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The Frontex people they were the ones who kicked and punched, the Hungarian police didn’t, but they did

Date & Time 2023-01-28
Location Röszke transit zone, Horgoš, Serbia
Reported by No Name Kitchen
Coordinates 46.1763034, 19.9747127
Pushback from Hungary
Pushback to Serbia
Taken to a police station no
Minors involved yes
WLTI* involved yes
Men involved yes
Age unknown
Group size 25
Countries of origin India, Turkey, unknown
Treatment at police station or other place of detention photos taken
Overall number of policemen and policewomen involved
Violence used beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking
Police involved At least two Frontex officers (dark blue uniforms, frontex shoulder patch, Frontex light blue arm-band); unknown number of Czech officers (dressed in green "like army"); unknown number of Hungarian officers, including several women officers (dressed in dark blue uniforms); unknown number of dogs with muzzles; one golden "rangerover type" vehicle with Czech plates (no writings on the car); one dark blue van (possibly with writings on the side); several Hungarian police cars; one Hungarian police van; one Hungarian police "bus"

A group of 9 people including a family was stopped and beaten in Hungary by what the respondent identified as Frontex officers, Czechs officers and Hungarian officers.

The respondent explains the incident happened on the 27th or 28th of January around 3am in a forest north of Subotica, close from the road 55, before having crossed it.

The following testimony is entirely made of direct quotes from the respondent, only the order of the quotes was changed to respect the chronology of the events. Some precisions were added.

«I was in Hungary, we were walking, walking, walking, and after three and a half hour of walk there were police officers along with Frontex who came out with torches and said it’s the police. We had to lay down on the ground, they started kicking us and all. Then I put my head up and see this Frontex sign on his shoulder. But when you put the head up they beat you more. I saw this one person with the Frontex and the other people who were Hungarian police».

«Some of them were without uniform but with bulletproof vests and everything, green like army, from Czech Republic».

«I knew they were from there because of the car having CZ number plates, a golden color car, nothing written on it. I cannot remember properly if they had flags on their arms».

«We were about 9 people with one family I believe from Turkey, one woman, three kids and the husband. The police don’t say nothing to kids but this lady’s husband they kicked him. And a female police officer beat the lady with a stick two three times. There were two three hungarian female police officers, [one was] wearing glasses».

«They fully searched us. One time they took my phone and break it but not that time. Sometimes they take money, sometimes they don’t. They searched everything, pockets, socks, bags, jeans, even sometimes people wear two trousers they put one down and search the other one. They also searched the family, everybody, even the kids. I’m sure they shouldn’t do that to kids but yeah… »

«The Czechs are the ones who searched us. They are the ones who search and beat. Sometimes they’ll find money in your pocket, like 50 euros and then they beat you».

«There was quite a few officers. Hungarian police was a lot, I also saw one jeep maybe Range Rover, golden colour from Czech republic. And there was one blue colour van which I believe was a Frontex vehicle. Since it was the night I couldn’t really see properly if something was written, but I believe this was from Frontex. The Hungarian police was in their normal police cars. » « They had dogs there as well, with muzzles. I don’t know if it was Frontex or what [unit of the] police, but they do have the dogs».

I have seen two  Frontex officers, one with the sky blue [arm-band] and one with the logo of Frontex [described as on a round shoulder patch]. I watch the news so that’s why I know it’s Frontex

Before the testimony collection, the respondent also explained he had encountered Frontex in the past, when he went through Bulgaria and was  interviewed  by them in a closed camp about the way he took to arrive to Bulgaria. He recalls the camp was called Busmantsi. This might be another reason why he recognised Frontex and their uniforms

The Frontex people they were the ones who kicked and punched, the Hungarian police didn’t, but they did

« They were dressed in dark blue, bullet-proof, walkie talkie and everything they have».

«They were all speaking English together [with each other]».

«The worst thing is when they ask you if you speak English and you say yes, that is the person who will definitely get beaten up badly».

«I don’t like running when the police see us, we stop immediately. The more you run the more you get beaten».

«We were on the ground for about one hour and a half. And then they make us walk for some kilometers to somewhere in the jungle more near the road and then the van came, picked us up and brought us to Horgos to deport us. The car (described as Hungarian police car) followed us and we’d be walking in the front until we reached a dirt road and then this van came down there, put us 9 in this van, and there were already some people in the van from different locations probably and they took us to a different place where was the big bus».

«We drove for about 20 minutes in the small van and same about 15-20 minutes in the bus».

«We changed vehicle along the road, in a normal place. They had two three small vans like this there, I think they have some sort of place there where they keep the vehicles to put the people».

«There were quite a few people in that bus already, in total probably roughly about more than twenty people. Even they didn’t have place to sit down, they will just put the people in».

«Then they brought us to Horgoš (pointed on the map as the Röszke transit zone 46.176035, 19.974977). We stayed there for about 10 minutes. They took pictures of us, face and back side».

«The Frontex people didn’t come to Horgoš, they stayed there [in the location where the group was apprehended. When we started walking,they didn’t come, they stayed there».

The respondent later adds that the Czech and some of the Hungraian officers, including the female officers, also stayed there.

«We were in Horgoš around 5 or 5:30am. They took pictures of everybody and sent everybody back, more than twenty people».

«We had families there, little kids, women, young girls».

«Very bad experience…»

«All I wanna say is treat humans like humans. That’s all I wanna say, nothing more. Fair enough we crossed the border illegally but we are not committing anything that will harm someone or anything like that. […] It’s not nice to beat somebody up or break their phones or anything like that».