“"I spend all night in the jungle I thought I would die"”

  • Date and time: July 18, 2021 00:00
  • Location: Kastanies, Bulgaria
  • Coordinates: 41.659336445392, 26.482196380169
  • Pushback from: Bulgaria
  • Pushback to: Turkey
  • Demographics: 6 person(s), age: 37 , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Unknown
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, pushing people to the ground, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, dog attacks, forcing to undress, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 2 patrols of 2 Bulgarian police officers, 1 Jeep
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Collective Aid

Original Report

On the night of the 18/07/2021, the respondent, along with a group of 6 afghan men, attempted to cross the border between Turkey and Afghanistan close to the city of Edrine. After climbing up the fence that separates the two countries, the respondent hurt his leg after falling from about 3-4 meters. Him and the rest of the group then decided to hide in a forest nearby as they heard a police patrol coming their way, equipped with dogs.

After 30 minutes two Bulgarian police officers came their way. They searched every member of the group after commanding them to kneel down and took their phone as well as their money.

The police officers then left and soon afterwards another patrol arrived in a jeep. They then proceeded to beat up all members of the transit group before forcing them into the back of the vehicle. The respondent recalls the extreme heat and the difficulties to breathe and move in this narrow space.

The Jeep drove for 30 minutes to the nearest crossing point and all 6 men were asked to get out the back of the vehicle. The two police officers then summoned them to take off their clothes, which members of the group did. They were beaten up as they were naked, and were then pushed back to Turkey.

Once on the other side, as the respondent was injured it was decided that the rest of the group would carry on without him. He reportedly spent the whole night in the forest, injured and clotheless, and took a taxi back to Istanbul on the morning.