Le 8, 10 et 12 janvier ont eu lieu les nouvelles audiences du procès contre Ahmed H., condamné en Hongrie fin 2016 à dix ans de réclusion pour "terrorisme". Un représentant du FCE était présent sur place en tant qu'observateur international.
(The article was originally published in Archipel)
Pour comprendre le procès, il faut connaître l'historique. Nous nous souvenons de l'été 2015 : des centaines de milliers de personnes, venues principalement de la Syrie en guerre, fuient par la route des Balkans en direction de l'Europe du Nord et de l'Ouest. Le 15 septembre, la Hongrie, pays de passage, installe des barbelés à la frontière avec la Serbie, déclare l'état de crise et modifie le même jour le droit d'asile et le Code pénal. Depuis cette révision, "l'entrée illégale" est punie jusqu'à trois ans de réclusion et le "passage illégal" de la frontière pendant une émeute est sanctionné jusqu'à 5 ans de prison. Le passage de la frontière avec la Serbie à Röszke, où plusieurs milliers de personnes par jour pouvaient auparavant entrer en Europe, est fermé du jour au lendemain. Environ 2 000 réfugiés restent sur place.
C'est pourquoi le 15 septembre des protestations ont commencé contre ce nouveau régime des frontières instauré subitement, et se sont poursuivies les jours suivants. Des affrontements ont eu lieu avec les forces de police déployées massivement, qui employèrent gaz lacrymogènes, matraques et canons à eau sur la foule, sans ménagement pour les personnes âgées et les enfants.
"V začetku januarja 2018 smo spremljali sodno obravnavo Ahmeda H. obtoženega na 10-letno zaporno kazen zaradi terorizma in ilegalnega prečkanja Madžarske meje iz dne 16.septembra 2015. Gre za ponovno prvostopenjsko obravnavo, po tem ko je prvo razsodbo drugostopenjsko sodišče razveljavilo, zaradi mnogih napak v postopku to je površno pregledana dokazna dokumentacija. Spomnimo, da je na dan, ki je tema sodnega postopka Madžarska zaprla svoje meje in malo pred tem uvedla zakon, ki kriminalizira ilegalno prečkanje meje. Ljudje, ki so se takrat znašli na mejnem prehodu Roszke niso bili seznanjeni z novimi ukrepi Madžarske države. Vedeli so, da so še dan pred tem ljudje lahko brez težav množično prestopili mejo, kjer so jih pričakali avtobusi, ki so ljudi vozili v Avstrijo. Več-tisoč glava množica je zato več ur vztrajala na meji s skandiranjem in prošnjami po odprtju meje. Po brutalnem policijskem napadu na ljudi s solzivcem, vodnim topom in s pretepanjem s pendreki, so se nekateri odzvali z defenzivnim uporom. Iz množice ljudi, so kot krivce izolirali 11 oseb, jih aretirali in privedli pred sodišče. Med tem ko je večina že na prostosti, Ahmed ostaja v priporu, zdaj že več kot dve leti.
Madžarska z Orbanom na čelu s sodnim postopkom proti Ahmedu H. ekscesno gradi na rasistični propagandi, s katero želi na njegovem primeru pokazati, da so begunci in/ali migranti teroristi, ki bodo uničili Madžarsko in Evropo. S tem vztrajno legitimira izdatno vlaganje države v tako imenovane varnostne policijske in vojaške nadzorne sisteme, militarizacijo meje, ohranjajo in krepijo ozračje strahu; med tem pa z rasistično politiko nabira svoje politične točke in sam Orban ohranja svojo oblast.
In the beginning of january we were folllowing a court procesion of Ahmed H. acused of 10-year inprisonment for terorisem and ilegal crossing of Humgarian bourder on 16 of Sep 2015. It was again a first-instance heraing after the first verdict was annulled by the second-instance court, because of mistakes in the procedure - superficial examination of the documentation. Let's remember that on the day that is the subject of judicial proceedings, Hungary closed its borders and a little before that it introduced a law that criminalizes the illegal crossing of the border. The people who then found themselves at the Roszke border crossing were not aware of the new measures taken by the Hungarian state. They knew that the day before, people could easily cross the border, where there were buses waiting to drive them to Austria. For several hours the crowd insisted on the border with chants and requests for opening the border. After a brutal police attack with tear gas, water cannon and batons, some responded with defensive resistance. From the crowd, they've picked 11 people that would represent the crimilas. They were arrested and taken to court. While the majority is already free, Ahmed remains in detention for more than two years now.
