“Removed from a train in Vác and passport confiscated”

  • Date and time: January 1, 2022 00:00
  • Location: Vác, Hungary
  • Coordinates: 47.782767321836, 19.13305379046
  • Pushback from: Hungary
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 7 person(s), age: unknown , from: Palestine, Syria, Morocco
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: no violence used
  • Police involved: 5 Hungarian police officers including 1 Arabic translator, 2 officers wearing dark navy uniform with police insignia, and 3 officers wearing light blue uniform with police insignia, 1 police van
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, photos taken, personal information taken, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Collective Aid

Original Report

Two Syrian men had previously crossed the border from Romania to Hungary and then traveled to Budapest.

On 31/12/2021 they boarded a 11:40 train from Budapest train station, heading for Bratislava, Slovakia.

The train was stopped at the town of Vác. 5 Hungarian police officers entered the train, including 1 Arabic translator. 2 Police officers were wearing a navy uniform and  3 officers were wearing a light blue uniform, all with police insignia.

The 2 Syrian men clearly expressed their intent to request asylum. They were told “no asylum, you must return”

The 2 Syrian men were put into a police van, which already contained 4 Moroccan men and 1 Palestinian man who had already been taken off the same train.

All 7 men were taken to Vác police station. All their personal items were taken but all were returned, with the exception of a passport taken from one of the Syrian men. This was never returned.

They were not questioned in a formal interview. They were made to write their name on a piece of paper, and each person individually had their picture taken, showing their face and them holding this paper.

They were kept for roughly 12 hours before being returned to Serbia. Both men interviewed complained that their requests for food and water were denied.