Report on Police Violence during Push-Backs from Hungary

Currently, there are around 300 people per day arriving in Serbia. They
come either from Turkey through Bulgaria or from Greece through
Macedonia. The accounts we hear from people stopping over in Belgrade
are of difficult journeys, often with violent encounters with
authorities or gangs. In Belgrade, many people rest for a few days
before they continue their journey to the Hungarian border. There are
two transit zones where people can legally enter Hungary. However,
people often have to wait for weeks before it is their turn to enter.
The conditions of the camps at these transit zones are miserable.
Therefore, many people try to cross the fence into Hungary on their own.
After having entered Hungary, people face three scenarios. They are
either pushed-back to Serbia, detained for some time or sent directly to
open camps. From the open camps, most people try to continue their
journey towards Austria.

In the last days we witnessed an increased number of people who left for
Hungary returning to Belgrade. They crossed into Hungary, but were
caught by the police and pushed back to Serbia through a hole in fence.
Many people reported violent behaviour by the Hungarian police,
including pepper spray, electrical shocks, beatings and setting dogs on

On Wednesday 22 June, at least 50 people returned from the border. We
spoke with people from a group of twelve and another group of 23 who
testified having had similar experiences. This is the recorded report of
one of them. It is representative of the experiences of many others. It
contains explicit details and images of physical violence.

“I went to Hungary three times. The first time after a walk of five
minutes the police came with dogs and beat me and then we were brought
to the border again and they sent me back. The second time I walked for
half an hour and they came and beat me again and they sent me back. The
third time I walked ten kilometres in three hours and again they beat me
and sent me back. So the Hungarian police is a big problem for refugees
because they beat them.

I walked for ten kilometres in Hungary and the police came and beat me.
They cut a hole in the fence and pushed us through the fence. We were
twelve persons and the police beat all twelve persons. One had a wound
on his head with blood. They had a helicopter. And they also used
electric shockers. And they also had pepper-spray. This is very
dangerous. If the refugees go back to Serbia they can not see anything.
They go there and fall in the fence with razors so they have a lot of cuts.
(shows wounds on a friend’s arm, right)

(shows a wound on a friend’s leg, left)
This is from a dog. The dog bit him. This was five days ago.

(shows his swollen and bruised foot)
My foot is hurt. I cannot walk. And this is also a problem, I cannot
walk and they beat me again and again. I could not walk very well all
the time because this was five days ago. If you can see this, my foot is
big and swollen.

I tried to cross the border three times in four days. No sleep, only
running and walking. We walked through dirty water like this (points up
to his neck) two times. We had nothing to drink, we drank the dirty
water from the ground. No food. The third time I walked ten kilometres
without water. And I have also kidney problems. I told the Hungarian
police that I have kidney problems and they beat me again. I told them
‘give me water’ but they didn’t give me water. And we had one family
with us. They beat one of the family one the head and broke another
one’s bones (points to the arm) and there was also one sleeping child,
five or six years. And the family and women, they beat them on their head.

Why do they beat us? They can bring us back but why do they beat us?
That is the problem. The same happens to a lot of other people. Maybe
one hundred. And they beat me only a little, but other people have their
heads broken.

We don’t want to stay in Hungary! We want to go to France, to Germany,
to Italy, to London. We just want to pass Hungary. Please, I am going to
Italy or London, but all misafir1 have problems in Hungary. Nobody wants
to stay in Hungary!

Why do they beat us? At first we all face the Bulgarian police and they
all beat us. The Serbian police they are very good. When they caught us
they did not touch us and said ‘go to the border, go to Subotica’ and
‘go to Belgrade’. They do not beat us. But why did the Hungarian police
beat us? And what is the rule of that ten kilometres? Why can they beat me?

They also beat children and women. We are men, but why do they beat
children? A lot of people said the Hungarian police is not allowed to do
that type of beatings. Why do they beat now?

My message is that: They cannot beat the refugees. Because refugees have
no food, no water. Then they beat them so they have even more problems.
My message to the other EU countries is that they should force Hungary
so they do not beat the refugees. Because they had a lot of problems,
that’s why they came in this country. They are not a million, not a
billion who come there. We had a lot of problems, that’s why we have to
come to Europe, Germany, France, Italy or Austria. If they have a new
law, that’s ok. But they can not beat us.

So my message is that all European countries should force Hungarian
police and Bulgarian police to stop beating us and they should help all

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