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Just like the lives of animals

Date & Time 2022-10-26
Location Horgos, Serbia
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.17548384, 19.97155295
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station unknown
Minors involved
WLTI* involved?
Men involved?
Demographics?
Group size? 20
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 20
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, insulting, pouring water over one's head, threatening with guns, destruction of personal belongings
Police involved? 6 cars - 2 white, modern cars with nothing to distinguish them. 2 Black 4x4 cars with police sign on them. 1 Green car from Hungarian border police. 12 officers - mix of Hungarian police wearing 'rendorseg' police clothing and soldiers wearing camouflage. 1 female officer joined later. 8 Czech border police with Czech flag on the shoulder and white skulls above their left breast.

The respondent explained that himself and a transit group of 20 people from Afghanistan, including three women, walked approximately 1km to the Hungarian-Serbia border fence not far from the Roske Transit Zone. The transit group reportedly crossed over the fences and walked for an hour through the forest into Hungary. The respondent said that he felt that the group were found by a drone flying over them which they heard.

The respondent described that very soon after they heard the drone, a large group of 20 officers ran towards them and surrounded them. The group was reportedly composed of ‘Hungarian soldiers and police and also Czech officers‘ in a different uniform with Czech flags. He stated that the eight Czech officers also had skull logos above their left breast on their uniform. They were reportedly wearing black masks over their mouths and noses and very heavy black military boots.

The group were gathered together and walked out of the forest in a line. The officers reportedly ordered them to squat down in a line and look at the floor. According to the respondent, phones were taken from some people in the group and placed in packets that were sealed and taken away by officers Other phones were reportedly broken in front of them.. The respondent stated that one person’s phone was thrown by an officer from one end of the line to the other. The officer then used his baton to hit it back and the phone smashed. The respondent described the officers laughing as they did it, playing around like it was a baseball game. According to the respondent, the three women in the group were aggressively body searched by the male officers and their clothes were lifted up in front of the entire group.

Reportedly, the officers continued to humiliate the group by asking them to remove any food or drink from their bags, which were then poured over the transit group’s heads. The respondent also explained that the officers took their energy drinks and drank them in front of them, as well as crushing any left over food under their boots. The respondent explained that it is difficult to explain any of these events in a specific order, but the incidents all took place while the transit group were lined up. Some members of the transit group were also beaten; they were hit all over their bodies repeatedly. The respondent said they did not inflict physical violence on everybody or break all of the phones, ‘but everyone suffers something.’

“We are being treated worse than animals”

The respondent emphasised the clear racism that was being violently inflicted upon the transit group.

“I have lost all hope, I do not know what is life anymore. This is just like the lives of animals.”

The respondent went on to explain that the group were taken in a Hungarian ‘Rendorseg’ van and drove in the dark for a very short time – an estimated 5 minutes – to another big black car. They were then reportedly met with another group, meaning that together, the transit group was around 50 people. Reportedly, the group were taken into the black vans which he described as ‘cars to transport animals.’ The windows of the car reportedly had wire netting on them, and the inside was bare with harsh lighting, metal bars and wooden chairs.

All 50 people were driven to the Horgos – Roske transit zone gate in the fence. Here, all of their photos were reportedly taken by police, before they went through what he called the ‘scanner’. Then the group were reportedly sent through to Serbia.