Monthly Archives: January 2018

[Röszke11 – Hungary] Interview with an activist of the Röszke11 solidarity campaign

[There are two media players because there are two files. One is the complete interview and the other is a question we added in the end of the interview. As soon as we have the technical equipment we will combine the two.]

Interview with an activist from the FreeTheRöszke11-solidarity campaign in Hungary.

We want to do an interview with an activist from the FreeTheRöszke11-Solidarity Campaign in Hungary. And we are the Can’t Evict Solidarity Campaign, we’re doing financial support and public work on repression and trials throughout the Balkanroute.

Q – So maybe you can tell me something about the trial of Ahmed that is taking place right now in Szeged – so what are the Roeszke11-trials about and who is Ahmed?

A – The trial is about eleven people who were arrested in 2015 September after a protest which happened at Roeszke-Horgos-bordercrossing. It is the border of Hungary and Serbia. It was the time when the fence [between the Hungarian and Serbian border] was finished and they closed the border and thousands of people get stuck on the other side of the border and they started to protest. On the second day of the protest there was a clash with the police, where there was stones thrown from one side and the police was using teargas and water cannons and after this the situation came down. They tricked the people and they entered to, they took away the cordon [barricade] from in front of the gate of the fence and people entered to Hungary. They were very happy, celebrating, saying “Thank you Hungary!” and they thought that they are allowed to pass now. But counterterrorist police forces attacked them and beat them up and arrested eleven people. At the place they arrested 10 people, they had their trials already. They get between twelve and fourteen months of prison and expulsion from Hungary. They singled out one person, Ahmed H., and they charged him with terrorism and also, like the others, illegal bordercrossing during mass riot. And he was catched a few years, eh, few days later at a train station.

Q – You also visited the trials against Ahmed in Szeged – what did you experience there?

A – It’s already the second time that they are having the first level court trial, so the trials are going on more than two years ago. And the first level court was much more harsh than now, like they were really treating him as a terrorist. He was in chains and handcuffs and there was a lot of security and police all over and around. They were blocking the road to the courtroom and now it changed a bit. Also the judge seems more fair than the one before. The one who he had before, she was very much connected to the FIDESZ government, to the government of the country there was a lot of connection also. After she gave him ten years of prison, she was elected and she get – how do you say this – she get some promotions after.

And now it seems different, the trials, but still it is one person charged with terrorism for being part of a protest and they just use him to justify the government propaganda. So it’s crazy and it’s a show trial, especially in the beginning the first court was going on, it was only the police who could testify. They were making fake translations of the people who were on the trial and now also, they can only use the evidences which was used before, so there are no new evidences brought up, even though there were many volunteers, media that time on the border who could testify with other opinion, who could show video materials but it’s not allowed to be shown. So it’s continuing more or less the same way how it was before.

Q – So, how is the trial and Ahmed H. treated by the Hungarian government and the media?

A – The Hungarian government made up a lot of platforms, for example the wikipedia-page called “The Battle of Roeszke” where they are showing that this aggressive people want to break into Hungary and attacking the Hungarian police. Also a few days ago they made a new facebook page, where the title is “Ahmed H. is a terrorist” and it’s made by the government and they own a very very big part of the media in Hungary now, it’s a monopol in the hand of the government and everywhere they just put that he is a terrorist, so the propaganda is very strong against him.

Q – How is the public perception of Ahmeds case in Hungary?

A – Mostly people only know “Ah, this is the guy who threw stones to the police.” That’s all the information they have and also because there is no other media where they can read other things about it. They only hear the propaganda version, so they believe it.

Q – You also visited Ahmed in prison. How is his situation, how would you describe it?

A – Me, I didn’t visit. They didn’t allow to any Hungarian yet to visit him in the prison. After more than two years in December finally some people could visit him from Austria and they rejected all the applications of Hungarians who wanted to visit him. But from what he says, (…) he don’t have any connection to other people. If he goes out, which is allowed for him one hour per week to go to the yard and he fought a lot for this, to have this right, to be able to go out from his cell one hour per week but when he goes out everyone else has to be locked away or if he wants to buy something from the shop everyone has to be locked, so he is totally alone. Before he couldn’t even have any visitors and he is saying he has strong pain in his back because of the conditions.

