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Their clothes and a single phone were thrown onto a pile and the officer set fire to their belongings.

Date & Time 2022-10-25
Location near Majdan, Serbia
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.0943638, 20.2837363
Pushback from Romania
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 25 - 40
Group size 5
Countries of origin Syria
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 2
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), insulting, destruction of personal belongings
Police involved 2 Romanian officers - black clothing, no signage but police written on arm. One short officer, with two small gold earrings, bald head. 1 black car.

The respondent crossed the border from Serbia to Romania at 16:00 on the 25th October in a group of five. They were reportedly stopped 1km from the border by two Romanian officers in an open field. The respondent specifically described the appearance of one of the officer who took off his balaclava. He was described as bald, with two gold earrings and blue eyes. The other officers kept on his balaclava and was distinguished by being the taller of the two. The two officers were dressed entirely in black clothing with no flag on their arms, but reportedly wore a police badge. They also reportedly had a small black car with police written on it.

This description of an especially violent, bald, Romanian officers corroborates many reports and comments that have been given by other people-on-the-move who have been pushed back from very nearby locations on the Romanian border. He has become a particularly feared figure amongst people staying near this location because he always steals money, is very violent and screams at them constantly. The respondent often repeated that this man has ‘no mercy in his heart.’

The two officers found the group as they ran across the field. They were reportedly stopped, beaten and their money was taken. The respondent said that he had 350 Euros taken from him. He was asked by the bald officer to take off his clothes so that he could find any money that he had and then took it all. The group were reportedly being consistently beaten with black batons and shouted at in English and Romanian for fifteen minutes.

Two members of the group had backpacks with clothes in them. The two officers removed the clothing from their bags and one phone. Their clothes and a single phone were thrown onto a pile and the policeman set fire to their belongings. The photo below shows the bruising on the ankle of the respondent’s leg. This photo was taken five days later. At this point, swelling and bruising had significantly improved. Another member of the group had his hand broken by the beating. After this event, he did not return to the living site near Majdan with the other 4, but took himself immediately to Subotica hospital having been reportedly refused access to a doctor by the Romanian police.

The officer shouted at them to run back to Serbia immediately. The respondent took video footage of the two officers with the smoke from the burning clothes in the background as they ran back across the border to Serbia. This group were not formally apprehended. No photos of them were taken, they were not asked their names, taken to a police station or returned to Serbia by the police themselves. Instead, they were physically beaten and violated in an open field and intimidated into running back across the border immediately. This method was corroborated by some within this group who had already had similar experiences at the same place. This group returned to Serbia near the village of Majdan at 17:00 on the 24th October.