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"This is not good, very big problem"

Date & Time 2021-11-22
Location Baja
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.18809938, 18.90556883
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 20 - 70
Group size 12
Countries of origin Syria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 3
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 3 Hungarian officers

On the evening of Monday 22nd November, a group of 6 people-on-the-move set out to cross the Serbian-Hungarian border from Sombor, Serbia. The respondent is a 42-year-old man from Syria, the group were all different ages with the oldest being 70.   

At 11:30 the group arrived in the town of Baja, Hungary. In the forest of Baja just next to the 55 road, they were stopped by 3 police officers. The respondent stated that when they met the officers there was another group of 6 that had also been stopped. From this point on, the group became 12. 

The officers were described to be wearing black uniforms and black caps. Their faces were not covered. They were also carrying weapons including guns and batons. 

The group was subject to several violent tactics. The respondent stated that the officers took their phones and smashed them on the ground in front of them, they stole their money and they used batons to hit them. One member of the group was allegedly hit so hard that he had significant injuries on his chest. However, the most violent tactic that the respondent recalled was the use of pliers to clamp down on the fingers of each of the men. The group was made to kneel in a line in front of the officers, here one officer went down the line and brutally used the pliers on each of them. Below is a picture of the respondent’s hand, a fresh bandage had just been put on prior to the interview taking place so you cannot see the injury itself. During the beating period, the officers were shouting “POLICE, POLICE, POLICE” at the group.

After the beating, the group was forced into a white van and then taken back to the Serbian border where they were dropped off.