“We felt starving. No food and no water and no air in the wagon anymore.”

  • Date and time: December 26, 2018 01:00
  • Location: Budapest, Hungary, Budapest train station
  • Coordinates: 46.177663, 19.962285
  • Pushback from: Hungary
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 2 person(s), age: 15, 24 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: handcuffed
  • Police involved: 6 policemen in uniform, two cars
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: photos taken, papers signed
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Escuela Con Alma

Original Report

In the early evening on December 23, 2018, the two 24 and 15-year-old men from Afghanistan left Subotica (SRB).

They jumped on a train at the train station of Subotica and traveled towards Budapest, locked into one freight wagon. Therefore, once the train had reached its final destination some hours later, the two of them couldn’t get off. They were waiting inside the train until the morning of December 25. At that point, they were really hungry and also the oxygen inside the wagon was getting low.

“We felt starving. No food and no water and no air in the wagon anymore.”

In order to attract someones attention, they started to make some noise by hitting the walls of the wagon. It took some hours and many further attempts, until a man came and spoke to them from the outside. The person outside of the wagon, who later turned out to be a security man, called the authorities as one respondent claimed. 

Once they arrived, they opened the wagon and asked the two individuals for their passports. When they told them, that they didn’t have any, they arrested them, handcuffed them and pushed the 24year-old to the ground. Afterwards they were brought to a police station with a police car, according to one respondent. 

After they had left the train wagon, the 24yearold saw a sign with the name of the train station saying „Budapest ..“. However, at the time of the interview he could not remember the second part of it.

Once they arrived at the police station, they got their bodies checked. Afterwards the two individuals asked for asylum and one officer answered:

Yes, once we are finished here, we will bring you to the camp.“

They were again put into a police car, still handcuffed, and one officer gave them between 15 and 20 sheets of paper to sign. They couldn’t understand the content, but the officers forced them to sign them anyway, with their handcuffs on. Then the officers started driving them back to the Serbian border. The journey took several hours and at 1 am on December 26, the two of them were pushed-back through a gate in the border fence near the Serbian village of Horgoš. At the fence the officers took photos and made short videos as the respondents called to mind.