“They beat him with metal batons and pushed him back”

  • Date and time: February 4, 2021 22:00
  • Location: Near Gara, Hungary
  • Coordinates: 46.028862275417, 19.035221226953
  • Pushback from: Hungary
  • Pushback to: Serbia
  • Demographics: 8 person(s), age: 17-19 years old , from: Afghanistan
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking
  • Police involved: 8-9 male Hungarian border guards wearing green uniforms, 2 small white cars, 2 middle-sized black vans
  • 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

The respondent, an 18-year-old man from Afghanistan, reported leaving from Sombor, Serbia on the 4th February around 5 PM. He was travelling with a group of 7 more people on the move, all from Afghanistan between the ages of 17 and 19 years. He reported that the group crossed the border close to the Serbian village Riđica around 7 pm and then proceeded to walk for approximately 1.5 hours in the forest until being apprehended by around 8-9 Hungarian border guards close to the Hungarian village of Gara, all-male and reported to have been wearing green uniforms. 

According to the respondent, the Hungarian border officials asked them: “Why Hungary?” and then proceeded to hit just him with a metal baton on his shoulders and kick his ankles, this lasted for approximately one minute (see picture).  He reported that no one else from the group was subjected to physical violence. After two hours of the group waiting, more police arrived bringing the vehicles to a total of 4 vehicles, which were described as 2 small white cars and 2 black vans. The respondent did not recall how many officers were there in total in the end and did not recall which vehicles were there from the beginning and which arrived later on. 

The respondent described that when the second group of Hungarian border officers arrived, they proceeded to take pictures of everyone’s faces, Serbian camp-ID cards and noted down their names. They reportedly drove them back to the Serbian border in the black vans and ordered them to walk back across through a gate in the fence approximately around 10 pm, filming them during that process. The pushback occurred to the south of Gara, which is roughly 6km from the border with Serbia. No Serbian border guards were waiting for them on the other side. 

Swelling on the ankle suffered from the incident.