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Hungarian state responsible for Syrian refugee's death – ECHR rules

The European Court of Human Rights has confirmed that the Hungarian authorities are responsible for the death of a 22-year-old Syrian young man who drowned in the Tisza River in 2016 after being assaulted and forced back to the river by police. The case was reported by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

It was recalled that the Syrian man, his brother, cousin (and a family with three children from Iraq) tried to cross the river from Serbia into Hungary on 1 June 2016. When they landed, police officers set dogs on them, tear-gassed them and hurled rocks at them. They were then forced back into the river with shouts of "Go back to Serbia!". The man was injured and then drowned in the Tisza, his brother and cousin made it back to the Serbian side of the river and appealed to the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights, where they were represented by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

The court ruled on Thursday that the Hungarian authorities had done nothing to protect the life of a man who was clearly in danger. It also found that the investigating authorities had not sufficiently investigated the circumstances of the incident. The Strasbourg court ordered the Hungarian state to pay the victim's brother €34,000 in damages as well as the costs of the proceedings. This case was not an isolated one, the UNHCR registered 100 similar cases in May 2016. Lawyer Gábor Győző called it inexplicable that the young man, who was fleeing the civil war in his homeland was left to die instead of being given help.

Reaction from the Ministry of Interior

The fact that the Soros network, which initiated the case against Hungary, is attacking the country about a death which occurred here is yet another attempt to discredit and exert pressure on Hungary and the Hungarian border protections authorities

- the Ministry of Interior reacted to the ruling on Thursday afternoon.

In a statement sent to MTI, the Ministry of Interior recalls the phenomenon, rather loosely related to the judgment, that "due to Brussels' failed immigration policy" and the unscrupulous presence of international human trafficking organisations, thousands of illegal immigrants are dying on the mainland and drowning in the Mediterranean Sea and in rivers on their way to Europe.

The Interior Ministry recalls that the Hungarian police investigated the case in question and rejected the accusations on several occasions. During the forensic autopsy of the deceased 22-year-old Syrian citizen, the medical experts unanimously concluded beyond doubt that the cause of death was drowning, that there were no signs of external injuries on the body, no signs of abuse or external trauma, and no evidence of criminal activity [which the verdict doesn’t actually claim- TG]

The ECHR verdict is not final and Hungary is expected to appeal against it, according to the Interior Ministry.


(c) 2023, Telex


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