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"We didn’t kill anyone, they don’t have the right to beat anyone"

Date & Time 2022-09-18
Location Horgos, Serbia
Reported by Collective Aid
Coordinates 46.17576996, 19.9572364
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age 2 - 45
Group size 45
Countries of origin Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania
Treatment at police station or other place of detention photos taken
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved 12
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, insulting, threatening with guns, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
Police involved 9 Hungarian officers in green "military" clothes with Hungarian flag badge and balaclavas, 3 Hungarian police officers in blue uniform. 3 pick up trucks, 1 blue police bus

At 11 PM, on the night of 17th September, a group of 10 people, all of them men aged 23-42, crossed the border from Serbia to Hungary at a place near Horgos. The respondent, a 37-year-old man from Senegal reported that the group – which also included at least 1 man from Morocco, 1 from Mali, and 2 from Mauritania – was caught by Hungarian officers soon after they crossed the second fence, at around 11:30 PM. There were 3 police pick-up trucks with 3 officers in each of them, all of them wearing green clothes with the Hungarian flag and balaclavas. They were described by the group as “Hungarian military”.

According to the respondent, the officers then kicked and beat all members of the group with batons for several minutes, and forced them to lie on the floor with their face looking down. They were also beaten while in this position. During this time, the Hungarian authorities were reportedly pointing at and threatening the group with their guns, as well as insulting them: “Go back to your fucking country” “Go down, don’t look at me”.

“We have rights.  If we did anything wrong, they should put us in jail, but not this. We have human rights”

The respondent described that they were then frisked, and their pockets checked.

“They also took off our shoes, it was really cold that night.”

The officers reportedly kept everyone’s money and some chargers and power banks, before destroying several phones. They also took someone’s rings and threw them away at that moment. When one of them moved to ask for his wallet back after his money had been taken, he was hit with the baton again.

After some time, a police bus came with 2 men and 1 woman in it. They were dressed in blue – with the Hungarian flag on their arm and were described as Hungarian police by the respondent. The members of the group were forced to get in the vehicle while they were kicked by some of the officers. There were no other groups in the bus at that time. According to the respondent, they drove for more than one hour and made several stops to pick up other groups. At the end of the night, he counted 45 people in the bus, including several women and children, as well as one baby. They arrived back at the border fence near Horgos (30 minutes from Horgos 2 and next to a petrol station). The police took pictures of everyone 1 by 1 and opened a gate for them to cross back to Serbia at around 5 AM.

There were no Serbian police present on the other side.