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After being kicked repeatedly, a Syrian man gets alcohol poured over his face and clothes

Date & Time 2022-05-28
Location Rabe, Serbia
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.12583144, 20.26485145
Pushback from Romania
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 33 - 33
Group size 12
Countries of origin Syria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved unknown
Violence used kicking, insulting, theft of personal belongings, alcohol poored over face and clothes
Police involved At least 3 officers (one dressed in dark blue with 2 stars on the shoulders), 1 big white police van, 1 dark "Dacia jeep"

On the 28th of May, a group of 12 Syrian men were pushed back from Romania to Serbia around Rabe.

The respondent – a 33 years old Syrian man – described that he crossed the border to Romania around Rabe by foot with a friend. They crossed a ditch and went into the woods. At this moment, what the respondent described as a police car (dark “Dacia jeep”) passed close by with two officers inside. They tried to hide while the officers were reportedly checking around with a light until they found them.

They were then told to sit down, and one officer reportedly started to beat and insult the respondent.

“He kicked me in the ribs (right side). I screamed because of the pain, he got even more angry from this and kicked me again in the same place. He hit so hard with his feet. Then he took my phone and threw it away.”

“All the guys here and the Serbian police knows this policeman who treats everyone so bad. We want to report him for the things he has done to the other people here. He also stole money from a guy in another group, 450 euros.”

The second officer reportedly asked the respondent’s friend to help him because he could not stand anymore. The first officer kept on insulting him. [The respondent refers to this policeman as “bad policeman”]. He is described as dressed in a dark blue uniform with two stars on the shoulders.

The “bad policeman” got back to his car and drove while the second officer and the two Syrian men had to walk for about a kilometer until they reached a big white van waiting for them, close to a kind of “tower” in the fields. According to the respondent, the van couldn’t come to the place where they were caught because of the poor quality of the road.

The van already had another group of 10 people in it, assumed to have been arrested previously. The two Syrians men were put in the van as well. Then they were all driven back towards Serbia. The van reportedly stopped next to the Serbian border.

The officer driving the van reportedly saw that the respondent was in a lot of pain, as he was moaning and having difficulties to breathe. He called on the phone the officer that had beaten him who then came to the van. The driver asked him why he did this to the respondent. The “bad policeman” told the driver that the respondent was fine. He then grabbed a bottle of alcohol from the car and threw it over the face and the clothes of the respondent and said “look at him look at him he is fine he has no pain”.

The other people present reportedly started to take a video of what was happening.

The officer reportedly pulled the respondent by his clothes and pushed him away, telling him to leave the area.

The group of 12 people in total was pushed back to Serbia around Rabe at 11pm on the 28th of May. The respondent had a lot of pain and difficulty to breathe so his friends had to carry him back to their place on a blanket.

“I wish to be an animal to cross the border because this is so bad”.

“I’m running from a war back in Syria and just wish for a simple and peaceful life for myself, but the things that happen to us here are so bad that maybe I will lose my life trying to save it”