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27 November 2020 – Austria

Migrants at the Bosnian-Croatian Border in December 2019, (Manu Brabo, AP,
Migrants at the Bosnian-Croatian Border in December 2019, (Manu Brabo, AP, "Reports of Illegal Pushbacks by Migrants on the Austrian Border," Die Standard, 16 November 2020,

Der Standard reported that Austrian police were involved in several cases of pushbacks to Slovenia followed by chain pushbacks to Bosnia in September. According to freelance journalist Christof Mackinger, the Austrian authorities are said to have been involved in two instances of illegal pushbacks.

The first incident took place on 5 September and was documented by the NGO “No Name Kitchen.” Five people from Syria, Liberia, and Morocco were picked up by the police near the town of Laafeld, close to the Austrian-Slovenian border, taken to a police station, registered and then handed over to Slovenian officials, despite having stated that they wished to apply for asylum. They are said to have been deported from Slovenia via Croatia to Bosnia.

The second incident took place on 28 September, when seven Moroccan nationals were picked up by the Styrian police near the village of Halbenrain. They were registered and then also handed over to Slovenian officials. One of the migrants’ lawyers filed a complaint against the police at the Styrian Regional Administrative Court as according to him, the migrant is said to have uttered the word “asylum” several times in English and in French. The migrant is now in Bosnia-Herzegovina after Slovenian police handed him over to the Croatian police, who, along with other migrants, dropped him off near the Bosnian border. They were then reportedly driven across the border by masked men. The Interior Ministry spokesperson denied the accusations.