On the 14th of October five Syrian men, aged between 18 and 33 years old, were pushed back from Romania to Serbia around the road DJ682 located at the crossing point between the Hungary-Romania-Serbia border, at 7 am.
On the same day at 5 am, the respondents started to walk from Serbia, near the town of Majdan, to the Romanian border. They walked for what the respondent estimated was 1 hour, and as soon as they stepped into Romanian territory they heard what they describe as an alarm ringing, so they walked back to Serbian territory out of fear. Immediately after that, a person that they refer to as a Romanian border police officer, wearing a dark blue uniform, showed up immediately inside a grey police jeep, carrying a dog with him, and shouted: “Don’t come here, go back to Serbia!”.
The respondents state that this officer is already well-known among people on the move, since he is often waiting at the Romania-Serbia border and he is the one who usually shows up and steals money from people and pushes them back. They describe him as a big, bald and tattooed man.
After few hours were passed, the group tried to cross the border again, but the same officer stopped them. The respondents report that is well-known that this officer always takes people somewhere out of sight to steal their money, beating people with his baton and kicking them while the people lie down with their faces on the ground.
The respondents explained that, usually, Romanian officers do not break mobile phones; instead they “hack” the phones with some kind of code so that, in case people use the same phone again while trying to cross the border again, it will send a signal to Romanian border authorities. The respondent further noted that this means the mobile phones are not usable anymore. In this case, the respondents say that the person they refer to as “the police officer” stole 1200 euros from them and broke one phone, while he entered a code in the settings of the other mobiles, and then gave them back to the people. Then, the officer physically abused the transit group. One of the respondent recalls:
“For almost one hour, he kept beating us until he got tired. We could tell he was cursing us by the few English words he said while shouting in between.”
After one hour, the respondents report that the man forced them to walk back to the border point by following them with his car. Since they were also very close to the Hungarian border, the respondent recounted that they saw one male and one female officer wearing dark blue uniforms, that were watching them from behind the Hungarian fences until they were pushed back to Serbian territory around the road DJ682, located at the crossing point between Hungary, Romania and Serbia, around 9-10 am.