Hungary: The current situation of the Röszke11 [ENG]


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The trial of ten people accused for „illegal border crossing and participation in mass riot”

After the end of the trial on „first level court” most of the people were sent to Bicske, that is an open camp near Budapest in Hungary. At the moment seven people are in Western Europe. The other three people are still in Hungary.

Yamen A., whose verdict was three years imprisonment and 10 years expulsion from Hungary is currently in the prison of Szeged. We are trying to get in touch with him, but the procedure is quite complicated.

Farouk A. is in a detention center in Kiskunhalas. After the end of the trial he was sent also to Bicske, but a few days later he was moved to Kiskunhalas. The pretrial detention has to be renewed in every two months, the decision will be reviewed in September by the Immigration office (BÁH).

Kamel J. is in the detention center of Békéscsaba and his application for family reunification is in progress. Apart from Yamen, he is the only person who was not in Bicske after the trial, he was immediately moved into the detention center. After two months he requested his relocation into open camp, but the Immigration Office refused it justifying the decision with his lack of identity documents and prolonged his detention. His lawyer argued that until the decision of the family reunification most probably they will not be able to achieve his relocation. They are waiting to receive the decision in the middle of September.

In the „first level court” verdict people got 2-10 years of expulsion from Hungary. The phrasing of the decision is really obscure, with some legal twist it could mean expulsion from the Schengen Zone. According to the lawyer of Kamel J. , probably if people leave Hungary before the verdict come into force, the decision can be applied just on Hungary, not on the whole Schengen Zone.

The „first level court” has sent the verdict to the „second level court” recently, most probably the trials on the „second level” will not start before 2017. People who are already abroad do not have to attend the trials personally, their lawyer can represent them.

The trial of Ahmed H., who is accused for „the crime of terrorism and other crimes”

Ahmed H. is in the prison of Venyige street in Budapest. He is remanded in custody until his next trial which will be on the 23d of September in Szeged.


Join the international solidarity campaign


In 2015 September, was the time when the Hungarian border fence to Serbia was closed violently and it became from one day to the other illegal – by criminal law – to cross. The fence, which until now grossly violates people’s right to move and seek asylum was put in place. So, while the government was transporting people themselves to Austria by busses the day before, on September 16th the police was using tear gas and water cannons against people who wanted to do so. Out of the place of the protest, they arrested the 11 accused completely randomly, among those people who could not leave that quickly when the counter-terrorist police force attacked the demonstration. Among them are very young and very old people, sick people, a person in a wheelchair.

After nearly 10 month of detention, in horrible conditions, after the falsification of translations and the biased refusal to take into consideration important video material and the brutal use of tear gas of the police, the accused were found guilty – while the  international media didn’t pay attention and covered the trial 10 of the accused got prison sentences between 1 and 3 years and expulsion from Hungary for up to 10 years, while one, Ahmed H., accused for terrorism – for throwing stones – is facing up to 20 years of imprisonmen. the decision is not the final one,  the prosecutor announced to go into revision and demanded harder punishment. The accused and their defense lawyers also appealed against the decision. So due to Hungarian laws the case is escalated to second level court in Szeged.

While most of the accused had already served the prison time they have been sentenced to and are now either in open camps, soon to be released from detention or have left Hungary already, for two this is not the case: Yamen A., who was sentenced to 3 years of prison in Szeged, and Ahmed H., still waiting for his verdict in prison in Budapest, are still kept in long-term physical detention. While the main focus of the campaign at the moment is on the immediate freedom of the Ahmad H. (20 years) and Yamen A. (3 years) it’s also important to  consider how the criminalization and the stigmata, the massive psychological trauma, the threat of expulsion separating them from their families in the EU, is something that prolongs, even after the physical release. The lives of the 11 people are used to state an example, with which the Hungarian state wants to create an atmosphere of fear and criminalize movement as such.

The Röszke trial is revealing the reality of a system in which state and police violence is never put in question, and in which money and goods can move freely but not people. The trials are happening in an increasingly repressive context. They are happening in a context of militarized European borders, in which people get pushed back multiple times violently at the Serbian-Hungarian border, robbed and beaten up by paramilitary groups, while Hungarian majors proudly post pictures of people at the border tied up in dehumanizing poses before they get pushed back to Serbia. They are happening in a context in which the legal frameworks get shaped in a way that such violence is legitimized and in a context full of racist propaganda, in which theHungary holds a referendum (on October 2nd), symbolically letting Hungarian citizens chose between the forced relocation scheme of the EU and the ‘Hungarian solution’ of fencing off people completely.
This case is one of many horrible cases within the ongoing European migration policy. But it is crucial not only because it reveals the absurdity of European politics of migration, the repression of the EU border regime and the oppressive politics which lie behind the ‘innocent’ idea of state institutions particularly well, but also because those repressive politics are also this time pushed forward at the massive cost of individuals lives.

We invite everybody, individuals and collectives to join and support this campaign in all possible ways. Spread information, organize solidarity actions and join the two demonstration in September! Let’s unite and fight the repression of borders and states!

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