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When they let us go at the border in Serbia, the police act like they dropped the trash.

Date & Time 2021-10-10
Location near Subotica
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.18911897, 19.65272279
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station yes
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 17 - 35
Group size 25
Countries of origin Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention detention, photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed, denial of food/water
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 12
Violence used kicking, pushing people to the ground
Police involved Hungarian officers in Hungarian police uniforms with 1, 2 and 3 stars and 7 cars

The respondent was crossing the border to Hungary. They were 26 people and they crossed the border together. They lost one person in the forest and went looking for him. They could not find him and moved on and walked around 10 kilometers to then get picked up at highway 55.

They were picked up by taxis and made their way to Budapest. They were drove for 1.5 hours to Budapest. On their way to Budapest, the taxis got stopped by the police. Seven police cars blocked the road.

Around 12 police officers were in the cars. They wore Hungarian police uniforms with 1, 2 and 3 stars and drove Mercedes without police logos.

The Hungarian police pushed them out of the car and the respondent said that the police seemed happy that they were able to detain the people they found. The police ordered people to sit down and asked the respondent and his group where they are from and if someone was from Egypt. The respondents said that the police used violence when they had to exit the car. The police pushed them and pulled them on their clothing.

“You feel like you are a criminal like you have killed somebody.”

“Even though Hungary is European and it should be civilized, they act like animals, really”

The respondent did not understand what they were saying because they spoke Hungarian, but he felt they were making jokes about him. “Maybe it was because I am black from Africa and that’s why they made jokes about me ”

The police told the respondent to sit in the car and after 2 hours a bus arrived and brought the respondent and his group to a police station in Budapest. They were interrogated by a man in civilian clothing, who was armed. The respondents did not know who the man was, but the room looked like the office of the person in charge. He asked questions about their countries of origin, how the respondents came to Hungary, about the smugglers and about the price of the smuggling, and where their destination was.

There was a translator present in the police station. The respondents said that he asked for asylum, but the translator said that the respondent could not ask for asylum, because the “Hungarian people are not friendly and they don’t like Muslims and don’t like Arabic speaking people”. The translator said that he knew this information because he had lived in Hungary for 10 years and said that there was no way he could apply for asylum.

They took pictures of the people detained as well as their names and their countries of origin. The respondent signed a statement about what he said about the taxi driver because the police officers told him that they would use this in court.

After that, the respondent and 24 other people were detained in a cold room for 5 to 6 hours. They asked for food and water, but were denied. In the beginning, they were also denied smoking cigarettes, but after a few hours, the policeman allowed them to smoke individually outside the room. They were at the police station for about 10 hours in total.

Then the Hungarian police brought a bus and drove people back to the border to Subotica.

“When they let us go at the border in Serbia, the police acted like they dropped the trash.”