The Hungarian government was caught again: Police brutality was not fake news

Two days ago I quotedThe New York Times editorial that harshly condemned the Hungarian government’s inhumane treatment of the refugees. The Orbán government never leaves such criticism unanswered. In the past ambassadors or government spokesmen responded directly. This time, however, Zoltán Kovács, head of the international communication office, chose a different route. He published an article on an English-language site called About Hungary, which is pretty clearly the product of his own office. By the way, the amount of propaganda aimed at foreign audiences is staggering. There is already an internet website called Hungary Today, which is allegedly a privately funded publication but in fact is being financed by the government. Just today I learned of a publication called Globe’s Magazine, allegedly published by a company called Globimpex. As far as I can ascertain, it is actually financed by the Hungarian ministry of foreign affairs and trade.

The content of About Hungary deserves further investigation, but for the time being let’s just concentrate on Kovács’s answer to The New York Times. In the article Kovács explains to the editorial board of the paper that they don’t know what they are talking about. He assumes total ignorance on the part of Americans, who need to be told that inside the Schengen Area freedom of movement across borders of member states is unrestricted. “You’ll never hear [the word] terrorism from The New York Times and their ilk. Yes, it’s politically incorrect, but it’s today’s reality.” This last sentence in particular was music to the ears of the editors of Breitbart News. They promptly published practically the whole letter. In this way, given the large readership of Breitbart, Kovács’s lecture to the ignorant liberals who don’t want to talk about terrorism received a wide, and I assume receptive, audience.

Interestingly enough, Kovács didn’t try to deny the cruel treatment of the refugees. On the contrary. “It is easy to be charmed by the human rights nonsense when you’re penning editorials from an office in Midtown Manhattan. But we’re running a government responsible for the safety and security of our citizens—as well as the citizens of Europe—on the front lines of this crisis, and we see this struggle differently.”

This was not the earlier position of the government. On March 7 György Bakondi, Viktor Orbán’s adviser on internal security issues, gave an interview to ATV in which he denied any police abuse of the refugees at the Serbian-Hungarian border. During fairly aggressive questioning by Egon Rónai, Bakondi exclaimed: “Can you imagine that our soldiers and policemen beat these people? Can you imagine that our men lie? Dog bites? There are dogs but they all have muzzles on. Don’t we trust our own soldiers?” They know nothing about any abuse ever happening at the border and therefore there is nothing to investigate, Bakondi announced.

A couple of days later János Lázár and Zoltán Kovács at their joint Thursday performance repeated the same line. They categorically denied any wrongdoing on the part of either the policemen or the soldiers. It’s the refugees who lie. Viktor Orbán basically said the same thing during the press conference he gave in Brussels when he claimed that “we don’t know anyone who became injured in the territory of Hungary.” All injured persons were registered in Serbia. The media again wants to “confuse the policemen and the soldiers.”

A telling drawing by a refugee / Source: migszol.com

It was inevitable that the truth would emerge sooner and later. In fact, on the very next day Magyar Nemzet learned from the chief prosecutor’s office that since September 2015, 44 abuse cases had been reported, most of which were dropped “in the absence of a crime.” In five cases the police are still investigating. Who reported these cases? Sometimes the plaintiffs themselves or their lawyers. Doctors Without Borders reported at least nine cases, the United Nations Refugee Agency presented at least one case, and even the Hungarian police came forward with a number of cases. I assume in this last category a superior officer reported on a subordinate.

Once Magyar Nemzet was on the case, they kept going. The paper soon found out that at least two policemen were convicted in an accelerated procedure of abusing immigrants on the southern border. One of them was fined 130,000 forints, which, given these policemen’s salaries, is a fairly hefty sum. This particular brave policeman, of whom we should be proud according to Bakondi, fired teargas straight into the faces of refugees who were standing on the Serbian side of the fence. His excuse was that the refugee in question was hurling abuse at the policeman’s family and “behaved in a threatening manner.” I guess from across the fence. Moreover, given the language skills of the Hungarian police, the story doesn’t ring true.

The other case was even more serious. This particular police sergeant was found guilty of maltreatment and assault of a refugee, who happened to be sitting on the ground. Without any provocation, the policeman kicked the man’s face with his right knee. He was fined 300,000 forints. So much for the gallant Hungarian policemen Bakondi talked about. And so much for the trustworthiness of the Hungarian government and its spokesmen.

The cruel treatment of refugees The New York Times’s editorial wrote about isn’t limited to physical abuse at the border. It extends to the treatment of those few refugees who have received asylum in Hungary. The Orbán government’s chief argument against accepting Middle Eastern and North African refugees is their radically different culture and religion, which prevents their integration into the European majority culture. The two don’t mix. The Hungarian government certainly makes these people’s integration as difficult as possible. Without some initial assistance, integration will not take place easily. The refugees need shelter, some clothing, and, most important, language instruction. As long as they cannot communicate, they cannot find a job. But since June 2016 the government provides none of the above. Prior to that date a legal immigrant received a monthly stipend and some rudimentary language instruction. Right now they get nothing. Some of them must sleep in homeless shelters where they are not welcome. In this way the Orbán government can prove a point: they cannot learn the language, they don’t even want to, and naturally they don’t want to work.

