“From North Macedonia to Greece”

  • Date and time: May 2, 2020 03:30
  • Location: Alongside the railway that connect Thessaloniki with Bitola
  • Coordinates: 41.128541538308056, 22.514714776795643
  • Pushback from: North Macedonia
  • Pushback to: Greece
  • Demographics: 4 person(s), age: Y. 25 years old , from: Morocco
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: no violence used
  • Police involved: Army officers
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, personal information taken, no translator present
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Unknown
  • Reported by: No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On Friday 1st May 2020, the respondent together with three more people from Morocco attempted to cross from Greece to North Macedonia. Around 18:00 or 19:00 of that day, the transit group of four were caught in the train in which they were traveling as stowaways. Although the specific location is unknown, the respondent states it was North Macedonian territory. He also also asserts that the officers who found them in the train were wearing army clothes (green uniforms) and carrying big guns. There were between 6 or 7 officers. They asked the transit group for their bags and took all their clothes from their backpacks, and only gave back their food.

After this, three army officer transferred them by a van, white colour, in which the group in transit were sat in the rear, as there were chairs in the backside of the vehicle. They took them to an “office” building. The respondent shared that he didn’t know what kind of facility it was, describing it as a “building with one floor, surrounded by a fence; inside the place there were two small rooms and one big room”. The respondent stated it was like an “army station, not police station”. They waited inside for seven hours, and officers asked them their names, where they come from and other questions according to the respondent. They were not fingerprinted or taken pictures or given any document.

At 03:00 or 04:00 on 2nd May 2020, the group in transit were taken to the border with Greece guarded by three police officer. Those told them: “go!” after opening a door in the fence. They did not insult or exercise violence against the respondent. In Greece, they walked like 45 minutes till they arrived to one train station to come back to Thessaloniki.