On 7th of May 2019, the respondent a Syrian citizen aged 25, travelled together with a transit group of approximately 15-16 people from northern Turkey towards Greece. From there, the group entered Greek territory the following morning (8th May 2019) and rested during daylight hours before resuming their journey in the evening at approximately 22:00
At 23:00, the group saw two police vans with three Greek policemen moving towards them. According to the respondent the officers who got down from the van and arrested them were policemen dressed in black uniform. The policemen took all their belongings including cell phones, belts and shoelaces. After all property had been removed from the transit group their bodies were searched with a metal detector.
Soon a vehicle with some shades of green marked on its bodywork arrived at the spot of apprehension, the respondent terming it as an army truck. The group was put in the truck and was taken to a nearby police station at some 15 minutes drive, close to a nearby river. Upon their arrival, they were put in a room inside the police station which the respondent termed as jail. The respondent described the room as having a high ceiling, with one toilet, some metal beds without mattresses. According to the respondent, it was here he expressed his intention to seek asylum to the Greek authorities, but no heed was paid to said request.
On the 9th of May 2019, at approximately 22:00, the transit group was given back all the seized items except their cell phones and were transferred in the same type of military style truck. According to the respondent, the officers who put them in truck were not policemen but some officials in green uniform whom he termed as “military men”, who wore masks on their faces. At the station taser devices were used to give the transit group electric shocks to force them to get inside the truck by the military men. The transit group described the truck having a small window which made it difficult for the group to even breathe. The group was driven to the nearby river, what respondent said felt like 30 minutes drive from the place of detention.
Upon their arrival to the river, the transit group was asked to stand in a queue and was divided in two groups comprising of 6 and 10 individuals. Accompanied by two military men to the other side of the river with the use of small boats. Once the entire transit group had been delivered by the Greek police to the Turkish side of the river, the Greek officers threw all the cell phones they had retained in a bag into the river.
According the respondent some of the people from the group managed to retrieve the bag from the river, once the Greek Authorities left the site. The Group didn’t find any presence of Turkish authorities at the site of their expulsion into Turkish territory and after they departed to a nearby city.