Hungary: Retrial of Syrian charged with terrorism for throwing stones to conclude

The retrial of Ahmed H, a Syrian man sentenced to 10 years in prison for throwing stones during clashes with guards at the at the Serbia-Hungary border, will continue today.

Ahmed was arrested and imprisoned following the incident in September 2015. He had left his home in Cyprus to help his elderly parents and other family members flee from Syria to find safety in Europe.

On November 30 2016, he was convicted of committing “an act of terror” by the Hungarian court, but following an appeal a retrial was ordered. His case has become internationally recognised as an example of Hungary’s “draconian” counter-terrorism laws and crackdown on refugees.

Eda Seyhan, Amnesty’s campaigner on counter-terrorism in Europe, said:

“The prosecution and ensuing conviction of Ahmed H was a blatant misuse of terrorism-related provisions against a man who was simply helping his family flee Syria.  

“Though Hungary’s draconian counter-terrorism laws remain in force and its crackdown on refugees persists, we hope this retrial will be at least a first step towards justice for Ahmed, who has already spent over two years in detention.”

Amnesty spokespeople will be attending the hearing in Szeged, Hungary, and will be available for interview in advance and during the week. A final verdict is expected on Friday.

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