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Asylum seeker charged with inciting 2015 Röszke riot

The chief prosecutor of Csongrád county, in southern Hungary, has charged a migrant with disturbing the peace, crossing into Hungary illegally and committing acts of terrorism during riots at the Horgos-Röske border crossing, according to reports. 

A police car parked outside the border fence at Horgos-Röszke on February 9.

A riot broke out on September 16 when asylum seekers on the Serbian side of the border fence at Horgos-Röszke attempted to tear down the fence. The defendant, who allegedly instigated the riots, is now in pre-trial detention, according to state news agency MTI. The defendant was identified as a Syrian national by MTI, but online news portal reported that the defendant is in fact a Cypriot with a passport that allows him free access to the European Union, and that he was travelling along the Balkan migrant route with his Syrian family at the time of the clashes.

The defendant has been accused of committing a terrorist act because he allegedly incited a riot when he spoke into a megaphone and told authorities at the border that they have five minutes to open the border crossing. The accused is also charged with throwing stones at the police barricade and aiding the group of more than 100 asylum seekers in knocking down the fence and rushing into Hungary – before they were pushed back into Serbia with water cannons and tear gas, the news portal added.

At the time of the clashes, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his fortnightly interview with Kossuth Rádio that he believed the riot was an “organized and armed attack,” that was organized and supported by the media and led in English and Arabic languages, reported earlier. Orbán reportedly said at the time that Hungarian authorities had arrested and identified terrorists, and “their background will be uncovered”.