He is missing his family a lot a lot, he is suffering a lot from that. But otherwise he says that since the second level court deleted the decision of the first level court which found him guilty of terrorism and gave him ten years – but the second level court said that they didn’t deal well with the evidences, so it has to be restarted. So since this decision was made he says the workers of the prison treat him much better. Like it seems they also believe now that he is not guilty and they don’t treat him as a terrorist anymore. And he is sharing a cell with one other person who also speaks Arabic, so it’s kind of – now it’s better than before.

Q – So, how would you describe the general situation for migrants and refugees in Hungary and how did the public perception concerning migration changed in the last few years since 2015?

A – Now in Hungary everyone is locked in detention centers in transit zones/transit camps made of containers at the Serbian-Hungarian border. There are two transit camps there.

It is around 500 people there, families, children – everyone in Hungary. Everyone who is above 14 years old, they consider them as adults, like for the refugees. And they treat them as criminals, like all asylum seekers are treated like criminals. They are surrounded by barbed wire, fences, there is police there, there is the army there and conditions are very bad. They have very bad food, unnutritious, even if they want to go the doctor they bring them in handcuffs. There are cameras everywhere, random police checks in the middle of the night and they are just staying there for many many months and waiting for the decision of their application, which is usually negative because they say that Serbia is a safe country and then they just send them back to Serbia. And that’s how is the situation now for asylum seekers.

Q – And how would you say that the Hungarian people see refugees, migrants, migration?

A – In 2015 it was a lot of people, thousands of people who went to show their solidarity, who wanted to help to people, giving food, giving clothes, helping whatever they can and it changed, this people are very quiet now. I think it is also because of the propaganda, that from everywhere you can hear that this people are dangerous, they will rape our women and children and they are criminals/terrorists, so on and so on. And they just heard it so many times that some of them might have believed it. And also if you try to do something for this people then you have to face repression from the government and there are not so many things to do, because the people are locked away, it is not possible to go in the transit zone, it is – the media is not allowed to go, people are not allowed to go. It is not possible to even get close to the fences. They just send people away, everyone who tries to get any connection with this people. It changed a lot now, so it is big silence.

Q – So, how is the situation concerning repression, criminalization of migrants and other activists and protest in Hungary?

A – Migrants are generally criminalized, there are this case for example against the Roeszke11 where there were trials against them and how they treat them in the transit zone and if there is some trial it is like if you are a migrant it’s.. they look at you like you as a criminal from the start.

And there is also big repression against solidarity structures or NGOs who work with refugees. For example the security policy expert was saying in television that everyone who is helping migrants they are traitors of the country, they are war criminals, they are human traffickers and they should be without any court case just killed and it was in television and also politicians from FIDESZ are saying things in media and we can feel this. After Ahmed got the ten years sentence we made a protest and after that we had to go to court ourselves, we were facing trials, also now this time when Ahmed was having the trials we were contributing [distributing] leaflets and giving leaflets on the streets and very fast a lot of policecars arrived and borderhunters and undercover police with guns and there were searches against us and they treat you as a criminal if you show your solidarity in any way.

Q – So, in general how is it for activists or refugee support structures to work in Hungary?

A – Very hard, also now there is a very strong propaganda when they say that all people who try to work with refugees they are paid by Soros, Gyoergy Soros. There is this theory of the government that Gyoergy Soros wants to bring every year, I don’t know, one million people from Africa to Europe to change whole Europe and it’s his evil plan. And everyone who works with refugees is paid by him and they are evil foreign forces, everyone who is trying to work with refugees.

Q – Like a conspiracy theory somehow?

A – Yes, but most of the groups they were giving humanitarian help, to involve with politics, they are scared to do it.

Q – What are you as the FreeTheRöszke11-solidarity-campaign are doing and who are you and how can people support you?

A – Well, we are there in trials, monitoring the trials, also making campaign, trying to reach the people of Hungary to tell them what’s going on, to tell them another point of view than the governments fake propaganda. Also in other countries in Europe, in the European parliament we could reach some people to talk about it, to put pressure or at least try to stop the pressure of the government or the court. Also with legal support we are trying to help, we were collecting donations for the cost of the lawyers, visiting Ahmed in the jail, and what is needed, what the people tell us from the Roszke11-people, what they need we try to help with everything.

And what we need, of course donations to be able to continue and Ahmed is very very happy if he can get some letters and feels some support, it gives him lot of strength to continue and also if people organize solidarity events, it’s very helpful, even connected with some cases from their community or their country, to put things together. Because very similar things are happening in all over Europe. It is not something that only happens in Hungary, so to connect and to make solidarity events and to be in solidarity with each other. And maybe writing letters to Hungarian embassy, it can also be possible.

