The respondent, a 47 year old man from Morocco, was travelling with a group of 17 people from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine and Syria on the early morning of April, 18th, 2021. They crossed the border from Serbia to Hungary in the area around Horgos at 05:30.
The interviewee described that after crossing the border, everyone ran in different directions and he ended up hiding in the forest on his own. He reported that he stayed there for two hours and a half. During this time, he saw several drones flying over the area. At 08:00, the interviewee was found and apprehended by six police officers in dark blue uniforms. Two of the officers reportedly kicked him and hit him with batons for a couple of minutes while he was crouching and covering his head from the beating. Describing the violence he said:
“I have been deported many times before but this was something different. I never thought I would be in this situation in my life”
After the assault, the two officers brought him to a police car -white with blue lines- they had parked nearby, while the rest of the policemen stayed in the forest. They drove for 10 minutes to Horgos-Röszke border crossing where the respondent was taken to a room, cubicle he referred to as “police cabin” (as opposed to police station). Inside of the room, there were eight police officers in dark blue uniforms.
He reported that they checked his bag when he arrived there but he had hidden his phone in his clothes so they could not find it. The officers in the room took his name and pictures of him holding a paper that contained a text he could not remember. He had to wait inside of the room for three hours in total.
“They only say two words: shut up and sit down”
“Go back to your country” “Why do you come to Hungary?”
After two hours in the room, the police brought two more people-on-the-move inside, two Afghan men, who went through the same process as he did: eg officers took their personal information and pictures. Then after a further hour, at 14:30, the three detainees were made to walk back to Serbia at the border crossing. Serbian police were present on the other side but did not interact with them.