“I don’t know if he is dead or he is alive. I have no idea”

  • Date and time: November 29, 2019 06:00
  • Location: Evros river, near Uzunkopru (est. loc.)
  • Coordinates: 41.329620651505046, 26.600317092350565
  • Push-back from: Greece
  • Push-back to: Turkey
  • Demographics: 3 person(s), age: 25-6 years old , from: Morocco
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: water immersion, theft of personal belongings, binding hands and feet
  • Police involved: 13-4 balaclava officers ("kagol") in Greek territory. Later handed over to Turkish police officers.
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Philoxenia

    Original Report

    The respondent attempted to cross the Turkey-Greece border on the night of 28/29th of November 2019. The respondent was in a transit group of three other people between the ages of 25-26 years old. They were all from Morocco. The transit group attempted to cross the border from the Turkish city of Uzunkopru which is located next the Evros River that runs along the border between Turkey and Greece.

    The transit group crossed the border at around 05:00-06:00. On reaching Greek land, the transit group saw officers in balaclavas and proceeded to hide under a tree. The police officers caught one of the members of the transit group. The officers in balaclavas tied this man’s wrists and ankles together using plastic cable ties and threw him into the Evros River. The respondent states that he still does not know what happened to this man:

    “I don’t know if he is dead or he is alive. I have no idea”

    The other members of transit group ran for about 200m but were arrested by more officers in balaclavas.

    The respondent explains that there were about 13 to 14 officers. The officers took the transit groups belongings and then took the group to a prison on the Greek side of the river. The transit group was then pushed back to Turkey (on the same day of 29th November 2019, where they were given to Turkish police. The Turkish police took everything that the transit group had left including clothes, phone, money and jewelry.