“Then they started beating them up, the 3 of them. It was a long stick, it was very hard and they beat everybody like 4 or 5 times.”

  • Date and time: June 27, 2022 00:00
  • Location: Gevgelija
  • Coordinates: 41.12826, 22.51701
  • Pushback from: North Macedonia
  • Pushback to: Greece
  • Demographics: 3 person(s), age: 26-36 , from: Morocco, Tunisia
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking
  • Police involved: Four officers wearing a uniform consistent with the Frontex uniform; dark uniform with Frontex logo on the armband
  • 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: Anonymous Partner

Original Report

The respondent has been pushed back multiple times before, a testimony from his fifth pushback experience in March 2022 can be found here. The respondent has been pushed back twice since then, a testimony detailing the sixth pushback can be found here, and this report details his seventh and most recent pushback. 

The respondent, a 36-year-old from Tunisia, crossed the border from Greece to North Macedonia with two men aged 26 and 30 from Morocco. According to the respondent, at 2 AM they crossed the gate at the border and he suspected that they were detected by infrared cameras because they were subsequently caught by four officers. He maintained the officers were the suspected Frontex officers at the ‘camp’ in his sixth testimony, who wore dark uniforms with the Frontex logo on the armband. He recognised what potentially was the same unmarked black Range Rover with a Croatian number plate. 

The authorities reportedly recognised the transit group and ordered them to lay on their stomachs, where they were then beaten with a baton in the back and back legs four or five times, kicked and reportedly blinded with a flashlight “to freak them out”. The respondent explained how he and his transit group became very distressed due to the violent situation and upon seeing that the gate at the border was open, ran back and crossed into Greek territory.

The transit group slept overnight in the forest, walked to Polykastro and then travelled by bus to Thessaloniki.