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My face and mouth were covered in dirt; I said to him - please, just water!

Date & Time 2022-08-17
Location Roszke, Hungary
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.17596554, 19.96799468
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved
WLTI* involved?
Men involved?
Demographics?
Group size? 2
Treatment at police station or other place of detention photos taken, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 4
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), pushing people to the ground
Police involved? one hungarian police car with one male and one female officer in blue police uniforms in initial detention. Woman replaced by another male officer after an hour. At least one additional individual involved in photographing and pushing back through fence.

The respondent is a 26-year-old Moroccan man. He said that he was in Szatymaz, Hungary, with his friend, a 20-year-old man also from Morocco.

They were apprehended at 3:30 AM on the 17th of August. He was going to change money at the train station and he claimed that probably the woman there called the police, because initially there were no police around. As he was walking away, the police came in the car and saw him and his friend. The respondent reported that the officers were one man and one woman in a small blue and white police car – the respondent identified them as police due to their blue uniforms.

His friend ran and the police caught just the respondent. He stated that the policeman ran to him and hit him directly in the face – he fell to the ground and the police officers took his hands and put the knees on his back. His front tooth was chipped when he hit the ground. The officer put the respondent in handcuffs and kept his knees on his back – he told the police man ‘I can’t breathe’ and he said ‘shut up’. The respondent said that his back is in pain still. The woman stayed in the police car during this. This this occurred here: 46°20’27.5″N 20°02’29.6″E 

After this, the officer took him into the car. The respondent said to the man, “please, I’m going just for helping my family and to change my life”, he said “No, shut up, welcome to Hungary”.

The respondent said he felt like he was going to die, he just wanted to drink water. He said to the officer “please please, just water”  but the officer would not give him any. For one hour the police drove looking for his friend, and the respondent kept asking for water. After one hour that they didn’t find his friend, they changed. The woman officer left and was replaced with a man. He asked the new man for water, he spoke in Hungarian.

“All this time there was my face was covered in dirt, there was dirt in my mouth. He looked to me and said, ‘You speak Hungary. No? I don’t understand you’, in English. Then he took water and drank it as I was looking at him”.

These two policemen brought the respondent to the border, where there is a police post. It was an area with full sun, and the officer told him to kneel in the sun there. The respondent told him, “please just water because I can’t, I feel dizzy”. Still they said no, no. He was kneeling in the sun for 30 minutes, his hands were in handcuffs. During this time the officers brought some Indians from another black car. After this a large officer made the respondent raise his hands and took a picture of him. The officer hit him and said “okay, go” and pushed him back through the fence.

“After I went back I was thanking god because I thought they would hit me more – some of the other people there they were hitting more than me”.