On January 15th, 2017 the interviewee crossed the Hungarian border near the Kelebija crossing, in a group of thirty people. After they got through the fence they walked for about half a kilometer. They were caught and brought back to the border near Horgoš. They were transported in a green car. Three of the police officers were wearing full army uniforms, the rest were around ten police officers in blue uniforms, with few badges on them. The uniforms had some kind of marking on them, but the interviewee was not allowed to look up, and thus could not see the markings. There were four or five police cars, two or three small ones and a big van. The cars were white with some markings on them, as well as one dark van.
There was a mud track next to the border fence, the police made the group of 30 people sit in the mud track in a line. They had to put their hands on their necks and put their heads down. The police kept them in the mud from 1am to 3am, before pushing them across the border. The police were punching and kicking the group of 30 people. There was also a dog, the police took off its muzzle for five minutes and took it around, threatening the group of 30 people. The police did not release the dog completely, but they kept it on a short leash and took it close to the group of 30 people. Then the police put the muzzle back on, but the dog was still clawing at the group of people, including on their faces. The police then took one person out of the line and they took off all his clothes, leaving the person only with a t-shirt and trousers, and then proceeded to strip and search the 30 people, leaving everyone in one t-shirt and one pair of trousers.
Two police officers were looking through the phones from the group of 30 people. They found something on one person’s phone and this person got beaten more excessively than the others.
“They beat him so badly that there was blood coming out of his ears. I don’t know what it was, what they found. He was a regular refugee, he wasn’t anyone special. They broke everyone’s phones, but more than anything they beat us.”
The police used police batons and their hands in beating the 30 people. There were four 15-year old Afghan boys in the group, they were treated the same way.
The interviewee describes the police officers as being drunk, and reports smelling alcohol from the police during searches.
The police destroyed the money they found on the 30 people, and threw away the food they found. The police took away one shoe from each person, and poured any water they found over the heads of the 30 people. It was minus 14 or 15 degrees on this night, and the interviewee describes it as extremely cold, and states that a lot of people got very sick afterwards. Later on the police gave them back one jacket each, after one person got really sick.
“When we were in the line they made us look down, anyone who would look up would get beaten. The female police officers were hitting us with the batons on our private parts.”
The police ordered them to go back to the border, in groups of two. They made a video where they took their names, two and two. Then they sprayed them with tear gas and two police officers followed them on to the Serbian side. Initially the police didn’t spray all of the 30 people, they only sprayed people who did or said something. Those people were not filmed, they were moved to the side as the police filmed everyone else. After the videos were taken, the police proceeded to spray all 30 people.
“If anyone would try to touch their eyes, their hands would get smacked. You can’t see anything for two or three hours. It’s spicy. And there are tears and tears and tears. Your eyes get red. Your face gets swollen and red.”