Hungary accuses refugee of ‘terrorism’
A Syrian refugee has been accused of committing an “act of terror” in Hungary during last year’s clashes with border forces, as the country goes ahead with its anti-refugee policies.
The clashes erupted in September 2015 when several dozen refugees sought to cross Hungary’s southern border with Serbia at the village of Roszke after the frontier was closed with razor wire.
Police attacked the asylum seekers with tear gas and used water cannon to force them back onto Serbian territory, alleging that some of them hurled stones, sticks and bottles at security forces. The skirmishes left between 100 and 150 refugees wounded while police said 15 of their forces also sustained injuries.
Ferenc Szanka a spokesperson for prosecutors in Csongrad county claimed on Thursday that a Syrian national identified as Ahmed H., provoked the crowd, threatened the security forces and then joined the disturbances.
“In order to cross the border illegally and coerce state bodies, the man committed a criminal act of violence against persons amounting to the crime of an act of terror,” Szanka said.
Hungary has come under harsh criticism over the policies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government towards refugees and also the treatment of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers last year who wanted to travel onwards to northern Europe. Budapest stemmed the flow of refugees by closing its borders.
Under new laws approved in September, illegally crossing the border was announced as a crime rather than an infringement, while inflicting damage on frontier fences also became punishable with several years in prison.
Authorities have arrested and detained in custody over 1,000 refugees since then, with the majority later expelled from the country.
Europe has been experiencing an unprecedented inflow of refugees, most of whom are fleeing conflict-ridden zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.
Policies of major European powers are blamed by many for the unprecedented refugee exodus, as they have led to a surge in terrorism and war in the violence-hit regions, forcing more people out of their homes.
More than one million refugees have reached Europe’s shores in 2015, while over 3,700 people either died or have gone missing in their perilous journey to the continent, according to figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).