Hungary: Appeal Court orders retrial of man convicted of ‘terrorism’ for throwing stones

Hungary: Appeal Court orders retrial of man convicted of ‘terrorism’ for throwing stones

Following a decision by a Hungarian appeal court to order a retrial in the case against Ahmed H, a Syrian man sentenced to 10 years in prison for committing an “act of terror” during clashes with border guards at the Serbia-Hungary border, Todor Gardos, Amnesty International’s Hungary researcher said:

“This is an important step on the path to justice for a man whose absurd conviction was based on the blatant misuse of terrorism provisions.

“Today’s decision is a clear indication that evidence against Ahmed H was not adequately examined by the first instance court and suggests that he may have been wrongfully convicted.

This is an important step on the path to justice for a man whose absurd conviction was based on the blatant misuse of terrorism provisions
Todor Gardos

“Throwing a few stones cannot seriously be equated to an act of terrorism and the retrial will provide an opportunity to ensure counter-terrorism laws stop being misused in such a way.

Throwing a few stones cannot seriously be equated to an act of terrorism
Todor Gardos

“There is no reason for Ahmed H to remain in pre-trial detention. He should be released and tried fairly without delay.”

Background

In August 2015, Ahmed left his family home in Cyprus to go and help his elderly parents and six other family members flee Syria and find safety in Europe. One month later, they found themselves among hundreds of refugees stranded at the Hungarian border after police fenced off the crossing with Serbia.

Clashes broke out as some refugees attempted to get through. Hungary’s police responded with tear gas and water cannon, injuring dozens. Some people threw stones, including Ahmed. But news footage also clearly shows Ahmed using a megaphone to call on both sides to remain calm.

For this, a Hungarian court found him guilty of an “act of terror”, under Hungary’s extremely vague counter-terrorism laws, and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Click here for more information on his case see