With the lawsuit against Ahmed H., Hungary with its leader Orban, builds on racist propaganda. They use Ahmed H. As an example to show that refugees and / or migrants are terrorists who will destroy Hungary and Europe. By doing so, it persistently legitimizes the country's extensive investment in the so-called security police and military surveillance systems, the militarization of the border, preserving and strengthening the atmosphere of fear; while raising its political points with racist politics, and so Orban ensure his power."
Source: Komunal.org: Free Ahmed H. NOW!
There were several international observers present at the trial in Szeged.
One observer from the German 'Grundrechtekomittee' (Basic Rights Comittee) joined. Their legal and political report can be found here.
Also one person from the European Civil Forum in Switzerland was present in court and shared his opinion in a statement:
Statement about the trial against Ahmed H. on the 8th, 10th and 12th of January 2018 in Szeged (Hungary)
I was participating the trial against Ahmed H. as an international observer. Already on the first day of the trial in January 2018 I got the impression of a Kafkaesque nightmare. The accused is led into the court room by two tall, masked Anti-Terror-police men, dressed all in black. He is hand-cuffed, connected to a leash, which is chained to one of the police officers, and wears a hobble. As soon as Ahmed H. took stand in the dock, the handcuffs are released, but the leash and the hobble remain closed. During the whole trial these both police officers are positioned on the left and on the right of Ahmed H.
Since his arrest in September 2015 Ahmed H. is called a terrorist and treated like one - without any reliable evidence against him. This decision of the Hungarian government, their authorities and media contradicts all humane and ethical values. As an outside observer I can only take home the impression that this trial represents a political show trial, tin order to criminalize migrants on a general basis and to legitimize Hungary’s sealing-off.
In the year 1956, after the bloody suppression of the Hungarian uprising, thousands of people had to flee the country and to find a new existence. They could rely on a generous welcome [due to the anti-communist political atmosphere, added by translator]. The more I am in shock, that the government and authorities of a country, that had to experience such a difficult situation, rejects the refugees of today, discriminates against them and declares them to be criminals and terrorists. Ahmed H. has accompanied members of his family in 2015 on their flight from Syria. Flight is not a crime, neither is the protection of refugees. Therefore I hope, that Ahmed H. will find his freedom again very soon and will be able to return to his wife and children.
Szeged, 10th of January 2017
Fédération Européenne des Radios Libres (FERL), Frankreich
European Civil Forum
Forum Civique Européen, Schweiz
Click here to listen to the radio podcast.
"V Szegedu poteha sojenje Ahmadu H., ki je obtožen terorizma zaradi vloge v protestih na madžarsko-srbski meji leta 2015. Iz sojenja se javlja sodelavka RŠ Maruša."
10th of January
We were thinking what should this short summary contain and there is really not so much to tell about the todays hearing, except that it filled us again with rage and we felt disgusted. The only time when Ahmed can leave his cell and see people is when he is taken to the court and each of these court hearings are a torture itself.
The show continued today with a 4 hours long, one shot police footage without sound!
It is hard to discribe the level of absurdity in how the trial is conducted. For example, the judge goes into detail about people's gestures. How many fingers did they raise? One? Two? Five? All ten? After a while the huge water cannon comes into the shot and covers more than a half of it. The judge, Kóbor Jenő, speaks to Ahmed as if he were the persecutor. He repeatedly goes into banal details, asking the same questions again and again, sometimes in a very aggressive way. While Ahmed can hardly walk because of the chains on his legs, the judge repeatedly orders Ahmed to come closer to the screen and identify himself.
Also, the court discusses the actions and gestures of an unknown man (only referred to as "the green t-shirt guy") while Ahmed is not even seen in the first part of the footage. This focus on someone else than Ahmed, apparently having nothing to do with the latter, remains unexplained.
In the afternoon, Ahmed is identified on screen when throwing objects. He does so. But when footage of him standing still for hours is being played, Ahmed, who is mostly defending himself, asks the judge: "What kind of terrorist would stand there and not do anything for three hours?" - A reasonably question, unanswered. While Ahmed is directly questioned by the judge for most of the time,the persecutor and the defense lawyer are having a friendly chat. Not surprisingly, the footage shows the scene at the gate only until 17:30, leaving out the part when the riot police attacked the people. All shots with police violence are missing.
