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“They consider us not human, like animals”

Date & Time 2021-09-10
Location Kelebia
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.207101, 19.654417
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station unknown
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved no
Men involved yes
Age 15 - 25
Group size 16
Countries of origin Afghanistan
Treatment at police station or other place of detention
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 8
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 8 Hungarian officers

On Saturday 9th October, 16 Afghan males attempting to cross the border between Serbia and Hungary just east of the town Kalibia were subject to a violent pushback by 8 Hungarian officers. 

At around midnight the group crossed the fence, after 3 hours of walking, deep in the forest the group came into contact with 8 Hungarian officers. The officers were wearing dark blue uniforms, consistent with uniforms worn by the Hungarian border police. It was at this point the police took their shoes, their money, spat on them and used brute force to kick and hit the group. 

When asked if the minors were also targeted one member of the group replied “they are not looking if you are under aged or over aged, they just hit you”. Another member of the group explained how the black stick (baton) being used to hit them broke into pieces because they had been hit so many times with so much force. Below is a picture of one man involved, he was hit over the head with the baton, leaving him with a serious head wound. He explained how it looks much better now, but at the time it was a lot worse and there was a serious amount of blood. 

The group explained how 2 officers took the lead in hitting and kicking them, whilst the remaining officers stood watching and laughing. Some of the officers were also filming and taking pictures of the incident. The group recounted comments from the officers: “they asked why we were trying to come to Hungary. I said there is a problem in my country, they said there is no problem, you are the problem and then they started laughing” another member of the group added “they told us that we are terrorists”. 

It is unknown how long this interaction with the police went on for but when it was over the group was then taken back to the border and pushed back into Serbia. There was no bus and because their money had been taken they could not afford a taxi. They had no other option but to walk back to Subotica in the early hours of Sunday morning. At this point one man presented his foot that was covered in blisters from the walk.