On June 12th, 2017 a number of people on the move crossed the border to Hungary at around 11pm. At 2am they were caught. The interviewee states that they were first caught by people from the military, after which police officers arrived. The people from the military did not beat them so much, but afterwards the arriving police beat and kicked the group of people. They told them to crouch down into fetal position, with their heads to the ground, and beat them if they moved. They stayed down like this for 2 hours, and they continuously beat them if they moved. After some time, new police officers arrived in a car and also partook in the beatings during these two hours. A second car with more police officers arrived and they beat them again for one more hour. Approximately three hours of beating, punching and kicking in total.
Afterwards, the police officers walked them to the main road and told us to sit down. They pointed their guns at them and told them to sit far apart from each other, then another car arrived and the police started beating them again. 5-6 additional cars arrived. The interviewee describes how they kicked one man in the crotch and he passed out do to the pain.
“When he woke up, he didn’t know where he was, and he was bleeding from his mouth and vomiting blood. Police say they recognized him, one army man say 4-5 days ago this man tried before. 4-5 police beat this man. He went back to Belgrade. The police beat another man, and kicked him in the chest till he was vomiting.”
The policed continued beating them on the side of the road, and afterwards many where almost unable to walk, because they were in the crouched position for such a long period of time. The police then took out a dog, and were holding it on the leash, and letting it bark at people, but not releasing it.
Two vans arrived to the side of the road, and brought the group of people to the Horgoš transit zone. There was a Serbian police officer at the gates, where they were sent through back to Serbia. A Hungarian officer collected their shoes, the interviewee asked for a minute to take off their shoes and as a response the officer pepper-sprayed their face.
There are two small gates close to the patrol road which go through the two fences to the Serbian side. It is around 500 meters from the container camp. They were forced to read aloud a paper before being sent through the gates. The paper stated, “Don’t come again to Hungary illegally. If you want to come to Hungary, register in Serbia to cross. If you cross the border again, we will bring you to a closed camp or to court, and court will decide what to do.” There was furthermore a speaker on the fence announcing, “This is property of Hungary.” This announcement was played in English, Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu. The group of people were made to read aloud the paper while being recorded. The police further took pictures of everyone, as both a group photo and individual pictures from four angles, face, back, right and left sides.
The Serbian police standing close to the gate, then directed them to the camp. They told them to go get food and water there, and that they should leave the transit camp immediately after, but they let them rest there for a while.