“pushed back twice within 24 hours”

  • Date and time: May 7, 2021 00:14
  • Location: Gevgelija, North Macedonia
  • Coordinates: 41.126641465539, 22.519505535645
  • Pushback from: North Macedonia
  • Pushback to: Greece
  • Demographics: 5 person(s), age: 17-35 years old , from: Morocco
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), gunshots
  • Police involved: 8 Macedonian police officers (both male and female), wearing blue and black uniforms with the Macedonian sign on the shoulder, police officers in the camp with light blue uniforms, one white car with the sign Police written on it.
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: fingerprints taken, photos taken, personal information taken, denial of access to toilets, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Anonymous Partner

Original Report

The respondent is an 18-year-old Moroccan man who was pushed back with five other Moroccan men. 

According to the respondent, once the group crossed the Greek Macedonian border on a truck and arrived in a village, the truck driver called the police and 8 police officers apprehended them straight from the truck. It happened at 12:00 am.

The police officers were male and female, wearing blue and black uniforms with the Macedonian sign on the shoulder.

According to the respondent, the police officers checked their belongings but did not take anything. The respondent and others from the transit group were also asked by the officers where they were from. The group was loaded in a bus described as being a “bus for traveling”. Two police officers accompanied the transit group into the bus. 

After a 20 minutes drive, the transit group was brought to a camp next to the border. Once there, the fingerprints, pictures, and personal data of the people from the transit group were taken. The respondent’s personal information was taken by different police officers, who were working for the camp and wearing light blue uniforms.

The camp was described by the respondent as being small, there had truck inside and there is like offices in this camp.”

The transit group was brought back with the same bus at the border. The ride took 5 minutes. The group was told to cross the gate and reach the Greek side. It was around 2:00 pm.

No one of the group asked for asylum.

Once in Greece, the group crossed the border to North Macedonia on foot the same day. They went walking to a village following the train tracks and were apprehended by police officers. According to the respondent, it was the same officers that apprehended them outside the truck the day before.

“A [police] car came, and they [the officers] start to shout to [the transit group] them “stop stop” and they shoot in the air and they didn’t stop, they escaped.”

While escaping, the respondent was separated from the rest of the group. He kept walking following the highway. Police officers came by car and apprehended him.  It was approximately 3:00 am.

According to the respondent, it was two officers driving a white car with “Police” written on it.

Other police officers, described as wearing light blue uniforms, came and brought the same bus where he was transported previously.

The respondent was loaded on the bus. Two officers questioned him about where his friends were, where he was going, and why he crossed had back over the border into North Macedonia. They started beating him on all his body with a metal stick for about one minute.

The respondent was brought once again to the camp, and his personal data was collected. Afterward, officers pushed him back from the same gate as the day before. According to the respondent, the second pushback occurred at 5 am.

He did not receive food, water, or access to the toilet at any moment while in the camp.