“Then when we started walking... He was beating us with a stick so hard”

  • Date and time: December 8, 2021 00:00
  • Location: near Gevgelija, North Macedonia
  • Coordinates: 41.12830692835, 22.51809561175
  • Pushback from: North Macedonia
  • Pushback to: Greece
  • Demographics: 2 person(s), age: 24 , from: Morocco, Algeria
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 2 North Macedonian police officers (blue uniforms with 'police' written on them), 1 car
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: fingerprints taken, photos taken, personal information taken
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Mobile Info Team

Original Report

The respondent is a 25-years-old man from Morocco. On the evening of December 8, 2021, he was pushed back from North Macedonia to Greece. 

Together with a 24-years-old man from Algeria, the respondent crossed the border from Greece to North Macedonia. They walked for a day to reach the village of Dedeli. Before entering the village, they were apprehended around 10 pm by two male police officers in a car. The officers wore blue uniforms with ‘police’ written on them. Because they were apprehended in the evening, the respondent is not sure what the car looked like, but he recalls that it looked blue. 

The respondent explained that he and the Algerian man were thirsty when they were apprehended and asked the officers for water. The officers in turn asked them to sit down. The respondent explained that they had to sit for 5 minutes and that the police searched their clothes and belongings, took money and broke his debit card. 

“They took 150 euros from me and they took money from my friend, but I don’t know the amount. And they broke my debit card.” 

After being searched, the respondent explained that they drove for about half an hour to a place he calls an ‘army place’ because the people were wearing army uniforms. The respondent describes the place as a small house, a few tents in front of it and a small desk. There was no fence. This is where their fingerprints, photos and personal information were taken. 

“We weren’t there for so long. We were just standing. It took 5 minutes for both of us to give information, fingerprints, everything and leave.”

After giving them information, they were taken to the border by the two officers who apprehended them, in the same car, and an army officer. The respondent explained that the border was close and it took about 5 minutes to drive there. 

The respondent describes being beaten with batons by the army officer while crossing the border through a gate and being pushed back to Greece. 

“One police officer of the two went to open the gate. Then the army guy was behind us and he was talking to us like: ‘go, go, go’. Then when we started walking… He was beating us with a stick so hard.”

Based on the respondent’s description, it is highly probable that they were pushed back to Greece near Gevgelija.

At no point did the respondent express his willingness to apply for asylum.