Q – Thank you very much!

A – Thank you, too!

Write letters to Ahmed:
Verein zur Förderung feministischer Projekte
Kleeblattgasse 7
1010 Vienna

Donations for the FreeTheRoeszke11-campaign:
Receiver: Rote Hilfe e.V. Ortsgruppe Frankfurt
IBAN: DE24 4306 0967 4007 2383 90
Subject: Röszke 11

More information:

[Thessaloniki] Squat Libertatia burnt down by fascists

On last Sunday, 21. January 2018, the squat Libertatia in Thessaloniki (Greece) was burnt down by fascists, following a huge nationalist ralley against Macedonia. We document a statement of comrades from Libertatia:

Squat Libertatia’s statement regarding today’s arson

Today – Sunday, January 21th – around 1.30pm and just before the
nationalist gathering for Macedonia, fascist teams who took part in it
realized several attacks on occupied spaces.
First, they attacked the free social space "Σχολείο" and they were
rejected with success by our comrades. Then, they approach our squat,
provoking some damages on the facade and the fence. These damages were
fixed immediately by the members of our collective, who then decided to
join the antinationalist gathering in Kamara. About two hours later, a
group of some 60/70 fascists attacked again our squat with molotov
cocktails and distress flares, which provoked the fire. At this time,
there were no-one left in the building as everyone were in the gathering
in Kamara. While the attack was going on, there were so many cops in
plain clothes and vans of the antiriot police (τα ΜΑΤ) who were staying
next to the squat. They covered the attack without intervening.
The resistance of the neighborhood must be noticed, as some people went
to their balconies and screamed at the fascists, who replied insulting
them and throwing flares to them. When the fascists tried to head again
towards Σχολείο, the police was already there holding the place,
covering the fascists and locking the comrades inside the building.
Don’t be fooled: these attacks and the setting on fire of the building
couldn’t have happened without the « support » of the gathering for
Macedonia. They were going there and they were coming back from there.
All the far-right and neo-nazi groups were calling for this gathering
but no-one gave a fuck about it, offering them social legitimacy and
public space so they could express and act freely. We know very well
that all this couldn’t have happened under other circumstances and
that’s why everyone should clarify its position regarding fascism. All
these energies from such actual and real groups work as supplements for
the repression from the State agains those who fight and resist for
something better. Everyone should have a stand regarding the arson of a
building with more than a century of history which has been abandoned
for decades. The arson of a building that we, anarchists, libertarian
communists and revolutionnaries, have decided to renove and maintain,
first to cover housing needs of proletarians, migrants and people who
are expelled by the State and Capitalism and also in order to create a
radical political space where people can grow together and promote a new
libertarian culture. It must be clear to everyone that we are here
talking about a criminal act, which could have ended with tragic
consequences, i.e deaths.
These attacks doesn’t mean that we will stop fighting against the State,
capitalism and fascism. No attack can manage neither terrorizing us nor
making us do curtsey for any fascist, but with conscience and
determination, for a society of equality and freedom, we will continue
to fight our ideal.


during the demo following the attack 5 people got arrested, the court is at friday
we need any kind of political solidarity!
also there is a need of economical support (firstly for the court money
- that could be around 6000 Euros - secondary to start rebuilding the
there will be more feedback the next days.

For anarchy and libertarian communism
Libertatia, collective for libertarian communism

p.s. -please forward the e-mail to other collectives or individuals
-usefull links:

[Bulgaria] Bulgarian-Turkish border: Local District Prosecutor’s Office indicts 21 asylum seekers for a riot

comrades shared a report with us – for contact please use

    Local District Prosecutor’s Office indicts 21 asylum seekers for a
    riot at Harmanli’s refugee camp

A Local District Prosecutor’s Office decided to indict 21 asylum seekers
for “hooliganism with boldness and cynicism
concerning the riot which happened in December 2016 in Harmanli’s
refugee camp. The riot broke out after authorities closed Bulgaria’s
biggest refugee camp, because of a quarantine issue
Before the closing of the camp neo-nazi and right wing protesters
gathered on a regular basis in front of the camp to demonstrate against
foreigners. The authorities obeyed the orders from the xenophobic and
racist groups and parties and closed the camp for several days.

