Report by Cecilia
On the13th April at 6am a 25-year-old man from Syria left an informal camp near the town of Sombor, in Northern Serbia, with a group of other 12 Syrian men. They walked for about two hours and at about 8 am the group tried to cross the Serbian-Hungarian border. The man states that while the group was crossing the border, they heard and saw a drone flying over their heads as well as a helicopter. The fear, says, began to invade the entire group.
At that point, reportedly, one white van and one black van arrived on the spot. According to the man, eleven men in uniform were in the vehicles. Seven people were described as wearing a blue navy uniform with a red patch on the upper arm, likely matching the description of the uniforms usually worn by Hungarian Border Police. The other four people were described as wearing green camouflage uniforms.
As the man was descending the ladder he found to climb over the barber wire present on the Serbian-Hungarian border fence, on of the people in uniforms pulled the ladder out from under him. The man reflexively grabbed onto the barbed wire, injuring both his hands extremely seriously.
The man states that it was the officers wearing the green camouflage uniforms who took the ladder away from him as he was descending. After falling off the fence, the man reports that these same people were equipped with a megaphone with which they issued orders and insulted the members of the transit group.
According to the man, the officers further shouted at him in English: “sit down, sit down”; “shut up and sit down”; ” fuck you, sit down“.
Afterwards, the man recalls that the officers forced them to kneel one by one on the ground. All of them used a lot of physical violence against the group. Some of the officers beat them by punching them in the face, others by kicking them, and others used pepper spray against them. Some people on the move were thrown to the ground, kicked, and beaten with batons. The officers further broke people’s phones and sim cards.
After that, the group was split up. According to the man, 7 of them were loaded in a black van and taken to a place the man refers to as a “Hungarian prison” (he could not remember additional information about its location), while the group to which the man belonged was placed in a vehicle almost that he describes as almost the size of a bus, white in colour and with the Hungarian flag on the front. The man describes the interior of the van as consisting of “many cells inside”. From the cell he was locked into, he could not see the rest.
Reportedly, in each cell there were three to four people. According to the man there were around 40 people in the vehicle. They stayed in the cells for a period that felt as at least 10 hours, without access to food and water. The man states that when the group asked for food and water, the officers replied: “shut up“, “fuck you“. Eventually, they were all pushed back around Horgos at around 6pm.
The point where the officers released the group is referred to as located near a petrol station on the Serbian-Hungarian border where there is a big Hungarian police building, that he refers to as a “police station”.
Before being pushed back to Serbia, the vehicle stopped there for a while. The man says he was taken to a first aid station where another person in uniform put medicated his wound.
The man says he was in a lot of pain. The interview ends with a question from the respondent’s side:
From No Name Kitchen we want to remind that people need to cross the borders on these dangerous ways because the European Union does not offer other alternatives to claim asylum. With legal and safe ways to migrate, people would not risk their lives or health on these ways.