“They crossed the border, came into Serbian soil and beat us again”
This series of time-stamped posts are from interviews conducted on the 25th of February with various victims of Hungarian police brutality, during two separate crossing attempts on consecutive nights. They were interviewed and recorded on video by a journalist we have been collaborating with, Jaime Alekos, with the support of a translator who wishes to remain anonymous.
Interviewee: 20 years old from Pakistan [crossed into Hungary the night of 22 February, 2017]
13:02 – How many people were in your group the last time you tried to cross the border?
13:09 – We went from here to Subotica by train. We were about 70 people. From Subotica we took a bus to Horgos. From Horgos the border was one hour away. It was dark when we crossed into Hungary. We were running 20 or 25 minutes. Then the police caught us. And their behaviour with us was very cruel.
13:40 – Why do you say that they were drunk?
13:42 – They had alcohol in their hands, they threw alcohol at us and they were talking nonsense.
13:47 – When a lot of police arrived, what was the first thing they did to you?
13:50 – When they arrived, they were separating us from the group one by one, beating us one by one, and taking us to another place after the beating.
13:58 – Ten policemen were standing, and one boy was beaten by ten policemen and then they separated him from the group after the beating.
13:58 – There were policemen standing who would beat every man alone when they separated him from the group.
14:04 – How did they beat you? With their hands, feet, batons…?
14:07 – The first two policemen were kicking and punching us, the two policemen behind them would beat us with black batons and the rest of them were giving us a mixed beating.
14:17 – Apart from the beating, were they saying anything?
14:21 – Yes, they told us: you are “fucking terrorist”, they were using very rude words like “dirty-blood”.
14:30 – What did they to you when they moved you to the other place?
14:38 – They made a line with us. We got there running through a shortcut in the forest, but it took us two hours to get back to the fence walking through the official road. And all the way back they were beating us.
15:02 – Before pushing you back to Serbia, everyone was lying on the ground, did they do that [spraying with tear gas] to you?
15:11 – They sprayed us all the way from the place where they arrested us to the fence. Even when we came into Serbian soil they were coming behind us and spraying us.
15:19 – What happened when you were lying on the ground?
15:22 – They walked on us and they released the dogs.
15:26 – How many policemen walked on your back?
15:29 – Around 40 policemen were walking on us, for 20 minutes.
15:37 – When did they throw alcohol on you?
15:45 – When they arrested us the first time. And also when we were coming back in the line [from the arresting point to the fence], they also threw alcohol on us.
15:51 – Did they also throw water on you?
15:54 – Water, alcohol and spray.
15:57 – Were you wet from alcohol and water when you were lying on the ground?
16:00 – Yes, completely soaked, and because of that we had things from the ground stuck on our bodies, we were full of dirt.
16:14 – How did they push you back into Serbia? Through a gate in the fence?
16:16 – Yes, they opened the door and they pushed us into Serbia. We were very tired and injured, so we wanted to have a rest in Serbian soil, but when we started to rest they came again.
16:24 – They crossed the border, came into Serbian soil and beat us again.
16:31 – Did Hungarian police beat you in Serbian soil?
16:33 – In Serbian soil. We told them Serbian police was coming to scare them, then they runned back.
16:42 – The boy you saw faint, did that happen when he was lying down?
16:45 – No, no, when we were coming in the line to the fence, some guys were fainting again and again. When they fell down, the police would beat them and walk on them, they threw water and alcohol on them and forced them to stand up in the line again.
16:52 – Did you see how the police beat people that were fainted on the ground?
16:56 – Yes, there was a man in front of me in the line, he blacked out and fell down, the police beat him and pulled him from his leg.
17:06 – Were they drinking alcohol when you were walking in the line?
17:08 – Yes, regularly.
17:11 – When they pushed you back to Serbia, did you see any helicopter?
17:13 – Yes, when we came back to Serbia, then a helicopter came.
17:21 – How did the Hungarian police beat you in Serbia?
17:25 – Yes, they were behind us and released the dogs, and those who were weak in our group, the last ones, they couldn’t run and they beat them again.
17:34 – How did they beat you? With fists, feet, batons…?
17:38 – Fists, kicks and black batons.
17:41 – Were they drinking alcohol in Serbian soil?
17:46 – Yes, they had a bottle of wine, alcohol.