Hungary jails 'terrorist' over migrant border clash

From BBC - March 14, 2018

A Hungarian court has sentenced a Syrian-Cypriot man to seven years in prison for illegally crossing the border from Serbia in September 2015.

Ahmed Hamed was also convicted of being an accomplice in "terrorist acts".

Prosecutors said he had used a loudspeaker to address hundreds of migrants who then rushed through a gate in a newly completed border fence.

Amnesty International condemned Hungary for using anti-terror laws against refugees and migrants.

The incident in 2015 led to clashes between migrants and Hungarian police, who deployed tear gas and water cannon to push the migrants back.

"We did not go to the border to cause problems," Hamed was quoted as saying by local news website Index. "Neither my culture, nor my religion would encourage that."

Also in September 2015, a Hungarian camerawoman was filmed kicking out at migrants as they rushed past. The same court in the town of Szeged gave her three years' probation for that.

Accusations of racism

The incident involving Mr Hamed is often mentioned by right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban when he talks of the need to "defend" Hungary's borders.

He described Hamed as a "terrorist" last year.

'Absurd decision'


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