“The Hungarian officers threw our food on our heads, shaved our hair and ordered me to eat my cigarettes ”

  • Date and time: August 21, 2022 23:00
  • Location: Near Madarasz-to reservoir area, Hungary
  • Coordinates: 46.1769246, 19.929155
  • Pushback from: Hungary
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 4 person(s), age: 18, 25, 26, 30 years old , from: Morocco
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pepper spray, pouring water over one's head, destruction of personal belongings, head shaving, forced ingestion
  • Police involved: 5 Hungarian police officers, 1 Serbian police officer, 1 police van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: photos taken
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The 18-years-old respondent explains that he left to cross the border around 9pm, together with three other young Moroccan people aged between 18 and 30. The group started off from an area near Horgos and walked towards the Hungarian border. Once on the Hungarian side, around 11pm, it was already dark when the four young men saw some lights from a car. They were around 1km from the border, into Hungary, when they got apprehended.

According to our interlocutor, 5 officers were already there. They were all wearing a mask, leaving only their eyes to be visible. 3 of them were wearing black clothes and 3 wearing military clothes and Nato blue logos on the side of their arms.

The officers told them in English to stand up with their hands up. They petted them down and ordered them to sit down. The respondent didn’t have a phone, but the officers took the phones of his 3 companions and smashed them on the ground. One of his companions got his eyeglasses smashed as well. The respondent explains that they spread pepper spray in their eyes, and his eyes are still red and aching. The Hungarian officers looked at their personal belongings in their bags and threw what they found on the heads of the four young men: it included energy drinks and tuna fish. One officer also used the shaving machine found in one of the men’s bags to cut off the hair of one of the group members and the eyebrow of another one. The respondent saw that one of the officers dressed in military clothes took a video while performing the haircut. As the officers found some cigarettes in the bags as well, the respondent told us they forced him to eat two of his own cigarettes. He remembers them telling him: “You eat this cigarette. Eat fast” and then screaming “Eat, eat!”.

The respondent further states that, at that point, the group was on the floor, and the officers started to kick them in their heads, ribs, feet, and calf muscles with their heels. The respondent recalls that he was crying “No please!” as officers were taking turns in beating the group, and others were smoking cigarettes and laughing at the scene. The respondent recalls that one member of his group had already a broken leg, and that the military broke it again with a stick and his shoes.

 

The respondent’s arm after the pushback

 

The group had then to enter a van with black windows which brought them to Horgos border to the Serbian police station, where they arrived around 6 am. The Serbian police’s attitude was gentler toward the group, as the officer offered them water and cigarettes. He took a photo of the group, one by one, and told them to take their empty bags and go. After being pushed back, the group walked back to the departure point for about 2 km.