The court narrative is created by carefully collected, small, banal details. Obviously, the situation at the Röszke border crossing is not supposed to be considered and explained, nor its complexity. It reminds us of marketing: In order to create the "terrorist" Ahmed H., trivial details are examined in a serious-seeming, "justicial" way; anything that would lead us to comprehend the situation, however, is litteraly cut out from the set of evidences.
Do they think that we are all dumb? We are following a theater play: This is the way how the legal court system works, how reality is constructed and authorized.
12th of January
Today we had to watch ten more videos, mostly taken from TV-channels. Therefore they were randomly cut, without timeline and of course the part of the big "break through and hurt" of the Hungarian police was not shown - in the trial you could get the impression that the otherwise well-documented violent police attack had never happened.
Without this context and the experiences the people made along the Balkan route, the rage of the people at the border could seem somehow like rebels without a cause, but of course it is not like that.
On the presented videos we could clearly see the moment before the police attack, when the riot police moved back and people entered the Hungarian side. The "dangerous rioters" started to clean the space and organize the crowed in lines to pass. In the video, people are repeatedly shouting something in Arabic. When asked by the judge what they are saying, the translator explains: They are shouting "Clean the road!". Further, people are celebrating and chanting "thank you hungary".
Even in these censored videos we could see and hear Ahmed (this time there was sound) how he tried to calm down the crowed telling "guys dont throw anything, dont be aggressive" and asking "please tell me what we should do" to the police. Ahmed refused to speak to the police interpreter, whom he suspects to not give a correct translation. He asked for someone who can speak English: "In Hungary nobody can speak English?" - this complaint of him was one of the highlights of today.
Ahmed was also shown throwing something - what and which direction remained unclear. But one thing was obvious in all the scenes:
The hours at the border were highly emotional and the actions of the people were alternating
between negotiations with the police, waiting, rioting and after that chanting and shouting again.
Who else is to blame but Hungary and the EU, who clearly failed with their repressive migration regime?
The trial will continue on the 14th of march, first level court decision is expected on the 19th of march.
Published by the „ Free the röszke11" solidarity network
On the 8th, 10th and 12th January 2018 the Hungarian states' trial against Ahmed H. went into the next round of seemingly absurd and endless hearings. Ahmed’s case is now back at the first court level, after the second instance referred it back for lack of consideration of contradictions in the evidence. The court proceeded, going over the same police testimonies, watching police footages, with no new witnesses or evidence. Again the judge acted as prosecutor, but compared with the previous judge, he asked Ahmed questions, allowed him to answer and he was even listening to his statements. So are we now witnessing a fair trail, as some reports say? Is Hungary’s justice system after all functioning properly now and justice finally prevail?
Fact is, Ahmed is imprisoned in isolation, separated from his family for more than two years, that he was picked up by the state sleeping at the train station to serve their racist propaganda campaign (imagine a " terrorist" going back to the country he "attacked" three days before sleeping at a train station). Ahmed was arrested at a time when the Hungarian state itself was transporting people from Croatia to Western Europe through its territory. They were transporting the very same people which the anti-terrorist troops had brutally beaten up and pushed back to Serbia in Röszke only few days before. The specific definition of a crime is always a matter of state's definition.
Fact is, that there are fenced prisons in Hungary and all over Europe where thousands of people are held for unknown time periods and brutally mistreated, that there are border hunters going after and torturing people without documents every single night. Was all this ever mentioned in any court hearing? To us, the discussion whether the new judge is less racist than the previous one is irrelevant, as this trial should not be held in the first place. The trial against Ahmed H. has always been, and remains, a politically motivated show trial. The Fidesz government uses Ahmed as a scapegoat to criminalize migrants and to create an image of dangerous migrant-terrorists. It has therefore even invented something they called “The battle of Röszke” (with its own Wikipedia page), framing it as an epic fight where the Hungarian police defended the country heroically against the "attackers". Thereby the Hungarian government can frame itself as the defender of Europe and its Christian values. Europe is delighted about the role Hungary plays with such pride. There are many “civilized” countries of the EU benefiting from the ongoing brutality Hungary exerts on migrants at its borders. Europe can point the finger at someone else, even though the European Frontex-mission operates on that very border – the militarization of borders became something „normal“. There exists an industry (a global network of private companies and state actors) which is profiting from producing and selling weapons, providing also items and services for so called „border security“, prisons, refugee camps and it is rarely discussed... This context is forgotten when we talk about 'fairness' in this current trial and countless other cases.
