Europe and Central Asia

  • Region

Overview

The regional overview summarizes the human rights situation and developments in the region throughout 2016.

On 30 November 2016, “Ahmed H”, a Syrian man living in Cyprus, stood trial on terrorism charges in Budapest, capital of Hungary. He was accused of orchestrating clashes between police and refugees following the sudden closure of Hungary’s border with Serbia in September 2015. His prosecution played to the government’s conflation of Muslim asylum-seekers with terrorist threats. In reality, Ahmed H was only there because he was helping his elderly Syrian parents flee their war-torn country. Caught in the melee, he admitted to throwing stones at the police, but, for the most part, as numerous witnesses testified, he had been trying to calm the crowd. Nevertheless, he was convicted, becoming a tragic, chilling symbol of a continent turning its back on human rights.

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