Tag Archives: migration

Hungary: refugee given 10 year sentence for rebellion at Röszke border crossing

 (Reposted from rabble)

cygyawcwgaar1od

On Wednesday, a court in Szeged, Hungary, sentenced Ahmed H. to 10 years’ imprisonment plus expulsion for the unrest at the Röszke/Horgos border crossing in September 2015.

Ahmed is a Syrian refugee. He was convicted of ‘terrorism’ and ‘illegal border crossing’, and given a 10 year sentence for having been seen using a megaphone and throwing stones. The reality is that they needed to pluck out and parade and some kind of leader-figure from the chaotic, mass rebellion that has played out not just at Roszke, but time and again at different border bottlenecks across Europe over the past few years. He was shackled by the hands and feet and literally held on a leash during the trial.

Migszol, a Hungarian migrant solidarity group, explains the background to the case:

“Ahmed was arrested a bit more than a year ago, shortly after the 15th of September 2015, when the Hungarian government closed its border with Serbia. During the night, irregular border crossing into Hungary became a criminal offence. Hundreds of people who wanted to move on to find international protection were blocked at the Röszke–Horgos border crossing without legal information and extremely limited support. Some people started to protest to move on.

The situation got increasingly tense until it escalated and police started using tear gas and water cannons and protesters were throwing stones. Ahmed H., was among those who communicated with a megaphone between the crowd of protestors and the police, tried to calm both sides down and later also started throwing stones. When the counter-terrorist police force attacked the waiting crowd, ten people of the crowd – among them Ahmed’s parents, with whom he was travelling to support them on their way to Germany to seek international protection and medical help – were arbitrarily singled out and arrested in the police operation, as they were among those who could not leave quickly enough due to their age and health problems. These ten people were brought to court and accused of “participation in a mass riot” and “border violation”. Ahmed was brutally arrested later at a train station and imprisoned, waiting more than a year for his verdict.

The other ten arrested people who were accused of “participation in a mass riot” and “border violation” had a separate trial, which ended in July this year. They were sentenced to 1-3 years of imprisonment and expulsion from Hungary up to 10 years, although the video material showed clearly that they were not actively participating in the protest. The trial was absurd in many aspects: beginning with the arbitrary arrests and the lack of evidence. Although most of the accused should have waited for their verdict in ‘house arrest’, they were unlawfully detained for 9 months in very bad conditions.

The others were also in pretrial detention. There were mistranslations which completely changed the meaning of the statement of one of the accused. The judge also refused to take into account important evidence by the defence, did not take into account the asylum application of some of the accused and the legal obligations of the Hungarian state connected to such an application and ignored important facts of the events of that day, such as the lack of legal information and the massive police violence on the spot. The lawyers and the prosecutor appealed. Two of the 10 people – Kamel J. and Yamen A. are still imprisoned.

As the previous hearings made clear, the biased questions and selection of testimonies by the court aimed at establishing Ahmed as the leader of the protest and a terrorist. Most witnesses invited to speak in front of the court were policemen. Even though the police testimonies were often contradictory or very vague (“it could also have been another man with a beard”), the described injuries of the police during the protest were used as a basis for arguing that Ahmed was leading an “attack against the Hungarian state”. Other witnesses, among them 24 independent journalists, volunteers and Ahmed’s wife, were refused by the court, along with an interview made in the protest in which Ahmed explains that the conditions were very bad and people were getting more and more upset without him being able to calm them down any more.

Further, the court was trying to establish a connection between terrorism and Ahmed’s religion, pointing out how Ahmed was travelling to India (to study about the Quran and visit friends) and Saudia Arabia (for Hajj) and how he is practicing his religion actively. With this the court is in line with the general racist tendency of equation of Islam with terrorism, a linkage commonly made in Hungary not only in relation to Islam, but to refugees and migrants also in general.

Made possible through the vague formulation of Hungarian terrorism law and its political use, Ahmed’s participation and mediation in the protest was found as “terrorist act”. Both Ahmed’s lawyer and the state prosecutor have appealed. The state prosecutor demanding an even harsher prison sentence.”

A solidarity protest took place in the court when the sentenced was announced. A demo has also been called in Budapest for 3rd December, but people are encouraged to pay a visit to their local embassies and representatives of the Hungarian state.

With rage and solidarity let’s keep fighting for: Freedom for Ahmed, Kamel and Yamen!

Shut Down Yarl’s Wood, shut down all immigration detention centres!

On the 10th of September, Movement for Justice is organising the 9th Surround Yarl’s Wood demonstration, calling for the closure of the racist prison Yarl’s Wood and all immigration prisons:

END the Hostile Environment & STOP the scapegoating of immigrants
STOP deportations & mass charter flights
BUILD community resistance to immigration raids

Buy your ticket for the Bristol coach before Monday (money is needed to
secure the coach booking)-
http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bristol-to-yarlswood-shut-it-down-100916-tickets-27262143806

Message from Movement For Justice:

‘On 10th September 2016 we return to Yarl’s Wood immigration detention
centre in force – join us in a movement that can bring an end to the
hated, rotten, racist system of detention! The demonstrations and
resistance inside Yarl’s Wood have been the most important fight in
Britain for women’s rights and for immigrants rights, because they have
been inspiring – because the people in this struggle are fighting to win
the most basic of demands as human beings.

The next National Demonstration at Yarl’s Wood is for ALL those held
like cattle in the UK’s detention system around the country. For ALL
looking to break out from under the shadow of detention. It is for ALL
those at the borders of Europe challenging the cynical leaders a
demanding in real life the promise of democracy and freedom, of which
sanctuary is fundamental.

The MFJ, and our friends and allies around the country organising for
justice and equality and fighting racism, we have been breaching the
walls and fences of detention centres, reaching inside with chants of
FREEDOM. Our detainees friends, partners in struggle, though locked up
have made their voices ring out.

PLEASE NOTE: IF we dont raise enough money through ticket sales and
Bristol specific donations we cannot go ahead and book a bristol coach
as we do not have enough money in MFJ to cover the cost. We have a coach
company who is holding a coach at the cost of £640 untill the @29th
AUGUST – if we do not raise at least £500 by the 29th we will have to
cancel the coach and refund everyones money  – SO GET YOUR TICKET NOW
AND GET YOUR FRIENDS BUYING THEIRS BEFORE THE 29th!!!! We need to sell
36 tickets before 29th!!!!’

SHUT IT DOWN, SHUT THEM ALL DOWN!!!!!!!

Please share

mfj@ueaa.net, 07930 302 263
facebook.com/movementforjustice
@followmfj