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I asked for the simple thing to give me back my medicine and they didn’t - you think they will give me asylum?

Date & Time 2021-12-02
Location Tychero/Balbancik
Reported by josoor
Coordinates 41.0328778, 26.33988187
Pushback from Greece
Pushback to Turkey
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age 4 - 53
Group size 17
Countries of origin Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, Morocco, Algeria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, no translator present, denial of food/water, denial of medicine
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 13
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), forcing to undress, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
Police involved Eight people in Greek police uniform and two police cars, one Renault Trafic (unmarked), one female in Greek uniform, three people in black clothes and balaclavas

The respondent is 28 years old and from Morocco. Together with five other Moroccans, all male and between the age of 20-50, she was apprehended in Kavala by eight people, described to be wearing  Greek police uniforms, who arrived in two cars. The people in uniform searched the group and took everything from them: their phones, their supplies, and “even my medicine since I have blood pressure problems I asked him to give me my medicine, but he didn’t care and said no.” 

The group was then ordered to embark a Renault Trafic van and driven to a detention site in a small village. The drive lasted around 15min. The respondent could not see much of the detention site but recalls that it was “surrounded by a fence and there were only containers around it, no buildings”.

Once they arrived at the detention site, the whole group was searched. A female person wearing what resembled a Greek police uniform took the respondent, who was the only woman of her group, into a small room, took all of her clothes off and “searched me very well”. The men were being searched together with others from a group that had arrived shortly before the respondent’s group.

The respondent and the rest of her group were then all taken into a cell which was approximately 3x1meter wide. There were 17 people inside in total, among them one other woman and her small kid of about four years as well as a physically handicapped man. The nationalities were Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Afghanistan and Palestine and the age range between 14 to 53. 

They spent approximately six hours there. All this time, they did not receive water or food. The respondent asked for her medicine and food: “I was calling them because I was so hungry but they didn’t care and they told us ‘give us 4 Euros and we give you a sandwich’, but they had already taken all our money from us”. 

After around six hours, the people in uniforms resembling police officers came and ordered the whole group of 17 to leave the building and enter a military truck which was green and covered by a tarpaulin. The respondent described that everyone was getting beaten with batons while they were embarking. 

The respondent recalls the driving being very reckless and on a non-paved road. It lasted about an hour.

They arrived at the Evros/Meric river. There were three other people identified by the respondent as officers waiting there, they were wearing black clothes and balaclavas: “they don’t talk, they only beat you to not make sound”. 

A boat was ready, all 17 were embarked at once. They were not taken all the way to the other side. About 20m before the Turkish shore, the group was reportedly ordered to jump into the water. 

On the Turkish side, the first village they encountered was Balbancik close from Ipsala. 

When asked if she had asked for asylum, the respondent replied “Yes but they refused even to talk to me. I asked for the simple thing to give me back my medicine and they didn’t – you think they will give me asylum?”