“Push back from Italy to Greece - The beating was too much and I was very afraid”

  • Date and time: February 26, 2020 05:00
  • Location: Inside the port of Venice
  • Coordinates: 45.43863373819858, 12.3075643883067
  • Pushback from: Italy
  • Pushback to: Greece
  • Demographics: 1 person(s), age: 28 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, insulting, electric shock, dog attacks, destruction of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 4 Italian police officers, 2 cars, black uniform
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, fingerprints taken, photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed, no translator present, denial of access to toilets
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

The transiting person (one Afghani man, 26 years old) left on board a ship from the port of Patras and arrived at the port of Venice on morning of the 26th of February.

At approximately 5:00 am, the individual jumped out of a red truck loaded with heavy carton boxes, which he had stowed away in. The truck was covered by a loose cover giving enough space to stay on top of the truck for a while. As he exited the vehicle, he was spotted by two policemen sitting in a car. The two officers, dressed in black, quickly grabbed him after a short chase and forcefully threw him onto the ground.

“They pushed my face on ground again and again”

While he was forced to the ground, the respondent described that one police officer struck him several times with a baton while the other administered electro-shocks to his body with a taser. After a short time, he heard one officer speaking on his radio and soon thereafter another police vehicle arrived with two more officers inside. 

With their numbers now four, three of the officers were described as holding the respondent in place while the fourth officer kicked him against the left side of his body a single time. He was then moved by the police officers some meters away and was sat on the ground. He recalled that several dogs were brought in and surrounded him, barking at him heavily (the respondent described seeing six dogs). One of the officers went through the respondent’s pockets briefly and found his phone which was then thrown into the nearby ocean.

After being searched, two of the officers took the respondent by the arm and led him back to their police car. The respondent described that in the car, the air condition was put on at a strong level, blowing excessive cold air against him. Both vehicles then went to a nearby police station, most likely located within the port itself. 

Arriving at the police station, the person was taken inside by the two officers in his car, where one another police officer was waiting for them.

All three officers talked for a while before a fourth officer entered and led the respondent and the officers into another room. In this room, the respondent’s fingerprints were taken, and a photo was taken of him. He then was brought to yet another room and told to sit down. After a short while, the officer who took his fingerprints returned to the room and asked the respondent a series of different questions. The respondent gave his name and said repeatedly that he wanted to seek asylum in Italy. There was no translator present. After being asked many questions which could not answer (and the officer taking notes on a form) the respondent was told to sign the form, which he then did.

During the interrogation the person asked twice to go to the bathroom, which was declined by the policeman.

The respondent described that he spent around three hours at the police station before some bread was offered to him which he ate. Shortly thereafter he was taken back to a ship and arrived back in Patras where he was handed over to two policemen wearing blue uniforms.

The two policemen in Patras took the respondent back to a gate in the port and told him not to come again, before setting him free.