“They Took Us Across the Border to Beat Us”

  • Date and time: July 11, 2020 03:00
  • Location: Kusic, Serbia
  • Coordinates: 44.86815638015587, 21.494904873046856
  • Push-back from: Romania
  • Push-back to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 12 person(s), age: Reporter 17; 11 others included children, youths and adults 18-56 , from: Afghanistan, Kurdistan (country unknown)
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), gunshots, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: Romanian officers wearing black from Nadis/Zlatita
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On July 11, at sometime between 3:00 and 3:30 in the morning, a group of 12 people were violently pushed back from Romania. The primary respondent for this report was a 17 year old young man from Afghanistan who, together with another young man, walked somewhat ahead of the group, scouting the route for their families. The group included two Afghan families and a Kurdish family: Five women and young women; four men and young men and three children.

The group were across the street from a cemetery in Kusic village, Serbia when they were apprehended by what the respondents described as Romanian police officers (see GPS location). The young man who made this report describes crossing the street from the cemetery and a circle of Romanian police then closing in on him and his friend; the police were described wearing black clothes and binoculars and turned on their lights when they apprehended the group. There were 13 officers.

Once they had apprehended the group they fired their guns and forced them to walk across the border to a large white stone near the Nera river, they walked about 10 minutes. They accused the young man and his friend who were scouting of being smugglers, they faced worse beatings than the others.

All but the children were beaten; the men were hit on their hands and faces. The 15 year old sister of the man who made this report was spared only because she said she was sick and looked sufficiently ill. Their phones, power banks, ID cards, bags with belongings and money were stolen. The police also took their belts and shoelaces, to make walking difficult. The men, women and children in the group all had their bodies patted down and searched by male police officers.

The group was detained, beaten and searched for three or four hours before being returned back to Kusic village in Serbia.