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He pointed a gun at my head. I said we are not animals; we are good persons. We just need to cross. The policeman told us; you are all dogs, you are animals!

Date & Time 2021-11-26
Location Beba Veche, Romania
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.1292241, 20.2836129
Pushback from Romania
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 38 - 38
Group size 4
Countries of origin Syria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention video taken
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 3 policemen 1 policewoman
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, insulting, threatening with guns, theft of personal belongings
Police involved Romanian officers in dark uniform: 3 men, 1 woman, 1 vehicle

On the 26th of November at night, the respondent and 3 other people on the move (his brother and two cousins) were pushed back from Beba Veche (Romania) to Majdan (Serbia). The group crossed  the Romanian border at Majdan on foot during the night. About 2 kilometers behind the border, three policemen and one policewoman caught them.

The respondent explained that they knew that they were there illegally, but they had to cross because they had not other choice.  After he repeated that they just want to cross to go to Hungary and Austria, one policeman pulled a gun on him and put it to his head.

The respondent said, “We are not animals; we are good persons. We just want to cross.”

The policeman replied, “You are all dogs, you are animals.”

The respondent said, “We are not animals, you are criminals.”

They beat him and the others with batons. The respondent was hit on his back and on his knee. They took his money (500 €) and they searched his bag and took his phone and two power banks. Furthermore, they took a video of them. The respondent said they acted very happy while doing this.

The respondent tried to explain that he saw no other choice, because they had been in Serbia for 6 months and it was very cold. He asked for his money because it was so difficult for his family to send it to him but the policeman said he didn’t care. Instead, he told him to never come back, “If I see you here again, I will kill you!”

After this, they had to walk around two kilometers back to the border while the police followed them by car.

The respondent told us, “I just search for good life. I search for any country which respects human rights. We are not criminals. Human rights have no foundation here.”