““From the place i was caught to the container it was about 700m but this felt for me like a year” : Beaten, pepper sprayed and unlawfully detained, a Syrian man is pushed back barefoot from Hungary to Serbia ”

  • Date and time: May 27, 2022 04:00
  • Location: Horgos, Serbia
  • Coordinates: 46.176086402326, 19.949571999558
  • Pushback from: Hungary
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 25 person(s), age: The main respondent is 33 years old - rest is unknown , from: Afghanistan, Syria, Morocco, Algeria
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), pepper spray, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 6 security officers including at least 2 soldiers dressed in camo uniforms
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, photos taken
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Collective Aid

Original Report

On the 27th of May 2022 a group of 25 people-on-the-move got pushed back from Hungary to Serbia around the city of Horgos.

The respondent, a man from Syria, explained that after crossing the border fence into Hungary around 1am on the 27th of May, he found himself in front of a soldier who he ran away from. The chase took place on a long distance which, according to the respondent, made the soldier very angry, until they eventually both fell to the ground. The soldier caught his breath, stood up and started beat him severly with the gunstock of his weapon, referred by the respondent as a “Kalashnikov”. Still lying on the ground, he tried to protect his head with his arms which caused wounds and bruises on both wrists as well as a deep wound on the top of the head (see picture 1) and large bruises on the left thigh (see picture 2).

The respondent adds the soldier took his shoes and threw them away so he doesn’t try to escape again. He describes he was then taken by foot “to a special place for immigrants, a container” and kept on being beaten all the way. “From the place i was caught to the container it was about 700m but this felt for me like a year”. 

The respondent explains he apologized to the soldier several times and asked him to stop hitting him, in vain.

When they arrived at the container (46°10’34.4″N 19°56’32.8″E), another soldier started to beat him before locking him up with around 25 other people already detained. He was detained for around two hours and says any access to food, water or toilet was impossible. The respondent explains that during the detention someone opened the door and pepper-sprayed all the inside of the container before locking it back.

Around 4am the transit group was sent back to Serbia through a gate in the fence close to Horgos while being filmed by the Hungarian authorities. The respondent was wounded and still barefoot when he was pushed back along with 25 other people.