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The Hungarian officer used pepper spray on my eyes for 3 minutes, [...] he asked me if it was good

Date & Time 2023-03-30
Location Near Röszke, Hungary
Reported by No Name Kitchen
Coordinates 46.176155954835, 19.982152349707
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age <18 - 35
Group size 12
Countries of origin Syria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention photos taken, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 10
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, pepper spray, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, forced to stay outside under the rain
Police involved 7 Hungarian police officers, blue navy uniforms with Hungarian patch on the arm. 3 Czech police officers, blue navy uniforms with Czech patch on the arm. 2 white vans, one smaller with blue stripes and one bigger totally white.

On the 30th of March a group of 6 people, all Syrian men aged 21 to 35, was pushed back from Hungary to Serbia, near Röszke (Hungary).

The respondent is a 34-year-old Syrian man.

The group started walking in the direction of the border around 12 am. After crossing the fence, according to the respondent, the group walked for 2 hours until, suddenly, they were reached by 10 people in uniforms. The respondent states that they were all men and he identified 7 of them as Hungarian officers, dressed in blue navy uniforms with the Hungarian patch on their arm, and 3 as Czech officers, dressed also in blue navy but with the Czech patch on the arm.

The respondent claims that the officers started shouting to the group: “Stop, Stop!“. He further recalls that he kept running, but he was reached by one of the officers who started beating him with his baton and he used pepper spray against him. He states:

The Hungarian officer used the pepper spray for 3 minutes on my eyes, I couldn’t see for 3 hours. While he was using it, humiliating me, he asked if it was good.

The respondent claims that the group was searched, and the officers destroyed their phones and power banks. Reportedly, the officers were watching them, laughing, while they were forced to lay on the ground face-down in the pouring rain. The group was forced to stay under the rain for one hour, and then they were loaded first into a vehicle described as a small white van, and then into a bigger one. Inside the van there were also 3 Syrian families, including 2 babies and 3 children.

The respondent states that they had to stay in the van for 6 hours. For the entire time the air conditioning was on, exposing them to extremely cold temperature:

There were the kids with us, I thought they would die from the cold. They want to kill them. Who’s even capable of doing such things? They have no mercy; they are horrible people. If I had known it would be like this I would never have left Greece. 

During the 6 hours, the respondent reports that the officers denied them access to food and water.

The group was released around 7 am on the Serbian side of the border. Before letting them go, the officers reportedly took pictures -face and back- of all the people who were in the van.