“Pushed back to Greece for the 18th time”

  • Date and time: August 29, 2020 00:00
  • Location: Devoll District, Greece
  • Coordinates: 40.581873697851, 21.04395976098
  • Push-back from: Albania
  • Push-back to: Greece
  • Demographics: 8 person(s), age: 23-25 , from: Afghanistan, Morocco
  • Minors involved? Unknown
  • Violence used: no violence used
  • Police involved: 1 police woman in civilian clothes, 1 police man with Hungarian and European flag on the uniform, 3 Albanian police officers, rest unknown. One black van with a hungarian license plate but no signs on it, one van with Police sign on it
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: Anonymous Partner

Original Report

The primary respondent for this report, a 25-year-old man from Morocco, was apprehended together with a group of three other men from Morocco (who are between the age of 23 and 25, while walking close to the Libonik road in the Albanian village called Maliq, which is located close to the city of Bulgarec and approximately 60 kilometres away from the Albanian/Greek border (approximate coordinates: 40°42’14.1″N 20°42’53.7″E).

On Friday, the 28th of August 2020, the authorities arrived by car and arrested them. The black range rover in which the police arrived had an Hungarian license plate, and had not any signs or colors on it. There were four police men and one police woman, the latter being dressed in civilian clothes and one man wearing black clothes with the Hungarian flag on it, as well as ‘the flag from the European Union, blue with stars’. He identified another one as coming from the Albanian police. The respondent was not able to recognize the other police men because he and the others were told by the police to look down. The respondent stated that the police and Frontex at the Albanian border have always treated him well, and that they told him and the others to not be afraid of them. They brought them to a nearby police station in Maliq, Albania with the van.

Subsequently the police brought the respondent and the three other men to a camp which was located close to the border. They were sleeping there for one night, receiving dinner, breakfast, water and had access to the toilets there. At the camp were many other people, families, men, women, children, and older people. The families were kept separate from the rest of the people in the camp.

The next morning, Saturday the 29th of August 2020, 3 Albanian police officers brought with a LandRover van, which had a police sign on it, several groups of 8 persons to a police station and afterwards to the Albanian border. The respondent, the other three Moroccan men, as well as three men from Afghanistan and 2 persons, of whom the respondent did not know their nationality, were brought together to the police station where they were waiting for about 25 minutes before being brought to the border. The different groups of 8 persons were not brought to the same location at the border crossing.  The respondent described again that the Albanian police treated them ‘good’. Once they reached the border, the police let them out of the van in a mountain region and showed them how to cross the border back into Greece.

The respondent and the other men arrived in Greece in a city named Kastoria. Because they had no money or food and wanted to return back to Thessaloniki, they asked the Greek police there for help. The police started to insult and beat them immediately, which is why the group ran away and walked about 30 kilometres from Kastoria to Neapoli Kozanis.

When the group arrived in Neapoli Kozanis, they found a party where they asked some people for help. They collected some money for the 8 men and helped them. The next day the men bought a ticket for the train to come back to Thessaloniki.