UPDATE Hungary school incident: CCTV footage does not rule out suspicion of racist acts in Konyár

Hungarian and international NGOs have responded to police statements about a possible racist attack in front of a primary school in Konyár. The Hungarian Police force has stated that there were no human rights violations on 5 September when a busload of football fans stopped in front of the school. The police based their conclusion on an unclear, mute recording, which they recently released. However, according to human rights organisations, the legality of the police reaction is disputable, and the recording is not sufficient to explain what happened in Konyár.

The CCTV footage released by the police does not give a clear picture of what happened on the scene. The recording is mute,  so it is impossible to tell whether any racist or threatening statements were made. In addition, the video only shows part of the schoolyard and the street. The footage does not show a mass identity check leading by the police even though, according to the first police announcement, it took place on the spot. As a consequence, the statement of the police that says that public urination, for example, did not happen, because it is not visible on the recording, is disputable, since footage from other cameras covering the area has not been released.

The website hvg.hu released a briefer, but clearer version of the video  (the police version has been blurred), which proves the necessity of further investigations.

The police seemingly ignored the fact that one of the bus passengers was a former teacher who was fired from the school after he shared a video  which supported the use of violence in the education of Romani children. He gave reasons for the presence of the fans on the far-right extremist website kuruc.info,. According to his explanation: ”we thought that we would sing them the Hungarian and the szekler anthem in order to form their identity – in schools they do not sing these anthems very often... So leading by this aim we sang the two anthems and said a loud ’ria-ria-Hungária’ chant.”

Civil organisations furthermore maintain their statement), stating that the passive nature of the police response is a serious human rights abuse. The organisations call upon the police to investigate the case based on the requirements of equal treatment. The recording does not rule out a suspicion of hate crime. Based upon the law, police should have already launched proceedings ex officio and interrogated eyewitnesses. It is inexplicable that the police have made public announcements full of unproven statements, instead of clarifying the questions by adequately investigating.  Without a proper investigation it cannot be determined what happened and whether there was a crime or not.

This statement is also available in Hungarian.

The previous statement is also available

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