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Gyurcsány claims police encouraged Röszke riot

Police attacked peaceful refugees, thereby sparking the clashes at the Röszke border crossing on Wednesday, opposition politician Ferenc Gyurcsány, the former prime minister and President of the Democratic Coalition (DK) told a press conference in Budapest this afternoon.

Gyurcsány speaking at press conference this afternoon. (Photo: LaMography: Christian Keszthelyi)

After the clashes, the government announced that all Serbian border crossings would be closed for 30 days.

The government had not yet responded to a request sent before noon today for a general comment on Gyurcsányʼs charges of police misconduct.

According to Gyurcsány, credible witness statements and video recordings will prove that Hungarian Police intentionally caused the incident. He claimed that police opened the gate at the border and let the asylum seekers enter. He said the crowd went into Hungary in a happy, celebratory mood and then police suddenly attacked.

Serbian TV crews entered Hungary alongside the refugees, so that they could record the event, and were beaten by police without just cause, Gyurcsány said.

According to a report by Serbian TV station RTS, their journalists Vladana Hadži Mijailović, Miroslav Đurašinović and Jovan Djurovic were all injured in the attack, and were transported to Subotica in Serbia for medical care. The crew was covering the clashes between Hungarian police and asylum seekers at the border.

Gurcsány charged that his political opponent, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, was the one who ordered the riot at the border and that the prime minister is responsible for the chain of events that led to the refugees fighting with police and the ensuing riot.