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Refugees were not often beaten on the borders, but now patrols beat them, treat them very badly, and return them to Serbia

Date & Time 2023-03-19
Location Subotica, Serbia
Reported by No Name Kitchen
Coordinates 46.178882, 19.653556
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age 16
Group size 40
Countries of origin Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 14
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, insulting, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 4/5white and blue vehicles identified Hungarian police cars; 2 white police vans with Hungarian flag on the front; 12/14 Hungarian police officers wearing blue uniforms with a red patch on their arms.

The  respondent is a young man from Syria, aged 26 years old. On the 19th of March he was pushed back from Hungary to Serbia in a group with 14 people including 2 women and 3 minors from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The group left Serbia from the area of Kelebia. The respondent reported  that they spent 2 days hidden in the forest in Hungarian territory, more or less 14 km away from the border, and early in the morning -around 5 a.m- they saw and heard a drone flying above them. After that, he recalls that 4 or 5 vehicles, that he described as white and blue, and identified as a Hungarian police cars, appeared. Reportedly, inside the vehicles there were 12 to 14 people, including one woman, wearing blue uniforms with a red patch on their arms: the respondent identified all the people in the cars as Hungarian police officers. When the people described above arrived on the spot, they apprehended the transit group.

According  to the respondent, the woman officer was the one who started to beat them using her baton, and she also kicked them several times.  The respondent stated that the people in uniforms beat one woman member of the transit group, but not the minors. He also further affirmed  that the people in uniforms took their money and power banks. Moreover, the officers forced them to sit on the ground one at a time and they took pictures of all of them.

At some point, the respondent was forced to enter a big vehicle with all the group that was apprehended with him. According to the respondent, there were loaded  in one of the two big vehicles that he described as white vans, with the Hungarian flag on the front. Inside, there were already around 30/40  people, including minors aged 16 and 17 years old and old people; they were all pushed back to Serbia.

At the end of the interview, the respondent wanted to underlie that how he thinks that the violence at the Serbian-Hungarian border has increased in this years: “In the past, refugees were not often beaten on the borders, but now patrols beat them, treat them very badly, and return them to Serbia