On the 30th of January the respondents- 2 people from Morocco aged 20 to 25 years old- were pushed back from Hungary to Serbia in a group composed by 7 people: 2 Syrians, 3 Moroccans, 1 woman and 1 kid around 12 years old (the respondents cannot remember the nationality). In the early morning – around 6am – they were walking in the forest inside Hungarian territory and they saw a drone flying over them. They tried to hide, but a vehicle, that they describe as white and blue and identify as a Hungarian police car approached them. At that point, 4 men described by the respondent as wearing dark blue uniforms got off the car and apprehended them.
After some minutes, other 2 vehicle, described as 4×4 black cars with Austrian plates, arrived. The respondents can recall that they were carrying 8 more people wearing black uniforms and black balaclavas, again identified as police officers (likely Austrian authorities). In one of this two vehicles there was also a dog that, according to the respondents’ description, was wearing a muzzle: the people dressed in black uniforms reportedly used it to scare them.
The respondents recall that the people in uniforms took all their money. They remember that they asked for 50, 70 and 150 euros to let them pass, but since they did not have enough money, the officers started to beat them, smashed their phones and took their belongings (necklaces, watches..).
Reportedly, the group was forced on their knees without the possibility to eat, drink or pee for an indefinite period of time, there in the forest. The respondents report that they were beaten and insulted with racial slurs against Muslims for 12 hours (6am – 6pm). They also recall that the officers were laughing at them, and at times they were told to lay with their faces on the ground.
One of the respondent states they told to the officers that they just wanted to get to Austria, but this led to them being beaten even more. He reports:
they just wanted to humiliate us, they brought us in the forest in a hidden place so they could do what they wanted, and they smashed the phones so we could not take any photo.
He also recalls that they did not hit the kid, but they were scaring the kid using the dog they were laughing at him. The respondents remember thinking that if it was not for the presence of the kid, they would have been beaten more. When the kid was crying because he was scared, the officers reportedly would stop beating the others.
The group, during the hours spent in the forest, tried to keep the woman protected behind them in order for her not to be beaten.
The respondent further report that around 6pm a bus with already 30 people inside brought them to the Serbian border.
They state that they had no possibility to ask for asylum – they could not talk – and no one registered their fingerprints. No legal procedures were followed, and they were not brought to any police station.
They recall the presence of tools like thermal cameras and drones in Hungary.
All the group was pushed back to Serbia. All of them were beaten during the pushback, and some of them have broken limbs.