Responding to Monday's media reports about the alleged pushback strategy discovered by Slovenian NGOs, the police said that the vast majority of the 3,427 persons processed in the first six months of 2018 for illegal border crossing had announced they would file for international protection and had thus been transported to asylum centres.
"A person expressing this intention commits with a written statement that they will wait within the premises of the asylum centre until a full request for protection is filed ... If they leave arbitrarily, they give up on the intention to file for international protection," the General Police Administration wrote.
This happens frequently and leads to such persons being returned in line with the law and existing agreements, the police added, noting that Slovenia also got a number of such persons returned from Italy or Austria.
"This is additional indication that most foreigners abuse the international protection institute, since Slovenia only presents a stop on the way to the final goal," the press release says.
Adding that all foreigners who illegally crossed the border with Croatia and did not express the intention to file for protection were also returned, the police said that claims about so called pushbacks were uncalled for.
While the newspaper Dnevnik said that the practice reported by Amnesty International Slovenia and the Legal-Informational Centre for NGOs (PIC) was a violation of international law, the General Police Administration asserted that the police fully honoured the rights of foreigners and was also cooperating regularly with NGOs that are following its work together with the UNHCR.