By Levke and B.
“They fly over the whole forest with the drones.” B. hides behind a tree lying on the ground for a good twenty minutes when a new group of people who had managed to get through the border appear in the same place. “I was hopeful that I had escaped from the serbian police.” The infrared binoculars allow the Hungarian and Austrian soldiers to see every human movement, so also B. and the group that is in the same place as him. B had climbed the fence and is now on the Hungarian side, 3 kilometers from the EU’s external border, hidden for two hours waiting for daylight.
“Stop, go down” they shine a torch straight into his eyes, blinding him for a few long seconds. The authorities take his bag and empty it in front of him, throwing everything on the ground. He is pushed around and falls in front of him on the grass. While their main goal is to find phones or other valuable objects in their bags to confiscate and destroy, they get creative. They go through the pockets of jackets and anything else the five of them wear on their torsos.
“Eat this in 30 seconds.” They hold up the bread that they found in the bag, which B. is supposed to finish in 30 seconds except that it is impossible to eat this bread and he runs out. In response to his failure to finish the bread, they hit him with wood, bamboo and clubs. It is early morning at about 6 o’clock. The sun is not yet up but it feels like it’s going to be daylight. No matter how much he begs them to stop hitting him and or beating him with other tools, “shut up” “bastard, fuck you” and other insults in languages he doesn’t understand are their respones. “My back hurts so much, I’m just waiting for him to stop hitting me.” But every time they ask to stop, the soldiers speed up.
In addition to the bread, there are also biscuits in the bag. The soldiers step on them and break them with their boots and then force them to eat what is on the ground while sitting on their knees like a dog. When he stops eating to be able to breathe, they hit him on the back and shout “faster, faster you bullshit”. During all this torture, the soldiers do not stop laughing at them. Often they don’t understand what they say because they speak in German or Hungarian.
They are two groups, one of 8, one of 5, all armed and masked, dressed in black.
“We are not allowed to raise our eyes, to look at them and see who is torturing us. Once they lift their heads, they get beaten even more. After they have had to eat the bread and biscuits, the soldiers find something else that they force three of the five people who are all just trying to get to a safe place in europe, to eat: ladybirds and snails that they find on the ground not far from where the five men are lying on their stomachs, their heads in the mud. “It was five against twelve, except that we didn’t even have the possibility to defend ourselves.”
After finishing the torture with the food, the soldiers continue with the other things they find in the different bags of the people, including redbull and toothpaste. They empty the energy drinks as well as the toothpaste on the heads of the people, laughing.
“They did what they wanted with us. They took everything from us.”
The whole procedure lasted about two hours, says B. Then the real pushback begins, which means that the soldiers take them back to the border to send them back to Serbia. They will be forced to walk the three kilometers back to Serbia to the fence where military trucks are already waiting for them.
None of the six can yet walk properly, so beaten, humiliated and mistreated have they been. So one of them collapses from time to time. But they have to walk in single file and as soon as one of them falls and the others logically stop to help him up, there are new blows.
Finally, they arrive at the border and come across Hungarian policemen who confiscate their backpacks, place them in the trunk and put them on the back seats of the van and drive them to the border office. Once they arrive at the office, at customs, one by one they are asked to enter the passageway next to the building where they have their picture taken. Each one holds a number and their picture is taken.
After a good 4 hours, they find themselves on the Serbian side of the border with their bags. They are all exhausted and even more traumatized. “Now I believe that people really don’t like us. I don’t feel myself any longer as a human being, they took every dignity from me.”
These testimonies are rare to be shared by a few people. At the moment there are thousands of people on the Hungarian-Serbian border trying to reach the European Union and almost all of them are undergoing similar experiences of being sent back in such an inhuman and violent way from Hungary. Here every day the human rights of many people who have already been through hell are violated again.
There are only so many articles and testimonies that can be written about the horrific and inhuman treatment that takes place here. Most of the people we meet here are subjected to this type of torture and harassment several times. The physical violence inflicted on them can be immortalized in pictures. The psychological violence they suffer, however, cannot be represented in pictures. This makes it all the more important to stop being silent and to strongly condemn the violence that is taking place here, on behalf of all human beings living in the European Union.
No human being should be exposed to these human rights violations and everyone has the right to an untouched life. Borders and their militarisation fuel these methods of torture, so stop them! Join the resistance and fight for human rights !