“Their legs were full of bleeding wounds and scratches after the dog-attack, and they were crying and shouting because of the pain.”

  • Date and time: December 16, 2017 03:00
  • Location: close to Bácsszentgyörgy, Hungary
  • Coordinates: 45.9662530209121, 19.031925201416016
  • Pushback from: Hungary
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 15 person(s), age: unknown , 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: about 10 Hungarian police officers (male, in uniforms) with police dogs (more than 5, one with and others without masks), violence from all of them, pictures taken by some officers (in civilian clothes, one civil car), once in a while some Hungarian army personnel and international police officers
  • 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 December 16th., 2017 at night, 16 men, (5 from Afghanistan and others from Pakistan, 7 minors about 14-15 years) walked from Sombor, Serbia across the Serbian-Hungarian border between Rastina, Serbia and Bácsszentgyörgy, Hungary. They continued for about 15 min. within Hungarian territory, before getting caught by what was reported as Hungarian police officers. The police asked them to sit down, and after a few minutes more officers arrived, so that there were about 10 police officers (all male, in uniform), with police dogs.

The men expressed their intention to seek asylum, and the officers answered that the border is closed and that it’s not possible to seek asylum in Hungary. They didn’t ask or write anything down, nor did they take any fingerprints. The police proceeded to violently attack them. They released their dogs (more than 5 police dogs), and ordered them to attack the men and scratch them on all parts of their bodies for what was reported as anywhere between 15 and 45 min. Their legs were full of bleeding wounds and scratches after the dog-attack, and they were crying and shouting because of the pain.

Afterwards the men tried to defend themselves, but the officers started to kick them. They kicked the interviewee in the right side of his chest. He had significant pain afterwards, and he consulted a doctor who treated him. Some ribs were broken and needed weeks to heal (X-ray and other medical records from the hospital provided). Next the officers searched the bodies and belongings of the men. 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 good phones (4 phones in total) and gave the worst ones back to the owners. They took shoes from some of the men, including the man interviewed.

The interviewee reports that occasionally some international police officers visited the place, and at this time the Hungarian officers paused the violent treatment and behaved properly. The ‘international’ officers interrogated the men and ordered them to return back to Serbia, recommending them to go another way in the future. The interviewee also reports that what he described as Hungarian army personnel were also present. The officials called for one civilian car of some officers, in civilian clothes, to take pictures of each of the men.

In the end the police officials reportedly used pepper spray in the eyes of the men, causing severe irritation and they couldn’t see for a while. After what was reported as about 1-2 hours at this location, the police announced that they were deporting the men, and they were transported directly to the border near there. The police ordered the men to go back to Serbia, so they did. When the interviewee managed to go back to Sombor, he had such severe pain in his chest that he needed to consult doctors.