizacij pa je zelo nehuman – na primer, mala punčka je imela zdravstvene težave, redar pa jo je odslovil z besedami, da nimajo časa za njo.
Glede infrastrukture – ni WIFI-ja, ni tušev, kaj šele tople vode. Zunaj je bilo nekaj pip z mrzlo vodo, kjer so se le za silo lahko umili, saj so bili na pogled vsem.

+++ #Logatec +++
V Logatcu so pripravljeni in trenutno čakajo na 4 avtobuse, ki naj bi prišli okoli pol treh zjutraj. Sanitarije so v primerjavi z Vrhniko mnogo bolje urejene, na voljo so tudi tuši.

‪#‎RefugeeSlo‬ ‪#‎RefugeesWelcome‬ ‪#‎OpenBorders‬

—————————————- English ————————————–

+++ #Vrhnika +++

Today around 20 buses arrived to Vrhnika. They occupied almost every capacity of the building (military barracks). People received some snacks and were waiting in lines for clothes and shoes. There are scouts and firemen (civil protection) volunteering.
The process of admission is quite well organized, but the attitude of organizations is very inhumane – for example, a little girl was ill and a security man told her that they have no time for her.
About infrastructure – there is no wifi, no showers, no hot water. Outside there were some taps with cold water, where they could freshen up just a bit, since there was no intimate space.

+++ #Logatec +++

They are ready to accept 4 buses of people, which are expected at around 2:30 am. Rest rooms are taken cared of much better than in Brežice, there are also showers available.

#RefugeeSlo #RefugeesWelcome #OpenBorders

28 oktobra, 2015

Slovenia, I hope you are ashamed of yourself


Rigonce and what I saw there will never, never leave my mind. The smell of burning plastic and my scarf wrapped around my mouth so I don’t breathe in the poison they are keeping themselves warm with. Lost dignity of people I saw shitting next to the road in the dark. The dark road from the bridge next to the Croatian side, foggy as if I were entering a horror movie. And then the misty light in front of me. Bumps sitting around improvized fires in the middle of nowhere. Jelena running around and wrapping kids up into emergency blankets. We took some with us so we at least have an explanation of what we’re doing if the Slovenian police stops us. The volunteers on the Croatian side warned us that we should be careful as we’re entering Slovenia illegally and could be arrested. Still, some of them kept going back and forth, carrying children, bringing blankets. I didn’t know if I was nervous or pissed: I was probably both. So you walk in that fog, next to the river, to finally see where you sent those people. And then you see it…and realize there was nothing, nothing that could have prepared you for this. Not Bapska, not Bregana a month ago, not Berkasovo. I am walking around with 4 UNHCR blankets that we got god knows from where and trying to find a family that we moved onto the somewhat empty part of the field, and cleaned some trash so they can lie down. They, however, have nothing: not a sleeping bag, not a blanket. Nothing. Three children. I come to the biggest one, she must have been around 5, pat her on the head, am I pissed or crying? No crying, Wojo taught me that a month ago in Bregana: “we will cry at home”. Bregana suddenly feels like Disneyland to me. She comes closer to me and gives me the most gentle kiss on the cheek. And smiles. I remember what Nicole told me on our way to Zagreb from Berkasovo 2 days ago: “I asked a Syrian family with 3 children what they told them, where were they going. And do you know what they told me?” “No?” “We told them we are going on vacation.”

We opened 2 emergency blankets to put them on the ground. We touch the ground: it feels frozen. Dead cold. The children are looking at me. Their Mom says: “Please, miss, blankets…” and points towards them. Now I am pissed. I am so pissed. I march back. Fuck this shit. Fuck it. I would like to see them arrest me for bringing the fucking blankets for those kids. We put some on the wheelbarrow. We know we won’t have enough, but volunteers on the Slovenian side seem to have a permission to share some. Still, none of this is enough. We leave some on the Croatian side. It sucks, but that’s one of the first things I learned on the field: you have to prioritize. And one more train is coming in a couple of hours to the Croatian side. We need to have some blankets for them as well. How do you prioritize a child over a child? Don’t ask me, I have no clue how I learned to do it. I just concentrate on the individual person I find and learn to be satisfied that I helped one. One is more than none. We will cry at home.

