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They watched and laughed while we were beaten up

Date & Time 2023-03-13
Location In the forest alongside the river Tisa, south of the Hungarian town Szeged (about the following coordinates: 54W6+M7W Szeged, Hungary)
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.1967375, 20.1107031
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age unknown
Group size 10
Countries of origin Syria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking
Police involved 4 - 5 cars, Hungarian police identified as well as German, Czech, Slovakian, German and Austrian

The respondent, a Syrian young men (between 25 and 30 years old approximately) reported about a pushback he experienced from Hungary to Serbia in the night from the 12th to the 13th of March, 2023.

They were a group of 8 young men and 2 women, no children. They crossed the border from Serbia and headed in the direction of the Hungarian town Szeged.

At about 3am on the 13th of March, when they were walking in a forest south of Szeged, they were apprehended by what the respondent identified as state authorities. The respondent said he has little recollection of how exactly they looked like, but he identified these first people as Hungarian police. He mentioned that, later on, 4-5 cars showed up and he stated, that among them, he identified not only Hungarian, but also Czech, Slovakian, German and Austrian officers.

The young men reported that the officers mistreated them severely, by beating and kicking them not only with their hands and feet, but also with batons. He demonstrated how they would hold their hands on their backs and then beat them with batons. The respondent stated that the other officers (he identified those as mainly “German police officers”) were standing aside, watching the Hungarian officers beat them and he reported he saw them laughing and smoking. At the time of the interview, the respondent had a mark on his face, which he said, originated from the beatings. Another young man from the group, who was also present, showed bruises on his leg from where he got kicked.

The group was held for 2 – 3 hours in the same place where they were apprehended. They were forced to sit in the cold on the floor for all that time, and didn’t get any blankets or things to make them warmer. Finally they were put in a van and were driven back to the border with Serbia. They were then released into Serbia and returned to their living site.