In the current court hearings we are witnessing how history is written through distortion of the collective memory of previous struggles. On the 16th of September 2015 thousands of people protested for free movement. Remembering, keeping strength and reminding ourselves and others is part of our everyday resistance. A political show trial can never be a fair trial. We do not accept the fake fairness of a new trial with a “nicer“ judge; we remember the context of all the ongoing crimes by the state, the creation of the 'terrorism-migration‘-connection, the criminalization and repression of solidarity actions.
Therefore, instead of demanding a fair trial for Ahmed, we demand his immediate release! Migration and protest is not a crime! The next court hearings will take place in Szeged on the 14th and 19th of march. The first instance verdict is expected.
Join us and show solidarity with Ahmed!
Immediate Freedom for Ahmed H. and all political prisoners!
A „ free the röszke11“ szolidaritási hálózat nyilatkozata
2018. január 8-án a magyar állam Ahmed H. ellen indított bírósági eljárása ismét bővelkedett az abszurd és végeláthatatlan vallomásokban. Ahmed H. ügyét jelenleg újra első fokon tárgyalják. Másodfokon az elsőfokú ítéletet hatályon kívül helyezte a bíróság, arra hivatkozva, hogy a bíróság első fokon az egymásnak ellentmondó bizonyítékokat nem mérlegelte megfelelőképpen. Az új elsőfokú bíróság elismételte az előző eljárás során elhangzott rendőri vallomásokat, Ahmedet szembesítette korábbi vallomásaival, új tanúkat és bizonyítékokat azonban nem vont be. Az egyetlen különbség a bíró személye, aki - az előző bíróval ellentétben nem veszi át nyíltan az ügyész szerepét és a bírósági eljárás szabályait követve megpróbálja egy tisztességes tárgyalás látszatát fenntartani. Nemcsak kérdéseket tesz fel Ahmednek, hanem meg is hallgatja válaszait.
Lehetséges lenne, hogy ezúttal egy igazságos eljárásnak vagyunk tanúi, ahogy bizonyos riportok és megfigyelők sugallják? Végre megfelelően működik a magyar igazságszolgáltatás, és győz az igazság?
Ahmed H. immár több mint két éve van börtönben, a cipruson élő családjától elválasztva. Ahmedet egy vasútállomáson alvás közben tartóztatták le néhány nappal a röszkei tüntetések után, és terrorcselekmény elkövetésével vádolták meg. (Képzeljünk el egy „terroristát”, amint az ország „megtámadása” után békésen alszik egy vasútállomáson, miután visszatért a „tett” helyszínére!) Ahmed elfogásával egy időben a magyar állam ugyanazokat a menekülteket szállította buszokkal a horvát határról Nyugat-Európa felé, akiket 3 nappal korábban a TEK emberei vertek meg és szorítottak vissza Szerbiába a röszkei határátkelőnél. Azt, hogy egy tett hol és mikor számít bűncselekménynek, mindig az állam határozza meg.
A bírósági tárgyalásokon sosem hangzott el, hogy Magyarországon és Európában emberek ezreit tartják fogva koncentrációs táborokban határozatlan ideig. Arról sem volt szó, hogy a szögesdróttal körülvett határ közelében minden éjjel határvadászok üldözik és kínozzák a dokumentum nélküli, menekülő embereket. Számunkra lényegtelen, hogy az új bíró kevésbé rasszista-e az előzőnél, mivel ennek a tárgyalásnak egyáltalán nem lett volna szabad megtörténnie. Az Ahmed H. elleni eljárás soha nem lesz más, mint politikailag motivált koncepciós per.
Ahmed H.-t a Fidesz-kormányzat arra szemelte ki, hogy ő legyen a menekültek kriminalizálásának reklámarca, „a veszélyes terrorista migráns”. Ennek szellemében alkották meg „a röszkei csata” koncepcióját, eposzi küzdelemként interpretálva a történteket, amelyben a rendőrök hősiesen védték a hont az ádáz támadókkal szemben. Ebben az olvasatban a Fidesz-kormány a fehér Európa és a keresztény értékek megmentője.
