The respondent, a Syrian national between the age of 25 and 35, was pushed back from Germany to Austria on November 15th 2022 along with one other Syrian person, a Somali national and another person whose nationality was not identified.
On November 13th, the respondent reportedly traveled alone to Munich. The respondent noted that he did not have any contact with Austrian authorities and had not attempted to request asylum whilst in Austria. At some point he boarded a train at around 12:30 pm it arrived at the main train station in Munich. The respondent explained that he was apprehended at a police control along with another Syrian national, a person from Somalia and another person whose nationality was not identified while exiting the station.
He was then reportedly driven in a “police car” for between 30 minutes to an hour to what the respondent described as a police station. He stated that he was interrogated with the assistance of an Egyptian translator, where he attempted to ask for asylum but was told it was not possible and that he would be returned to Austria. He then described having his fingerprints collected and photographs from all three sides of his profile taken.
The respondent was then reportedly driven to a camp about 30 minutes away. When asked to describe the camp the respondent recalled that it was a big building that looked like a garage located in a town and surrounded by houses. He did not recall seeing a forest nearby and could hear church bells quite close. Instead of rooms inside the camp, the respondent described that it was packed with little tents inside the building; one tent fit four people. He recalled seeing about 250 people in the camp. The respondent stated he was told that the camp itself was not located far from Munich city. The single men were reportedly separated from the families and only saw with them at meal times. The respondent did not recall the name of the camp but stated that a relative had told him that another camp existed [in Germany] similar to this one.
After three days, on the morning of November 15th, the respondent was reportedly approached by some officers in the camp and asked to go with them. The three people the respondent had previously been detained with were also present. They were not told where they were going or what was happening, recalled the respondent.
They were reportedly forced to get into a “police van with bars in the windows” and once they were in the vehicle, the officers told them they were being taken back to Austria. The respondent stated that there were three officers in blue uniforms in the vehicle with them of which one of them spoke a little Arabic; he told them they were being taken to an Austrian police station. The trip reportedly lasted approximately three hours.
The respondent commented that while he was staying in the camp in Germany he did not suspect he would be returned to Austria:
“I had asked for asylum in Germany and was sure I would be able to stay. My relatives and other friends who came before me were told too that they would be returned to Austria, but in the end they had their asylum case processed in Germany. That is why I felt safe in the camp. Otherwise I would have left the camp.”
After approximately three hours, the van arrived at what was described as a police station next to the train station in Salzburg. From here, the respondent was reportedly brought to another police station that was very close by (approximately five minutes walk). The respondent recalled being detained at this site for two nights and refused to give his fingerprints. However, on the second night he reportedly finally agreed to give them and was subsequently released. ‘I did not know where to go next. I asked the police officers where I was supposed to go and the Austrian police officers only answered: “Go away! Austria no!Go to Italy”’.
Following his release, the respondent reportedly travelled to Vienna and stayed for two weeks, “I was not sure if I should stay or move on to another country.” On December 1st he recalled going to the police in Vienna and asking for asylum. His fingerprints were reportedly taken at the BFA (Austrian Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum) and he was given a document that instructed him to go to the 11th district. The respondent recalled there were Ukrainian families in the camp.