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Man charged with forced labor in Kerekegyháza

The Kecskemét District Prosecutor’s Office has charged a farmer from Kerekegyháza (80 km southeast of Budapest) with keeping a friend of his in fear for months and forcing him to work, the Bács-Kiskun County Prosecutor’s Office said, according to hrportal.hu.

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According to the announcement, the 53-year-old accused and the victim, who was also from Kerekegyháza, had known each other for a long time.

In April 2017, the farmer allegedly lured the victim under the pretext of a well-paid, long-running work. The victim lived in a designated room with a tile window, without electricity, accessible only from the accused’s room, and at night he locked the room’s door so that it could not be opened from the inside. Instead of the promised work, the accused forced the victim to massage, wash, clean, mow, cut wood, and perform masonry tasks. The victim was given food and cigarettes, but no payment.

The accused kept a crossbow, sword, knife and stick in the farmhouse and in his car to intimidate the victim. He threatened to use guns if he tried to escape.

The victim eventually escaped from the farm in August 2017 and sought help, hrportal.hu notes.