I did hear about a language course offered by a Hungarian Reformed group. The Hungarian Catholic Church, however, has no intention of lending a helping hand to these poor people. The one notable exception is Miklós Beer, bishop of Vác. He suggested that each family that can afford it should “adopt” a refugee, whom they would help get through the first difficult months. He himself took in two young men. His fellow bishops are horrified. And the government newspaper, Magyar Idők, published an editorial in which György Pilhál, one of the most objectionable hacks in the government propaganda machine, intimated that the bishop must have been drunk to have suggested such an unheard-of act. The title of his piece was “I hope it wasn’t the wine for mass.” It seems that this was too much even for Magyar Idők, whose editor-in-chief apologized a week later.

All in all, Hungary’s treatment of the refugees, both those who are already inside the country and those who are locked up in the transit zone, is shameful. There is no other way of describing it.

March 17, 2017
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gdfxx
Guest

Maybe the intent was to call the new publication Globe’s but what one finds is something called Globs, whatever that means…

Ron
Guest

I always find it interesting the people behind it, especially the people in charge. So I did some research on these people:

If you want to go the the website change the dot to . Otherwise too many links, and cannot post.

You find the names and positions on globsmagazinedot com (Meet the Staff)

Managing editor
Edit MÉSZÁROS (also a position as journalist globoportdot hu (see Impresszum)

Editorial staff:
Zsanett OLÁH (works for Magyar Nemzeti Kereskedőház (MNKH) a tradinghouse, promotion Hungarian business), see interview http://pestisracokdothu/olah-zsanett-partnercegek-bevetele-magyar-nemzeti-kereskedohaz-eredmenye/
Sándor BALOGH (Works for HTCC and has own website (http://baloghsandordotcom/)
Prof. Dr. Endre KANIZSAY (Is spokesman / expert for migrant explanation on TV.
PhD Dr. György Msc, SUHA (could not find anything yet)
Dr. Péter SZATMÁRI (could not find anything yet)

Journalists:
Bernáth BARBARA (did not look for it)
György GABRIELLA (used to work for RTL Klub and Boondothu (a local thing of Miskolc)
Ildikó KARAKAI (Főszerkesztő position globoportdot hu (see Impresszum)
András NOVÁK (I think it is the same one as : 24dothu/belfold/2012/06/13/kirugtak-az-rtl-bol-a-hazudos-riportert/
Gergely PAP (also a position as journalist globoportdot hu (see Impresszum)

Member

Another interesting item is the companies that are registered at the same address as Globs. The building is Torokvesz ut 6/A, located in the obnoxiously swanky part of Rozsadomb.

The address is home to Generalimpex Kft., whose 2011 revenue was, according to two different corporate info sites, a whopping HUF 200,000.

Another company at Torokvesz 6/A is Technoimpex Kft, while a third is called Wywex, a staffing company with a dodgy-looking website. Now Globs is there as well!

No information on company executives is immediately available online. However, I imagine it must be very crowded, with four companies all housed in a single residence! Especially since poor Generalimpex didn’t seem to be racking up a lot of sales a few years ago.

In the early 1990s, I learned never to trust any Hungarian company whose name contained the words “impex,” “invest” or “holding.” Almost always corruption-infused tax dodges.

Ron
Guest

This is unbelievable but some of them are really full of themselves. See website http://www.globoport.hu/impresszum/ (Therest replace dot with.)

One of the names is Dr. Kiss Róbert Richard (see krrdothu)
Ringer Bence is another name I found him on various websites, but the tropicalmagazine (mainly about Africa), and pretty such of tax payers money.
http://www.tropicalmagazindothu/component/tags/tag/29-ringer-bence

Ron
Guest

Another question anybody who knows Seifert Peter. Everytime I enter his name (he is Főszerkesztő-helyettes of globoportdot hu), I am getting these Kaya Ibrahimnak links, although his name is familiar it does not ring a bell yet.

Observer
Guest

Lies, damn lies, Orban. If the lie had short legs Orban, Kovacs et al would be rolling on their ball(bearing)s.

What Ron is looking at are the various proclivities of the MINISTRY OF TRUTH. It may cost hundreds of billions HUF, but hides, camouflages corruption and atrocious government. The Orbán regime can’t exist without grand corruption and can’t run even normal government with such corruption, ergo ..
Orbán delenta est.

Member

The cops behaved like thugs during the 2006 riots in Budapest. In Hungairan jokes, the cop is always the stock moron character, and reality bears this out. If they are in trouble, Hungarians will only call the police as a last resort because they know that cops are better at creating problems than solving them. Is it any surprise that things haven’t changed?

Guest

“In Hungarian jokes, the cop is always the stock moron character”.

I cannot resist the temptation to tell a cop joke from Communist time.

Why do the cops always patrol three together?
Because one can read and one can write. The third is keeping an eye on the two intellectuals.

wrfree
Guest

Hehe very good. And sorry to say the new supposed enlightened ‘intellectuals’ of today no matter their rationalizations on refugee policy continue only to use their heads as glorified hat racks. The paucity and vacuousness of their thinking is reflected in their use of the cudgel. As if shots to the head can simply ameliorate a very complicated issue.

