“When they let us go at the border in Serbia, the police act like they dropped the trash.”

  • Date and time: October 10, 2021 12:00
  • Location: near Subotica
  • Coordinates: 46.189118970563, 19.652722792969
  • Pushback from: Hungary
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 25 person(s), age: 17 - 35 years old , from: Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan
  • Minors involved? Unknown
  • Violence used: kicking, pushing people to the ground
  • Police involved: Hungarian police men in Hungarian police uniform with 1, 2 and 3 stars and 7 cars
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, photos taken, personal information taken, papers signed, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Collective Aid

Original Report

The respondent was crossing the border to Hungary. They were 26 people and they crossed the border together. They lost one person in the forest and went looking for him. They could not find him and moved on and walked around 10 kilometers to then get picked up at highway 55.

They were picked up by taxis and made their way to Budapest. They were driving for 1.5 hours to Budapest. On their way to Budapest, the taxis got stopped by the police. There were 7 police cars and they blocked the road.

It was around 12 policemen. They were wearing Hungarian police uniforms with 1, 2 and 3 stars and driving a Mercedes without a police logo on it.

The Hungarian police were pushing them out of the car and the respondent claims that the police seemed happy that they were able to detain the people they found. The police ordered people to sit down and asked the respondent and his group where they are from and if someone was from Egypt. The respondents said that the police was using violence when they had to exit the car. The police pushed them and pulled them on their clothing.

“You feel like you are a criminal like you have killed somebody.”

“Even though Hungary is European and it should be civilized, they act like animals, really”

The respondent did not understand what they were saying because they spoke Hungarian, but he had the feeling they were making jokes about him. “Maybe it was because I am black from Africa and that’s why they made jokes about me ”

The police told the respondent to sit in the car and after 2 hours a bus arrived and brought the respondent and his group to a police station in Budapest. They were interrogated by a man in civil clothing, who was armed. The respondents did not know who the man was, but the room in which they were in looked like the office of the person in charge. He asked questions about their countries of origin, how the respondents came into Hungary, about the smugglers and about the price of the smuggling, and where their destination is.

There was a translator present in the police station. The respondents said that he asked for asylum, but the translator said that the respondent cannot ask for asylum, because the “Hungarian people are not friendly and they don’t like Muslims and don’t like Arabic speaking people”. The translator said that he knows this information because he was living in Hungary for 10 years and said that there is no way he could apply for asylum.

They took pictures of the people detained as well as their name and their country of origin. The respondent signed a statement about what he said about the taxi driver because the police officers told him that they will use this in court.

After that, the respondent and 24 other people were detained in a cold room for 5 to 6 hours. They asked for food and water, but it was denied. In the beginning, they were also denied smoking cigarettes, but after a few hours, the policeman allowed them to smoke individually outside the room. They were at the police station for about 10 hours in total.

Then the Hungarian police brought a bus and drove people back to the border to Subotica.

“When they let us go at the border in Serbia, the police act like they dropped the trash.”