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In my country, Syria, no life possible.

Date & Time 2021-10-27
Location Ásotthalmi láprét, Hungary
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.176404, 19.942698
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved no
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 20 - 38
Group size 16
Countries of origin Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Morocco
Treatment at police station or other place of detention photos taken, papers signed
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 14
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground
Police involved 11 Hungarian border officers, 2 Serbian border officers, 1 Czech policemen, 1 Hungarian prisoner transport van, 1 Hungarian van with technical devices

On the 27th October 2021 a group of approximately 50 people from Afghanistan, Morocco, Syria and Iraq among whom there have been around 5 families with around 10 small children tried to cross the border between Serbia an Hungary at 8 o’clock in the evening. After they walked for two hours they reached a forest between the Hungarian cities of Ásotthalom and Mórahalom. There, the group was approached by several policemen from Hungary, Serbia and the Czech Republic and was separated. 

The respondent, a 38 year old man from Syria, stated that he panicked and ran away. He waited alone in one corner of the forest (46.200452, 19.833177). There, a person – later identified as an Hungarian border force policeman-  approached him from behind at beat him on the head with a baton. When the respondent tried to protect his head with his arm, the person beat his arm, as well and kicked him to the ground. Laying there, the policeman kept on kicking the respondent. While kicking the respondent, the policeman shouted repeatedly “down, down“ to him. The respondent didn’t resist and said: “Ok, be relaxed, be relaxed, I understand. I do nothing, I friendly.“ 

After the beating and kicking the policeman brought the respondent to a dark green van of the Hungarian police where he had to sit down. The respondent reported that inside the van the respondent saw a lot of technical devices, camera-screens and detectors. On top of the van there was a retractable camera. Inside the van there was another Hungarian border police officer in uniform. 

After around five minutes, six more policemen came to the van. One of them was a Czech police officer in uniform, two more Hungarian border police officers in uniform, as well as two Serbian police officers in dark blue uniform. The policemen brought four more people to the van. Two of them were from Morocco and the other two from Afghanistan. One of the men from Morocco had a wound which was bleeding excessively from his head. The respondent guessed the other four men to be between 20 and 30 years old. 

After around 15 minutes of sitting and waiting in front of the van a white Hungarian prisoner transport van came there. Inside the van there were two more Hungarian border police officers in uniform. The people were asked to get inside the van. In there, there were 6 more people from Morocco and 5 more from Afghanistan. They were all male and between 20 and 38 years old. 

At around 11 o’clock pm the people were brought to a container at the Hungarian-Serbian border (46.176404, 19.942698). At the container, there were five more Hungarian border police officers that wore a uniform. According to the respondent, the people were forced to stand with their faces towards the container, holding their arms above their heads. One by one, they were asked to turn around and hold a plate with a number in front of them – to then be photographed with the numbers. After this procedure the people had to sign a letter which was written in Arabic language which stated that they were doing something illegal in crossing the Hungarian border and that they confirm being brought back to Serbia.