“Once in a while international police officers visited the place, and at this time the Hungarian officers would pause the violent treatment of the men”

  • Date and time: August 1, 2017 22:00
  • Location: Near Bácsszentgyörgy, Hungary
  • Coordinates: 45.96864140801111, 19.034651804199257
  • Pushback from: Hungary
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 17 person(s), age: 14-30 , from: Afghanistan, Pakistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, dog attacks, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: Hungarian border police officers (10-15 men, in blue uniforms) with dogs (one with, the others without muzzle), Hungarian army officers, plain-clothes officials, international officers (more than 6, in police uniforms)
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Rigardu

Original Report

On August 1st, 2017 in the evening, 16-17 men (7 minors) walked from Sombor, Serbia across the Serbian-Hungarian border between Rastina, Serbia and Bacsszentgyörgy, Hungary, and continued for about 15 min inside Hungarian territory. They were caught by the Hungarian police officers at about 10 pm. The police asked the men to sit down, and after a few minutes more officers arrived, so that in total there was about 10-15 Hungarian police officers, with some police dogs.

The people-on-the-move expressed their intention to seek asylum, and the officers replied that the border was closed and it was not possible to seek for asylum in Hungary. The officers didn’t ask or write down anything or take any fingerprints from the people-on-the-move. The officers violently assaulted all of them. They released their dogs, and ordered them to attack the men for about 15-45 min. Afterwards the legs and hands of the men were full of bleeding wounds and scratches, and they were crying and shouting from pain. The interviewee got a 4 cm long wound on his right hand, so that he needed to consult a field doctor the next day for examination and treatment.

Afterwards, when the men tried to defend themselves, the officers started to kick them. The officers kicked the interviewee in the side of his chest. He had severe pain afterwards, and the chest pain continued so that he needed to consult a doctor again, and go to a hospital for examinations, xrays and treatment. He had some ribs broken and needed weeks to heal.

Next the officers searched the bodies and belongings of the people-on-the-move. They looked through their mobile phone files and wrote down the names of the owners and numbers of their sim cards. Then the officers either broke or threw away better phones (4 phones in total) and gave the worse ones back to the owners. They took shoes from some of the men, including the interviewee.

Once in a while some international police officers (more than 6, in police uniforms) visited the place. At this time the Hungarian officers would pause the violent treatment of the men. According to the interviewee’s estimation, they were speaking German or Italian. These officers interrogated the men and ordered them to return back to Serbia, politely recommending them to go another way in the future. Some Hungarian army personnel were also present.

The Hungarian officials called for some officials in plain clothes to come and  take pictures of each of the persons-on-the-move. In the end the police officials sprayed pepper spray into the eyes of the men, so that they felt irritation and couldn’t see for a while.

After about 1-2 hours at this place, the police bushed-back the people, and they were transported directly to the border nearby. At the border, the police ordered the people to go back to Serbia, so the people returned to the Serbian side.