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They let the dog lose on us: Bitten by police dog, beaten and robbed, a minor and his group pushed back to Serbia

Date & Time 2023-01-18
Location Roszke Transit Zone, Horgos, Serbia
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.1763034, 19.9747127
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 17 - 20+
Group size 10
Countries of origin Syria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention photos taken, no translator present
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), dog attacks, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 10 reportedly Hungarian officers, all dressed in dark blue uniforms + one police dog

On the 18th of January around 4 am, a group of ten Syrian men including the main respondent (17 years old) report being in a Hungarian forest (most probably around Kelebia) after having crossed the border fences. They explained they were around 2km away from the fence, walking in this forest, when they were found by a group of 10 people arriving on foot and wearing dark blue uniforms, that they identified as Hungarian officers.

The respondent and his friends stated that the people in uniforms also had a dog which they let loose on the group of Syrians. The dog reportedly bit three people in the leg, including the 17 years old respondent who was wounded at the time of the interview. A fourth person explained the dog only caught his right shoe. The mark of sharp teeth was visible in his shoe when this testimony was collected.  

The respondent reported that every member of the group was body searched and heavily beaten with batons by the officers. He added that every mobile phone was taken by the officers and thrown away in the forest.

According to the respondent, they spent what felt like five hours in the forest with these officers, being searched, beaten and left standing immobile in the cold.

After some time a big white bus reportedly came and took them all in. The respondent described that they then drove for approximately an hour and arrived at the Roske Transit zone where they were photographed and pushed back through a gate in the border fence.

None of the group members were provided with medical care after the dog bites and beatings. The whole group came back deprived of their mobile phone.