Skip to content
Support our work

“The officers kicked us, punched us and hit us with ‘sticks’.”

Date & Time 2024-05-15
Location Near Matochina, Bulgaria
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 41.8498729, 26.5406626
Pushback from Bulgaria
Pushback to Turkey
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age unknown
Group size 30
Countries of origin Afghanistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 5
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 5 Bulgarian people with uniforms that had 'police' written on them and guns. 1 police van.

The respondent is an 18-year-old Afghan man. He reported being pushed back from Bulgaria to Turkey a bit over a month ago, in May 2024. The respondent couldn’t recall the exact date of the pushback, only that it was in May. This was his second attempt at crossing the border – he had already been pushed back from Bulgaria to Turkey once before this.

During this second attempt at crossing the border, the respondent reported that he traveled in a transit group of 30 Afghan men and boys, 5 of whom were minors. After crossing the border, they walked for 20 minutes before they were apprehended by 5 officers whom the respondent identified as the Bulgarian police based on their uniforms that had ‘police’ written on them and their guns. They had a police van.

The respondent said the officers then started beating him and others in the group – they kicked them, punched them, and hit them with ‘sticks’. The officers took everyone’s phones and asked for their passwords. They also took their money and documents.

After this, the officers drove the group back to the border and forced them back to Turkey around the area of Matochina (Bulgaria).