After the riot broke out on the 24th of November 2017, the camp was
stormed in the following night by a special unit of the gendarmerie.
According to several civil rights organizations, volunteers and refugees
many people in the camp were attacked and heavily injured without being
involved in the riot
Krassimir Kanev, the head of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), who
was beaten up himself by unknown people during the middle of the night
in October 2016 stated:

    Lots of completely innocent refugees were chased in their rooms,
    attacked and severely beaten up by the police in the course of that
    operation. Nor is there any prosecution of those who closed the
    Harmanli center on the instigation of nationalists, turning it into
    a prison for several days, which provoked the riot. Instead, we are
    going to have several rioters prosecuted for destruction of property
    and hooliganism


The Center for Legal Aid – Voice in Bulgaria (CLA) condemned „the
absence of investigation of the police use of force against the
Bordermonitoring Bulgaria (BMB) shares the concerns which were raised by
the BHC and the CLA. The aim of the prosecution cannot justify the
possible unlawful acts of the police, the State Agency for Refugees
(SAR) and the the Health Inspectorate, which should be investigated by
an independent agency.

See the full post on Bordermonitoring Bulgaria:

[Roeszke 11] Continuation of trial – 14th & 19th of March 2018

– based on a statement by the “Free the Roeszke 11” solidarity network –

On the 8th, 10th and 12th of January 2018 the next round of hearings in the Hungarian states’ trial against Ahmed H. took place. His case is now back at he first court level. The second instance referred it back due to problems with evidences and translation issues.

There was no new material being used, instead the same police testimonies, police video footages (and randomly cut video material from Russia Today) and police witnesses were taken into consideration. As in the first round of the trial the judge seemed to take over the role of the prosecutor, even though the first judge was considered to be even more unfair and politically motivated than the current judge.

We still consider this as a political show trial, which by nature cannot be a fair trial.

The conditions of Ahmed H.s imprisonment remain unacceptable: being completely isolated for more than two years after he was arrested, not receiving proper food, having to fight for an isolated 1 hour walk to the yard and the mistreatment  by the wards are just some of many points to be criticized.

In addition to that the general situation of refugees and migrants in Hungary remains horrible: if people are caught they are immediately put into “transit” camps in the border area (container jails), inhuman treatment and physical violence is not unusual, asylum applications are almost always rejected with the consequence of deportation back to Serbia.

Generally it can be said that it is not a question whether the conditions of the trial are more fair now than before. This trial is a politically motivated show trial “proving” the narrative of “terrorist/refugees invading Hungary”, wherein the Hungarian authorities frame themselves as the defenders of democratic “Europe”. The European Union is benefiting tremendously from the role Hungary is performing here since the EU doesn’t have to exceed such a persecution itself. Furthermore, the institution

s and companies who profit from such an inhuman system is rarely discussed.

We stand with the demand of the “Free the Roeszke 11” solidarity network:

We don’t want a fair trial for Ahmed H. – we want his immediate release!

Migration and protesting is not a crime!

— The next trial is announced for 14th and 19th of March 2018, where the first instance verdict is expected. —

p.s.: Let’s not forget the Hungarian elections in April!

— further reference: Al Jazeera article about the trial

[Roeszke 11] Report from the trial against Ahmed H. on 10th of January in Szeged

Today, 10th of January 2018, we went to the trial of Ahmed H in Szeged (Hungary). We wanted to show our solidarity with Ahmed who got sentenced to 10 years in prison for participating in the protests on the hungarian-serbian border in September 2015.

In the beginning it was quite shocking for us to see how Ahmed was brought into the court with chains on his hands and feet, hold on a leash by two heavily armed and masked policemen. The second day of the trial was an analysis of video footage. It is four hours long and covered the protests on the border crossing Roeszke (Hungarian side). Second by second and minute by minute the video was shown to find out where Ahmed appears and disappears and what he was doing. For us it was also shocking to see the situation of this day again.

The judge behaved like he was a prosecutor and obviously tried to manipulate him into accusing himself. He asked some leading questions about the evidences he and the prosecutor found in the video. At some point he was succesful with that.

International and local supporters were present for the whole trial and were able to provide at least a smile and some supportive calls for Ahmed which the police instantly tried to prevent.

Also on Friday we will participate in the trial in solidarity and give a more detailed report on this blog, when the first part of the trial is finished.

There will also be a report on twitter for the trial on Friday, 12th of January 2018:

For donation (urgently for his lawyer) please use the following details:

Account holder: Rote Hilfe e.V. Ortsgruppe Frankfurt
Catchword: Röszke 11
IBAN: DE24 4306 0967 4007 2383 90

or support through crowdfunding: