At 02:00 on 15th September 2020, a group of ten men and two women were violently pushed back from Romania to Serbia. Everyone in the group was from Syria, between the ages of 20-30.
The group entered Romania from the vicinity of Mokrin, in the North of Serbia. After walking 4-5km into Romania, the group was stopped by three police cars, each with two Romanian police officers (male) in them. The transit group sat down on the ground next to the road. Despite cooperating, one of the officers, who was described as wearing camouflage pants and a black vest, started beating them with a wooden baton with a cable attached. The primary respondent described that the beating was heavy and included frequent hitting on the head.
“He kept beating without looking where the cable was falling, so most people got hit on their head”
After this first incident, the six Romanian officers told the group to move onto the road and stand between two cars in a row, two by two. Many could not follow the instructions communicated in English because they could not understand. In response, the officers continuously hit them with the baton.
Afterwards the Romanian officers walked the group back to the Serbian border, handing them over to Serbian border guards. The Serbian guards gave the transit group instructions on how to walk back to Mokrin. The Serbian border guards did not show any violence towards the group.