“They were laughing as they forced them to undress”

  • Date and time: October 31, 2020 00:00
  • Location: Near Horgos/ Röszke border crossing, Hungary
  • Coordinates: 46.174064806594, 19.949288675333
  • Push-back from: Hungary
  • Push-back to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 12 person(s), age: 3 minors (unknown age), 9 people between 20-30 years old , from: Syria, Yemen
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, insulting, threatening with guns, forcing to undress, destruction of personal belongings
  • Police involved: 6 police officers in black uniforms, more police in army clothing, one white police car with blue line on the side, one green car and one black van, dogs
  • Taken to a police station?: no
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention:
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: No
  • Reported by: Collective Aid

Original Report

A group of eight people from Syria, including three minors and one family crossed to Hungary on the evening of the 30th October near Horgos, Serbia. They proceeded by foot for roughly 5-6 kilometres before they started to see lights in the forest in the distance. Shortly after they were met by six policemen in black uniforms telling them to stop while pointing guns at them.

The interviewee reported that everyone in the group stopped stopped but the policemen still proceeded to kick group members, including women and minors. Shortly after, one white police vehicle arrived as well as a green car and a black van. It was reported that the beatings then continued, mostly with officers using branches from trees, for approximately 15 minutes.

The officers then reportedly searched all bags and clothes of the apprehended group, forcing all men to undress to their underwear while laughing at them. When the male officers proceeded to pat down the female members of the group, the male members of the group told the officers not to touch the women to which the officers just replied:

“Shut up! Don’t speak! Fuck all the Syrians! Fuck all refugees! You are shit!”

It was reported that the officers were swearing both in English and Hungarian, which the group did not understand. After they had finished searching their bags and patting everyone down, the group was allowed to get dressed again, apart from their jackets even though group members were telling officers they were cold. The group was kept at this location place in the forest for 3-4 hours. The officers hit anyone who tried to sleep. During that time, it was reported that five phones of group members were destroyed by officers. Access to drinking water was denied.

After this 3-4 hours, four more people apprehended by police were brought to the same spot by an unknown amount of police officers. One of them had a bleeding head wound, reportedly inflicted to him by Hungarian border police. The two groups were held together at the spot for an additional hour.

Afterwards all of them were put into vans and driven to a location on the border fence to Serbia (exact coordinates unknown) where pictures of their faces were taken as well as a video of them walking back to Serbia through a door in the border fence. They were ejected over the border in the early hours of 31st October 2020.