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"I was shot in the leg while they chased me with dogs"

Date & Time 2022-01-11
Location Bulgaria, around Highway 79
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 42.83422253, 23.86220043
Pushback from Bulgaria
Pushback to North Macedonia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 23 - 23
Group size 6
Countries of origin Morocco
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, fingerprints taken, denial to hospital
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 3 Bulgarian police officers involved in one van
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, insulting, gunshots, dog attacks, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 3 Bulgarian Police Officers, 1 van

The respondent  is a 23-year old man from Morocco, that described his pushback from Bulgaria to North Macendonia on November 23rd 2022.

He was traveling with a group of 6 men from Morocco walking through Bulgaria. When they reached highway 79, near the border of Serbia they were chased by 3 Bulgarian Police officers. They had one dog with them who chased the men and bit them. As they ran through the forest one man was shot in the leg–the bullet did not go through the leg, but man him fall to the ground. His whole group was captured, and they were forced to lay on the forest floor while they were beaten. The respondant said they took his phone, 2000 euro, and his phone’s powerbank.

They were laying on the ground for about 3 hours while they were beaten and serached. They used batons and the ends of the guns to beat them in the ribs and legs. The respondant said his leg was bleeding severely but he never was allowed to go to the hospital. They said they were taunted and cursed at for a few hours while waiting for the van to arrive.

They were driven to a detention center where they were told they had to have their fingerprints taken or else they would go to prison for 1.5 years. All 6 had their fingerprints taken and were held in the detention center for 21 days.  During this time, his leg was never examined by a medical professional. After 21 days, they were released near North Macedonia. Without their phones, the respondant were not sure exactly where they were dropped off.