“They laughed as he requested asylum and then pushed him back”

  • Date and time: October 23, 2020 15:30
  • Location: Near Kelebija/Tompa border crossings, Hungary
  • Coordinates: 46.178916, 19.599714
  • Pushback from: Hungary
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 1 person(s), age: 27 years old , from: Morocco
  • Minors involved? No
  • Violence used: no violence used, theft of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 4 Hungarian police officers, 1 police car
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, no translator present
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Collective Aid

Original Report

The interviewee reported that he left from Martonos, Serbia with a group of four other people-on the move on the 23rd October 2020 by swimming across the Tisa river to Hungary. Everyone in the group was from Morocco, two of them minors (between 16 and 17 years old), the adults were all in their mid twenties, all male.

When the transit group got to Szeged, Hungary the group split up to minimize the risk of being apprehended by local authorities. The interviewee then preceded by himself on a train from Szeged to Budapest. Upon arrival of the train in Budapest, a Hungarian police officer boarded the train and escorted him by foot to a nearby police station. There, police officers patted him down and found 300 Euros in cash in a bandage he had around his leg because of a previous leg injury. The interviewee reported that they then proceeded to take this money and also his camp ID from Sombor camp (Serbia).

The respondent spent approximately 1,5 hours in the police station where he asked for asylum but his request was declined. The respondent reported that the police officers were making fun of his request for asylum as he asked for asylum using the french term “asile”. The officers responded by laughing, telling him that “this is not Brazil”. The officers spoke some English but mostly Hungarian which the respondent did not understand. 

After being detained the officers put the respondent into a car that took him to the Hungarian-Serbian border, close to the Kelebija border crossing. At approximately 15:30 they arrived at the border where the police officers opened a gate in the fence and told the interviewee to cross back into Serbia. The interviewee reported that there was no one on the Serbian side of the border.