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When we speak, they hit a lot. Pushback from Romania to Serbia

Date & Time 2020-06-15
Location Near Kikinda, Serbia
Reported by No Name Kitchen
Coordinates 45.89115262, 20.53472814
Pushback from Romania
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age 18 - 50
Group size 6
Countries of origin Afghanistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 6+
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved Romanian officiers wearing all black with binoculars; Serbian police were called

On Monday, June 15, 2020, six persons from two families were forcibly taken across the Serbian border to Romania and then pushed back to Serbia.

Family 1 consisted of two men, aged 18 and 26, and their mother, approximately 50 years of age. The second family was made up of two brothers who were about 25 and a sister who was about 30. The 18 year old man from the first family provided the information for this report.

The group was asleep somewhere between 100 and 400 meters from the Romanian border near Kikinda when they were awakened by Romanian officers. The officers were dressed all in black and were wearing binoculars; the young man who made the report believes this is how his group was spotted. After being woken up, the group told the officers that they were still in Serbia and not in Romania. Nevertheless, the men in the group were hand-cuffed and the entire group was forced to walk to the Romanian border. They were taken to a field just on the Romanian side of the border; this was not an official border crossing.

Once on the Romanian side of the border, they were physically searched, both men and women. All officers were men. Their things were taken. This included power banks that the 18- and 26-year-old men had carried with them and the money that the group had on them (several hundred euros and some one thousand Serbian dinar). The young man reported that the power banks and money were put in the officers’ pockets. They also took other possessions, including all of the clothes that the families were carrying with them and medication. The 18 year old told the Romanian officers that the bags contained medication for himself and his mother, but they were taken anyway. The officers also tore up the prescription that he carried with himself. Mobile phones were hit with stones, resulting in the complete destruction of most of them.

Both the men and women were hit with cables and with batons. The young man also reported being kicked. This went on for an estimated 20-25 minutes. They were not allowed to speak, or they would be beaten; “when we speak, they hit a lot.”

After this the Romanian officers called the Serbian police who came and retrieved the group. This was not at an official crossing. The group estimated that they were in Romania for some two hours. The Serbian police asked about documents and the group reported that the Romanian officers had taken them. They were then escorted by two Serbian police cars to the second village from the border. While the police drove, the group had to go on foot. They were not provided help in getting to a camp by the police.