“The men expressed their intention to seek asylum, but the officers didn’t respond ”

  • Date and time: May 21, 2018 23:00
  • Location: Forest near Serbo-Hungarian border, Hungary
  • Coordinates: 46.37271374291519, 20.226788764609864
  • Push-back from: Hungary
  • Push-back to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 14 person(s), age: 3-4 underaged, others 18-24 years old , from: Afghanistan, Pakistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: About 40 hungarian police officers, 3 police dogs, 6-7 police cars
  • Taken to a police station?: unknown
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Rigardu

Original Report

On Saturday 21st of March 2018, in the evening, 14 people, (7 from Pakistan, 7 from Afghanistan, 3-4 minors and the others 18-24 years), tried to move from Sombor, Serbia, to Hungary. The people from Pakistan had walked towards Sombor from Subotica for three nights before departing. The whole group walked across the Serbian-Hungarian border, and continued in a “taxi” in Hungarian territory. They passed a big city and shortly thereafter, at about 11pm on the 21st, they were stopped by 3 Hungarian border police officers, who called for city police officers, (about 35-40, male and female, city police officers in uniforms), who joined the first group of officers along with 3 dogs, and about 6-7 police cars. The men expressed their intention to seek asylum, but the officers didn’t respond appropriately and instead shouted: “Go back to Serbia!”

The officers ordered the men to sit down and checked their bodies and bags with the dogs and asked them for their belongings. The police took mobile phones of some of the men (about 4 phones in total), threw water over some of the phones in order to break them, before giving them back to the men. They also took 50-100 euros from each of the men, cut the banknotes with scissors in pieces and threw them away. Some of the officers violently assaulted some of the people in the group, beating them with sticks and hands, as well as kicking them all over their bodies and in the head.

They asked for the names of the men and took photos of them. They didn’t take any fingerprints, the men were not asked to sign any papers and no documents were given to them. Afterwards, at about 1am on Sunday 22nd the officers started to push back the men to Serbia in smaller groups. The group with the respondent (4 men), were transported to somewhere in the middle of a dark forest at the Serbian-Hungarian border. The group could not see where they were driven to. There, the officers again shouted at the men to “Go back to Serbia!” The men obeyed, and walked in cold and snow without proper warm clothes for the rest of the night and the following day and night before they reached a town, where they found a bus to Subotica (about 30 minute drive). From Subotica they continued by foot to surroundings of Subotica to a place where they had stayed earlier and found their residence destroyed.