“When they came the whole group was asleep. They kicked everyone. ”

  • Date and time: June 14, 2021 13:00
  • Location: Horgoš border crossing
  • Coordinates: 46.175799549976, 19.978748426025
  • Pushback from: Hungary
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 15 person(s), age: 21-35 years old , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: kicking
  • Police involved: Hungarian police officers, some uniforms had the letters 'AVO' on them, 3 Hungarian police cars + 1 police van
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: photos taken
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: Collective Aid

Original Report

The respondent and his group started their transit attempt in Subotica, Serbia on Sunday, June 13th. They stayed close to the Hungarian border and then crossed it during the night from Sunday to Monday, the 14th of June. The group consisted of 15 people, all males from Afghanistan, between 21 and 35 years old. 

“When we crossed the Dschal [fence], we were walking for 5 or 6 hours through the forest. Then we stayed there for the night. […] About 9 or 10 in the morning the police saw our group and caught us. […] When they came the whole group was asleep. They kicked everyone, not just me.” 

The respondent assumed that some locals must have seen the group and alerted the police or that the Hungarian police spotted them through a drone.

“I think some people who lived close to the forest saw us and call for the police. Or the police see us with the drone. Now the Hungarian police have drones.”

The officers which the respondent identified as Hungarian police approached the group and told them not to move. First, four police officers arrived, one woman and three men. They wore uniforms with the Hungarian flag sewed on. The respondent also remembers reading the letters ‚AVO‘ on some of the uniforms. Reportedly the four officers kicked everyone in the group and took all their telephones. One phone got smashed and the others were given back. The respondent suspects that the Hungarian authorities bugged their phones so that they are able to locate them whenever they should try to enter Hungarian territory again.  

The four police officers then called for backup and three more police vehicles arrived. Two of them were normal police cars with two officers in each and one was a larger van. The van had no windows and looked like an official police vehicle. All 15 people had their pictures taken and were then forced into the van. They had to stand in the back of the van, which was about 2 meters x 1.5 meters wide.

“The car was big, but our place was very small. After about 30 min in the car, we came back to the border.“

The group was brought back to the Serbian-Hungarian border. They arrived at the official border crossing in Horgoš on Monday, June 14th at around 1 pm. They were dropped off there. The group walked for an hour through the Serbian countryside and then took a taxi back to Subotica.