People are coming to me and begging for those blankets. I never want anyone to call me “miss” ever again in my life. They pull, I stay firm and keep saying no. Babies babies… “Baby!!” he tells me and drags me to his bump where people are lying. Indeed, one baby without a blanket. I am finally convinced: “for the baby!”. “For baby, miss, thank you thank you!” I swallow my tears. Fuck you, world. They repeat everything twice, sometimes we joke about it to survive: chai chai! We offer to each other. Baby family miss blanket blanket! It has to be funny when they are gone and you are left to deal with what you have seen. Jacket jacket. I can’t find my family anymore. All groups look the same: depressed, overtired, those who have something to burn are around the fires. I keep coughing and am literally afraid of what I am breathing in. Someone pulls me again: baby baby blanket blanket!! “Show me the baby!” I say. He takes me to his group. Baby is a common denomimator for everyone from newborns to 12. His 8 year old is sleeping on the ground covered by an emergency blanket, his mom sitting next to him and covering his feet every minute. She looks at me, worried. Another guy approaches me: “miss, do you have spoon?” He seem to have gotten a goulash and a fork and is confused about how to eat it. It’s the first hot meal that he has gotten in God knows how long, and now he’s staring at his plate, confused. It’s a comical situation in the chaos of the hell on Earth that is the wild camp Rogince. I say: “sorry, no spoon”, look at the baby again, see that it has one blanket, say “sorry, no blanket” and walk away. I hear “miss, but cold, baby, baby, blanket!” My heart doesn’t break anymore. What has become of me? No time to think. I need to find a baby. Finally, baby with no blanket, she’s sleeping and shivering, around 7 years old. She’s on the ground. Nothing beneath her. I take out the last emergency blanket from my bag. Show to the mother to wake her up so we can put something underneath. The father helps me to unwrap it. We put it underneath. And then I wrap her up like a tortilla, from all sides, we even roll her on the floor in it so she is covered from all sides. She is laughing. Are these on vacation as well…?

On my way back, I slowly walk to the tanks positioned next to the fence that is encircling the people. I stare at it. For a long, long time. Eons ago, there was this term I learned at the university: “ostranenie”. It was very important to me to learn it. It was very important to me to read books. To analyse Master and Margarita. To try to understand postmodernism and Pynchon. I thought writing my PhD was important, as I am (was) writing about the early separation trauma of a mother and a child and its importance for the development of the subject. On the example of Antigone. She was a brave one, little Antigone. Did you know she was only 13? Or was is 14? I forgot. “Ostranenie”. I am thinking about that as I observe that tank, like in a slow motion. There is a spider web on one of them: It hasn’t been used for a long time. There is something so odd about that spider web on that tank. I would love to make a photo of it, but I decide not to be foolish and get myself arrested over a spider web. I don’t even know if anyone would arrest me; seems stupid and like an unneccesary panic. Over making a photo of a spider web? Seriously? There is a guy standing next to me. He sees me looking at the tent. Our eyes meet. His eyes point towards the tank and he shakes his head in disbelief. I shake mine as well. We understood each other without having said anything. No Refugee Phrasebooks would help here. They are meant for civilization. This is cold, cold hell.

A few steps across the meadow, and suddenly two soldiers are standing in front of me with guns. For a split second, my legs freeze, but then I just nod my head in recognition and they nod back. I have my volunteer vest on, I suppose they think I am one of their volunteers. Slowly I walk across the meadow and wonder if they will realize that I’m walking back to Croatia. Are they enemy now or can I simply explain the most normal reason in the world for my being there? Will they listen? It seems crazy that they wouldn’t. Is crossing a border really more important than blankets? At the moment, nothing seems more important than blankets to me. Except for tents. I walk and think. Tents. We need hundreds and hundreds of tents. Maybe we could set up a little family area with tents? So at least they get them. But wher do I get tents? Ask Facebook again? I seem to go to Facebook for help whenever anything crosses my mind the last weeks. But we are not even allowed to enter, how will we bring the tents over? Should we share them on our side? Just press it into their hands. Some guy showed me a sign for sleeping that night: “miss, camp?” I swallow. “No camp, so sorry. Sandwich?” But he doesn’t want a sandwich, that one: “Miss, but sleep?” “I am so sorry”, I say. “I wish I could help you. So sorry. Sorry.” He shakes his head. “Thank you miss, you been very kind miss. God bless you miss.”

No camp. No sleep.

