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When the respondent asked for Asylum, the officers punched him and called him a terrorist.

Date & Time 2021-07-24
Location Kelebija border crossing
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.16719951, 19.56006633
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 15 - 19
Group size 5
Countries of origin Syria, Iraq, Egypt
Treatment at police station or other place of detention photos taken, papers signed, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 16
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), pushing people to the ground, insulting
Police involved 1 civilian police officer, 15 Hungarian police officers, some Serbian border police officers at the border crossing

The respondent and his group, composed by 5 members in total, entered Hungary via Romania. On 24 July, at around 10 a.m., they were picked up by a civilian police officer on a dirt road in a small forest in Szeged. The respondent states that the policeman was not wearing a uniform, but was carrying a gun and that he handcuffed everyone and forced them to sit on the ground. Everyone in the group cooperated. The civilian police officer called for back up and after 15 minutes a police car arrived to take the group to the border crossing near Subotica (Kelebija). The car ride took about 30 minutes.

The respondent reported that at the border, 15 Hungarian police officers wearing blue uniforms with the Hungarian flag sewed on them searched him and his group and took everyone’s mobile phones. After a few minutes they returned the phones. The respondent states that the police had bugged the phones, but the respondent was later able to locate and remove the file.

The group was handed a paper in Arabic explaining that people who are fleeing can only stay in Hungary legally. The respondent then asked for asylum and a legal stay, but was told that he had to leave the country. The respondent describes that the officers then insulted him and called him a terrorist. When the respondent spoke up, he was pushed to the ground and received punches to the head, stomach and feet. The respondent had the impression that he was the only one in the group who was beaten because he was the only one who spoke English.

Before they were taken back across the border to Serbia, everyone in the group had to sign a paper in Hungarian, which was not translated. They also had to take photos while holding up numbers, and were filmed the whole time. When the respondent asked for water, his request was denied.

The group was then taken back across the border at the official border crossing in Kelebija. Serbian police were present there, but did not interact with the group.