Guest

Another version:
Two policemen find a corpse on the street near the gymnasium. One struggles to fill out his report – gymnasium?
Then the other says: No problem, we’ll move him over to the “posta” …

Btw that’s another problem in Hungary – the really low image of the police …
Though I have to add that I’ve never had any problem with them! The few times that I was checked in may car they were friendly and efficient – their main “problem” were:
1) Was I the owner of that German car?
2) Was the car insured?
Both legitimate concerns.

Istvan
Guest

There is a psychological theory behind the harsh treatment of undocumented border crossers and that is based of the impact of aversive treatment on the human mind and mass messaging. The general theory is summarized here reasonably https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aversion_therapy . I believe much of the criminal justice system around the world believes deeply that harsh treatment of prisoners is a necessary deterrent for recidivism, but there is no real statistical evidence in that theory.

The fact that in the USA 77 percent of released prisoners are rearrested within five years does not give much credence to that theory I think. Hungary appears to have a much better recidivism rate than the USA, for first time offenders it’s about 46% according to official data which I suspect has to be accepted with some suspicion see http://bv.gov.hu/download/f/d8/f0000/Review%20of%20Hungarian%20Prison%20Statistics%202015%201.pdf

Member

Refugees are not criminals; they don’t return to crimes; but they may have no choice but to try to seek refuge again.

Member

Off the Topic (kind of): I just heard (from a policeman in Budapest) that Orban has serious neurological problems and goes to a special clinic in Vienna with some frequency (I was told several times a week but don’t necessarily believe it). Does anybody here have similar information?

webber
Guest

People have been saying this for years and years now. The disease he is said to suffer from is called Tardive Dyskenesia (look it up). He definitely shows some of the symptoms of side-effects of the medications used to treat that disorder – licking his lips uncontrollably and repeatedly, for instance. Whether he actually has the disease I am not competent to judge. But everyone can see those symptoms when he speaks sometimes.

Bowen
Guest

Correction (although I’m no medician). Tardive Dyskinesia is the actual side-effect of taking anti-psychotic drugs (which would be needed if treating schizophrenia, bi-polar disorders).

Guest

There was a video clip from some years ago which was damning in terms of OV’s possible TD. I spent some time looking at other video clips of speeches and found no licking or grimacing. If he has TD it would be impossible not to show these tics. Unless medical science has found an inhibiting medication for the condition.

webber
Guest

He had that tic as he walked to the podium for his Mar. 15 speech this year. Watch closely, and you’ll see it. He’s obviously trying hard to keep it in control in the clip, and when he speaks he doesn’t suffer from it. It’s only when he’s not speaking that he has trouble. Just watch. You’ll see.

pappp
Guest

This is actually news from 2008 or earlier. According to the urban legend Orban is supposed to visit his shrink in Graz not Vienna. Some insiders claim that actually Orban sees a doctor in Debrecen. I guess Simicska would know and he’s interestingly never said anything about it.

My bet is that Orban is on mental health medication (which in itself is very common in the US for example) and for that Orban would need to see a doctor from time to time. (Although Orban would have unfettered access to any drugs he wanted to take I would assume that he would consult a doctor once a year or so given the potential side effects etc.)

Member
Member

Now and then, the Budapest Beacon interviews Lajos Bokros.
I appreciate him very much for his clear analyses and opinions in contrast to the common weird hungarian politicians.

This one is about Orbans latest theory about ethnic homogeneitys , which in my country was once called Rassenreinheit, and that refugees also have dignity:

http://budapestbeacon.com/news-in-brief/bokros-orbans-ethnic-homogeneity-comments-mark-dark-turning-point/45164

Ferenc
Guest

Thanks! BB translated some quotes from an interview from ATV, Bokros regularly shows up there. He considers the worst thing from OV&Fidesz:
“OV&Fidesz have poisoned the hearts and souls of the people, and this is what we must immediately rid ourselves of because an autocracy that tramples the dignity of man in the mud is most certainly incapable of creating social advancement and economic growth.”
I fully agree with him on this, and I worry for all the children growing up now, and hearing/watching/reading/receiving the (horrible) words of the (political) leaders of Hungary, to which they probably even look up to. Think for yourself when you were still at school and how you saw in your young mind your prime-minister/president.

Member

A Billboard suggestion for the anti-Orban electoral campaign. Some obvious iconic swaps are the PAKS towers, the razor fence, the stolen euros, and of course the nyilaszkereszt. But the Putin clip can be kept as-is…
This one was created for an arts festival in Phoenix, Arizona (Senator McCain’s state). Starting today, it will stand for four years (unless, as likely, Trumpty-Dumpty’s Deplorables vandalize it) — but then I’m sure that a quick remake will be funded (perhaps several are already waiting wisely in reserve and the next one will have CCTV…)
comment image

Ferenc
Guest

OT
Would I ever support OV? YES!!
If OV will be in the same surroundings as Vaclav Havel was once, I will gladly write to and support him in all his human rights……..comment image

Ferenc
Guest

….the picture comes slow, needs some time to load……