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There were around 50 or 60 policemen, countless. They started beating us, all of them were beating us

Date & Time 2017-02-22
Location Hungary, Serbian-Hungarian border near Subotica
Reported by Fresh Response
Coordinates 46.18090012, 19.68475342
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station unknown
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved no
Age unknown
Group size 70
Countries of origin Afghanistan, Pakistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 60+
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pouring water over one's head, walking on people, pouring alcohol on people, spitting on people
Police involved 60+ police, soldiers and policemen with balaclavas

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: 18 year old from Pakistan [crossed into Hungary the night of 22 February, 2017]

07:38 – How did you go from Belgrade to the border three days ago?
07:47 – When we left Belgrade we were 30 or 35 here. When we arrived to Subotica, there were more people there. In total, we were 70 or 75 people. We crossed the border and the police arrested us.

08:13 – What did the police say or did to you when they arrested you?
08:18 – When they surrounded us they told us to sit. We sat and they told us to put our head between our legs, looking to the floor. They started shouting who is the boss, who is the boss. Nobody answered. There were around 50 or 60 policemen, countless. After that, they started beating us, all of them were beating us, in a very bad way that is inexplicable, like doomsday.

08:50 – How were the policemen dressed, how did they look like?
08:53 – There were police, soldiers and policemen with balaclavas, but the soldiers were not beating us. Only the police were beating us, the soldiers were standing, they were looking. They did many things, they threw alcohol and water on us, they spit us in the face and beat us for three hours.

09:26 – How did the police beat you? With their hands, feet, batons? How many times? How strong?
09:33 – [After crossing the fence] we ran for 20 minutes, it was a long way, and it took us two hours to get back to the fence walking. They beat us the whole way. We were coming back very slowly and they were also stopping us in the way to beat us more. When one policemen got exhausted from beating, he left and another one would come. When the other one came, he would start beating us again.

10:05 – In which way did they beat you?
10:06 – We were fleeing from them from the beginning so they arrested us after that, that’s why they beat us.

10:17 – Did they kick you?
10:18 – They kicked me, they used their fists, black batons.

10:28 – Did you see any policemen drinking alcohol?
10:31 – They were drunk, they had a big smell of drunk.

10:36 – In which parts of your body did they beat you?
10:38 – They beat me on my thighs, my back, my kidneys.

10:54 – Did they walk on you?
10:55 – Yes, on all of us.

10:57 – How many policemen walked on you and how many times did they do it?
11:01 – Three or four policemen were walking on us in opposite directions.

11:07 – How many times did they walk on you?
11:08 – One walked on me with one foot and the other one was coming from the opposite direction. They were also walking with both feet intentionally at the same time on me.

11:21 – How did they push you back to Serbia?
11:27 – When we got back to the fence they started searching us, they were looking for mobile phones, nothing else, and they suddenly broke the mobile phones of those who showed them. After they searched one man, they would put him in a separate group, lying with the face on the floor, with their backpack close to the head. When they finished searching, everyone was lying on the ground, then they opened the gate of the fence and pushed us back from there. We walked five minutes in Serbian soil and even in Serbian soil the Hungarian police came behind us, they ran behind us like from the beginning of this warehouse to the end.

12:19 – The Hungarian police got into Serbian soil, more or less, 100 meters?
12:26 – They chased us running like 120 or 150 meters, around 10 or 12 policemen.

12:39 – Did you try to cross into Hungary before? What happened three nights ago, is it a common practice?
12:49 – This was the first time I try to get into Hungary. I tried once to get into Croatia and the Croatian police also beat me, but not like the beating that the Hungarian police gave me this time.