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#Röszke 11 // #FreeAhmed: The Cyprian government denies Ahmed’s return to his family

Today four years have passed since the “Röszke riot”, the attack of the Hungarian riot police and TEK (counter-terrorism unite) on protesting migrants against borders and limitation of freedom of movement in 16th of September 2015. During and after this riot eleven people were arrested and later faced a court trial. Ahmed H., one of the arrested eleven people was convicted for terrorism and sentenced first to 10, than to 7 and on the last court instance to 5 years prison.

Originally published by Free the Röszke 11.

On the 19th of January 2019 he was supposed to get released on parole, after he finished two third of his sentence. But instead of returning home, he was transferred to the immigration prison in Nyirbátor, in the east of Hungary.

He was waiting for months there for Cyprus to renew his visa, which expired during the time he spent in prison . He used to live in Cyprus before his arrest for more than ten years together with his wife and children. He left the country and ended at Hungarian-Serbian border, because he accompanied his parents from Syria to Europe. Although the authorities promised him that he can return home with his renewed visa after the administration procedure is over, after months of waiting he learnt, that the government of Cyprus refused his return. The interior ministry of Cyprus stated that he is a security threat and
cannot get visa.

There is apparently no state willing to let Ahmed enter, so he remains trapped in the Hungarian jail. In the last months we could not publish anything about the case because his family did not want to go public with this further developments until now. We were silent, but we did not
disappear.

During the trial, there was very strong criticism against the Hungarian state. The liberal media, international organisations, and even the EU parliament were accusing Hungary of not respecting european values. Cyprus’ refusal to renew Ahmed’s visa prove, that his situation is not exclusively the fault of an ‘undemocratic’, ‘dictatorial’ regime. The racist anti-immigrant and anti-terrorist discourse is an essential part of the idea of ‘Europe’ and the european border regime, that all european states follow.

This is a call for solidarity actions targeting this time the Cyprian state and its institutions. A strong international public pressure is needed for Ahmed’s release and return home. The government of Cyprus has to let him join his family again and be finally free from the imprisonment! Spread the news, spread solidarity!

Let us not forget the prisoners of the Fortress!
Freedom for Ahmed H.!


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