On Friday, the 10th of January 2020, the respondents attempted to cross the Greece-Macedonia border in a transit group of 107 people. The respondents were three Moroccan men aged 22yrs, 27yrs and 29yrs old. The transit group crossed the Greece-Macedonia border by train, travelling from Thessaloniki, Greece.
The transit group of 107 people comprised of Algerian, Syrian, Pakistani, Palestinian and Afghan people ranging from the ages of 20-35yrs old. There were two women in the transit group from Palestine and Syria. At around 20:00 in the evening, the transit group were stopped by approximately 30-40 police officers when the train arrived in Macedonia (close to the town of Gevgelija).
The police officers were wearing uniform that read ‘POLIZI’ and had Czech flags on the arms. The respondent recounts the presence of many large police cars as well. The police officers beat the transit group using batons. The respondents explain that they were beaten with batons all over their body. The respondents’ bags were taken by the officers and were threatened with more beating if the group did not leave.
One of the respondents explains that the officers also stole 100 euros from his friend. The officers asked the respondents for their identification papers to which they responded that they did not have any. The respondents explain that the police officers took their cigarettes and lighters as well. The respondents were returned to Greece the same.