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He had been kicked in the face after having fallen on the ground due to the heavy beating he received

Date & Time 2024-05-08
Location Slivnica, Serbia
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 42.968758030407, 22.784061384078
Pushback from Serbia
Pushback to Bulgaria
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age unknown
Group size 3
Countries of origin Morocco
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, destruction of personal belongings, forced into the trunk of a car
Police involved 5 Serbian police officers, 2 police cars: a Volkswagen Golf and a Dacia.

The respondent is a 20 year old man from Morocco. The respondent stated he was part of a transit group that consisted of three men, all of them from Morocco and aged around 20. The transit group were pushed back from Serbia to Bulgaria on the 8th of May, 2024, at around 06:00 am.

The respondent stated he and his transit group had walked to the Bulgarian-Serbian border from the area of the village Kalotina (Калотина) in Bulgaria. After crossing the border, the group headed in the direction of the Serbian city of Dimitrovgrad. Approaching the city from the east, the transit group got stopped by a blue-white colored car that had the word ‘police’ written on it. This happened in the proximity of the E-80 highway. The respondent identified the model of the car being a Volkswagen Golf, and states two equally dressed men stepped out of the car the respondent identified as Serbian border police officers. The transit group was stopped by the ‘policemen’ and the dog they had taken. The policemen held the group there as they “took our phones and broke them”, the respondent states. Soon after another car with the word ‘police’ written on it that the respondent identified as a Dacia stopped at their location. Three men with outfits resembling the two policemen already there, got out and made the transit group get in the trunk of the ‘Dacia’.

The transit group was driven back to a location at the border located approximately 5 kilometers south of the city of Dimitrovgrad, where they had to get out of the car. The respondent remembers it to be an open place next to a forested area without a border fence in sight, close to the Serbian village of Slivnica. The respondent describes that all three men of the transit group got beaten with batons by the three policemen there. The respondent also showed signs of a recently healed wound on his face, between his left eye and left ear, where he had been kicked in the face by one of the policemen after having falling on the ground due to the heavy beating he received. The respondent remembers being shouted at with the words “don’t come back to Serbia” as they were forced to run back over the border onto Bulgarian soil. Soon after, the car had left the scene.