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They kicked us harder than the others because they said 'You’re underage, why did you come here?'

Date & Time 2021-01-02
Location Kikinda, Serbia
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 45.88801163, 20.60396418
Pushback from Romania
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 13 - 15
Group size 2
Countries of origin Afghanistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 12
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, water immersion, forcing to undress, theft of personal belongings
Police involved Romanian police, additional Romanian officers described as "commando"

The respondents, two underage brothers from Afghanistan, aged 15 and 13, attempted to cross the Romanian border from Serbia for the seventh time. At approximately 8.30 PM on February 1st, they started walking towards the border from the Serbian town of Kikinda (approximately two hours walking from Romania). According to the respondents, 20 to 30 minutes after crossing the border, they were stopped by what they described as 12 Romanian police officers. This occurred at around 11 PM.

The respondents reported that the Romanian police took their personal belongings, including phones, blankets, and food. The transit group was then kicked and beaten with batons by the officers. The respondents state they were kicked harder because they were younger. The police officers reportedly said: “you’re underage, why did you come here?” as they kicked them. 

According to the respondents, the officers forced them to lie face down, hands behind their head in the snow and rain for up to five hours without permission to speak, as they continued to kick them in their back and yell at them, asking who their leader was. 

The police then handed them over to what the respondents referred to as the “commando” police (what they thought to be border police), who continued to beat them. These officers allegedly forced them to remain in a nearby small river for over two hours. 

After that, the officers described as “commando” police took the respondents clothes, leaving them only with a t-shirt and a pair of pants, under the snow. They finally pointed at the border and said “Romania – while pointing down, you go to Serbia”.

The respondents then walked for 24 hours back to Belgrade.