A röszkei pereket követve tanúi lehetünk annak, hogy a hatalom a kollektív emlékezetet formálva, hogyan torzitja el az egyenlőségért folytatott küzdelmek céljait, és teremt ezzel történelmet. 2015 szeptember 16-án emberek ezrei tüntettek a magyar-szerb határnál a mozgásszabadságért. Az emlékezés, és mások emlékeztetése, az elnyomással szembeni ellenállásunk része kell hogy legyen. Egy politikailag motivált koncepciós per sosem lehet igazságos. Nem fogadhatjuk el az igazság illúzióját - legyen bármilyen „kedves” is az új bíró - hisz tisztában vagyunk vele, miféle bűnöket követ el az állam, hogyan alkotta meg a hazug összefüggést a migráció és a terrorizmus között, és hogyan fojtja el a szolidaritási mozgalmakat.
Ezért nem tisztességes eljárást követelünk Ahmednek, hanem azonnali szabadonengedését! A migráció és a tüntetés nem bűncselekmények!
Ahmed H. tárgyalása március 14-én és 19-én folytatódik, amikor előfokú itélethitdetés várható. Mutassunk szolidaritást Ahmeddel!
Azonnali szabadságot Ahmed H.-nak és az összes politikai fogolynak!
Comrades at the info talk in Sofia on 6th of January send their solidarity to Ahmed H. for the ongoing trial these days! Freedom for Ahmed H.!
Several journalists mainly - media which is financed by the government (National television and Hungarian news agency) - were present as well as hungarian and international observers of the trial. On todays session in the court of Szeged the judge (Jenő Kóbor) mainly focused on Ahmeds previous statements and asked about details.
Generally it can be said that the judge and the prosecutor focused on certain details that can not really relate to the terrorism charge. For example they asked if he knew where he was when the border closing ended and the gates were closed. To this he answered that it was a very confusing situation and he couldn't know where serbian territory ends and hungarian territory starts.
The questions of the judge also focused on Ahmeds activity at the Röszke/Horgoš border-crossing on 15th of september 2015 where he was a contact person between the people on the move (refugees and migrants) and the police. From Ahmeds statements it becomes clear that in that situation he could not clearly hear instructions from the police and the translator to leave the border crossing and to go to the so called transit zone (which was established only that day). He also made clear that he did not threaten the police (as it is many times shown in state media) but he was functioning as a communication person, speaking about the bad condition of the people on the move and asking Hungarian state and its police to let them pass, for the crowd with many sick people and children to be safe.
Several other questions were about the topic of the stone-throwing. This fact that Ahmed was participating in this could not be proven by the court. Therefore there will be video footage analysis on the next court date which will be on the 10th of January.
Generally there was a tense atmosphere in the court. The judge and the prosecutor tried to find out the differences/contradictions between his former testimonies and build up a pressure situation for the accused. Still Ahmed had a strong stand and answered with self-confidence to the questions, explaining also about the circumstances of the stressful situation he and his family were in that day (teargas, confusing situation, lack of information).
Hungarian speakers who were monitoring claim that the translation from arabic to hungarian and backwards was lacking exact choice of words. Also it is a farce why Ahmed is being guarded by two masked man, handcuffed and feet-cuffed – this seems to be a way of making him look like a danger/threat to society, no matter how the outcome of the trial will be.
On the 6th of January 2018 there will be an info talk about the Röszke 11 Campaign, the situation in Hungary and border violence in Sofia: Случаят на Ахмед Ха и насилието над бежанците в Източна Европа. It will take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Fabrika Autonomia (Tsar Samuil 149 Street, 1202 Sofia, Bulgaria). Facebook-Event
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March 14th 2018
First instance (re)trial of
Szeged Court (Szeged, Széchényi tér 4.)
March 19th 2018
First instance (re)trial of
Szeged Court (Szeged, Széchényi tér 4.)
The website is the part of an international campaign to support the 11 accused of the Roszke trials in Hungary. We created the site to collect and to facilitate to spread information. We invite everybody to join to the campaign, let's fight against injustice! Nobody can be silenced!