Before having gone to the tanks, there are two men and a girl approaching me. We talk. The girl says: “Miss, how long we stay here?” “Around 5 hours”, I say. She has beautiful, huge eyes, and his body resembles that of a little bird. “But miss, they said two!!!” “I am sorry. So sorry. It will not be 2…” “But miss we no sleep for 5 days!” “5 days?!?” “No miss”, smiles one of the guys sadly. Greece no sleep, Mazedonia no sleep, Serbia no sleep and Croatia no sleep, train and they send us here immediately.” I look at the ground. I don’t know where to look. I am so ashamed. So ashamed. I change the subject, there is nothing else left to do: “Tomorrow you are in Austria and safe. Just this one more night. Where are you going?” “Germany”, says the guy and the other one nods as well: “Germany”. “Why not Austria? Austria beautiful country. Close to Croatia, you can go to sea!” They smile at me. “How is Austria? Austria good?” The other one says: “I heard Austria doesn’t give asylum”. “Not true!”, I say. The girl looks at me with her huge eyes. “Miss, I go to France.” “France!” I say. “Where to?” “Miss, I would like yo go to Paris and study art.”

I stare at her. The fire from all sides brings the toxic smell towards us; all four of us, one at that moment, breathe it in and cough. “Paris is very expensive”, I say in between coughs. “Do you have someone with you?” “No miss”, she smiles gently, “I am all alone in this world.” “Do you know somebody in Paris?” “Nobody, miss. But I will still go and study art. That is my dream. I will find a way.”

I look at her. I don’t have any more blankets. I cannot stop the toxic smoke. I cannot make her warm. We all look around ourselves. The kids are crying, some are sleeping, some people are standing at the fence and looking at the other side. I am so sorry… I say. I am so so so sorry… And then I can’t hold it anymore. Tears start rolling down my face. I look at them in silence and let them roll. I wasn’t that strong this time to cry at home – but to be honest, I haven’t cried since Bregana at all. Not even when I saw people sleeping in the trash on the cement in Berkasovo, one next to the other like sardines. But this is too much. Too fucking much.

All three approach me and stroke me. Their eyes full of empathy. “Thank you miss thank you. Thank you for your feelings.”

That brings me back. It lasted 30 seconds, my tears. I swallow them. “I am so sorry, so sorry!” I tell them. “Look at you, going through all this, it is not your place to console me!”

But it feels good to share sadness. I feel like we are one. One Love.

I give my name to the big-eyed girl and tell her to find me on Facebook. She gives me her e-mail address. “Write to me miss, if you find time”, says the Little Bird politely. “I will. I promise.” Both men shake my hand. “Thank you, miss. Have a nice life.” “Consider Austria!” I say. “This could all be over tomorrow! Imagine that! Promise me you will think about it…” “Yes miss, we will definitely think about it”, one of them says and smiles. I go back to my side of the border. There, volunteers are preparing for another train that is coming. They are afraid they might not have enough food for the one that arrives in the morning. It’s a constant battle with money and resources.

Good luck, little art student.

Someone once told me they had nightmares after Röszke for a week. Another friend who volunteeree in Berkasovo told me he keeps having a dream that he’s finding a dead baby among the trash in Berkasovo, among dirty blankets. I understand the dream: while there, I had a constant, eerie feeling that some of the blanket bumps on the road were dead children as well. I don’t know where that comes from.

A volunteer that came back with us from Berkasovo recognized a Mom and a baby in Kljuc while we were sharing food. I see them hugging. She says later: “I drove that woman to a hospital to give birth two days ago!” “Wait, that baby is two days old?!?: “Yes. Two days.”

They crossed over to Rigonce then. Many volunteers around them, giving them everything they can. All worried. All know where they are heading to. They know nothing yet. In 200 meters, all will be clear.

I tried to sleep tonight and it all came back to me. I hugged a volunteer friend. He said: “It’s okay to cry.” “I can’t sleep” I say. I keep seeing Rogince. And I thought nothing can shock me anymore.

He hugs me and holds me and tells me about his nightmares. When we meet again on the field, we will function. We will work. We will help. It’s as simple as that. It’s the “we will cry at home” what’s happening now. Hugging helps so much. Must be that “group healing” that this some psychologist suggested here on Facebook when I posted about the possibilities of free psychological help for independent volunteers, and she said that it wasn’t possible because all of their staff is on the field already, providing help to the Red Cross people and some NGO, I think.

I didn’t see any Red Cross that night.

Actually, on the spots where I spent most of my time in the last month, I rarely saw the Red Cross. But that’s an old story.

How does one finish a post about Rigonce though? Oh, yes, I know:

We need a hospital in Zagreb to donate us washing of some blankets we collected. And tents. Many tents. Asap. Baby baby family.

Oh, fuck this shit. There was a spider web on the tank. There was a tank. A tank. Kids are going on vacation, say the parents. All inclusive was too expensive so they were offered to go to Rigonce instead. It was an offer they could not refuse.

Just got a message at 2 am that it was forbidden to share water in Rigonce today.

Slovenia, I hope you are ashamed of yourself.

Vlasta Paulić