Syrian Family Tells of Harassment and Cruelty in Hungary


WienTV from Vienna conducted an interview via translator with a Syrian family who had been in Röszke refugee detention camp in Hungary. The following video with English subtitles was filmed September 6, 2015 at the Wien Westbahnhof railway station in Austria.

VIDEO: Syrian Family Tells of Harassment and Cruelty in Hungary


We came via Serbia to Hungary – by taxi (people smuggler)- the police followed us and stopped the taxi and police arrested us, brought us to prison
men, women and children were all put together in this prison – they beat us because we did not want to register in Hungary
they took everything away from us! – we had to put off all our clothes

completely naked?

all clothes except underwear – they also tried to steal our money

They wanted to steal your money?

The money was sewed into the underwear and they tried to take it from her – at the end she could keep it – they also took our passports and made (photo) copies of all documents

the interpreter (translator) who was there told us – that police says “if you don’t register, we break your arms!” We refused to register in Hungary and got beaten up!

ID bracelet of a Refugee held in Roszke Image by Christopher Glanzl

ID bracelet of a Refugee held in Roszke
Image by Christopher Glanzl

we got this in prison (showing bracelet) with a number on it

his brother is under shock, he did not want to join the interview – he got beaten too – on the ribs

So that means, they were forced violently to make a registration in Hungary

police gave them pastry to eat – a kind of sausage?
food in cans (tinned food) – they could only eat those with fish in them

I don’t understand why the Hungarians treat us so bad! – three nights and three days we were in prison! We did not have our medicine anymore! they took away our medicine! I said “I am ill, I am ill!” and when I complained they wanted to hit me!

the police man wanted to hit her because she wanted her medicine
she had terrible stomach ache and he suffered from head ache (migraine) and was not allowed to get his medicine – he also needed something – they only got water but no medicine at all – it was really bad!

after three days, they stuffed us all into buses
They forced you?
again all were put together: men, women, children and even babies – we were all stuffed in the bus, it was very densely – including many children – her brother complained, why they put new born babies into prison – they just answered: “Shut up!”

there was another family from Syria with a – with a small child, 4 or 5 years old – it was cold and the [father of other family]put off his trousers to protect his son from freezing

after the complaint of her brother, 7 police men came and punched him – they knocked him down to the floor – they also had electric shockers! – when they got outside, it rained and he was without trousers and asked for a new pair of trousers and they said no – he wasn’t even allowed to cover from rain under a roof

Roszke Refugee Camp Image by Christopher Glanzl

Roszke Refugee Camp
Image by Christopher Glanzl

they saw how that man got beaten up by police and everyone revolted and hit against the fence – then ALL police men came – they beat him until he was unconscious
police fixed the man and used electric shockers to knock him out
The man shouted: “My back, my back!”
at first, he tried to stand up again, but they pushed him down again and he was unconscious for about 5 minutes
then, an Arab interpreter came to him and said: “Don’t defend yourself, you’re in a prison and you have to do what they say!”
after 3 days in prison they were brought to a refugee camp
when they left the bus, there were chains along the way, so they can not flee

we had to wait first for 4 hours in the overcrowded bus without water! no food!
then they came to the camp – the camp was secured with barb wire all around – there were tents and broke beds – also very densely populated. it was dark and dirty. – there were electric fences too

We had to pay for the food in the camp! – one pack of cigarettes = 15 € – soup = 10 € – but they already spent all the money for taxi / “people smuggler” at the beginning

In the camp, they sell SIM cards for mobile phones – price: 30 €

police often showed their middle fingers to them at the camp – very humiliating

Image by Christopher Glanzl

Image by Christopher Glanzl

some people in the camp with GPS found out, that the camp is surrounded by a river on all sides – each day, they only got ONE can of fish and a can of pastry to eat – We had to stay in this camp for two days – Inside the camp, there is a small supermarket – it is very expensive – maximum 20% of the people could use the supermarket, because it is so expensive – everyone else had to starve – all the children suffered from hunger

if anybody did anything “wrong” or tried to resist, they were beaten by police immediately

yesterday we had to wait 2 hours in the rain for the bus – inside the bus, there were 2 police men – the police men said: “we’re going to another camp”
we answered: “we don’t want to go to camp!” – some people in the bus already were registered – but they still could not leave!

the bus passed Budapest – people said, they want to leave in Budapest, after they saw where they are via GPS – they knocked on the windows of the bus
… so one police man took the electro shocker and threatened everyone to use it

they told us in English, they let us out at the petrol station – at the petrol station, they were allowed to use toilets – there was police EVERYWHERE
police always followed every person to the toilet to prevent escaping – there were 15 police cars – and they all left their cars to “secure” the toilets

He has a video of this situation -they were all heavily armed -that was during the night -then they arrived at the other place in the early morning – then we marched for 7 hours

they only needed to show one of their travel documents and asked the refugees:
“Do you want to stay in camp or do you want to leave?” – they didn’t know what was written on the document. – but one person spoke Hungarian and told them, that this is a permission to use trains

…but without enough money for the train, they started to march … it took them 7 hours – police accompanied the refugee march in the front and in the back until they reached Nickelsdorf (Austrian side of the border)

it was really hard for everyone, especially the children – the boy swears, that everything that was just told is true – he says thanks that you listened to his story




About Author

Erin Gallagher is a multimedia artist, translator and writer for Revolution News.