“Officers wearing uniforms with German flags”

  • Date and time: July 25, 2020 05:00
  • Location: Near the village Miravtsi (30 km north of Gevgelija)
  • Coordinates: 41.128191, 22.516876
  • Push-back from: North Macedonia
  • Push-back to: Greece
  • Demographics: 29 persons person(s), age: age: 5 months, 6-8 years old, 19-60 years old , from: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking
  • Police involved: 3 Macedonian officers; 2 german officers wearing uniform with german flag. 2 cars (1 Lexus model)
  • 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: Independent person

Original Report

The transit group was composed by 29 persons from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh: 20 single men and the members of 2 families from Afghanistan. Mother, father, son, daughter and her 2 children; mother, father, daughter and 5 months baby.

The respondent explained that it was the second time he tried to pass through North Macedonia with his family. The first time – the day before – they were pushed back only by two North Macedonian policemen nearby Gevgelija. The officer were described as having provided them with food and water and used no violence. No asylum request were made during this time, the policemen asked them if they had previously obtained the Greek ID for asylum seekers.

On the morning of July 25th at 5:00 a.m. the group of 29 was walking near the area surrounding the North Macedonian village of Miravtsi. The group was then  stopped by two vehicles (one Lexus model), driven by the North Macedonian police officers and what were described as two German police officers wearing an uniform with german flag. According to the respondent, the North Macedonian officers were very calm and kind, but acting as if they were not in charge in that operation. Rather, the respondent described the supposed German policemen as being very violent, having beaten the legs of the single men with batons and kicking them, screaming them not to trying again that way. At this point, the group was described as being 30 km North of Gevgelija.

The officers then divided the group, with the North Macedonian officers taking custody of the families – bringing all the members back via their car to the border with Greece. The respondent was not able to provide further information on what happened to the single men in their group.

Once they arrived to the border, the North Macedonian officers told the remaining group-members to walk back inside Greek territory close to Idomeni railway, leaving them under the sun around 10:00 a.m. with more than 35° C.