Freedom for Ahmad H.
a Syrian with residency in Cyprus is persecuted with the
anti-terrorism law in Hungary for participating in a protest in Röszke
during September 2015. This trial has been a flagship case for the
Hungarian government and Ahmad H. is now
facing life-long sentence for using a megaphone and throwing three stones during a violently suppressed refugee protest.
We demand freedom for Ahmad H. and want to support him and his family in the struggle against the politically motivated persecution by the Hungarian government.
Need for defense lawyer
Unfortunately there is no pro bono lawyer with sufficient knowledge to defend Ahmad H. in front of the court in Hungary. This is why Ahmad H. had to hire a private lawyer, who charges a total fee of 5000€. Ahmad H.'s wife is not able to cover those expenses, as she also has to care for their 2 young children. Without being able to pay, there is the risk, that for the next trial, on October 28th, Ahmad will not a defense lawyer, who knows his case.
We won't leave Ahmad and his family alone with those expenses. Let's stand in solidarity and help them cover the costs for the lawyer!
On September 15th 2015, the Hungarian government closed the border to Serbia and -from one day to the other - made it illegal by criminal law to cross into Hungary. Hundreds of people got stuck at the Röszke-Hogos border crossing without legal information or support. The situation got more and more tense until protest started and escalated with protesters throwing stones and police massively using tear gas.
Ahmad H. came to the border to accompany his parents along the Balkan route towards Western Europe. He participated in the protest against the border closure by communicating as one of several people between the police and the crowd with a megaphone – saying things like “please open the border” and “we are getting impatient here” – and throwing three stones at the police. Together with ten other people he was randomly picked out and arrested in the police operation. But, unlike the others he is not accused of “participation in a mass riot” and “border violation”, but of “terrorism and other crimes”. This charge is exclusively based on his use of a megaphone and participation in throwing stones..
The previous trial hearings have shown that the biased questions and selection of testimonies by the court aim to prove that Ahmad H. had a leading role in the protest, although the court lacks any evidence for that. Applying the “terrorism and other crimes” paragraph with the risk of a life-long prison sentence is an extreme overstretch of the law. We can only consider this trial as politically motivated and it implies a serious violation of human rights. Applying vaguely formulated anti-terrorism laws for minor offenses such as throwing stones as an instrument to silence protest opens the door to further arbitrary arrests and has implications way beyond the tragic destruction of one, Ahmad H.’s, life.
Where does the money go?
The money goes directly to Ahmed's wife, and is used to cover the fees for the defense lawyer for the trial. The lawyer charges 5000€ for the complete trial. In case Ahmad will be found guilty in front of the court, there might be more expenses to come.
You can find more information on the page of the civil society campaign: http://freetheroszke11.weebly.com/