Court condemns Hungary after the death of a refugee

A Syrian flees with his brother and other people. In Hungary they are brutally pushed back by border guards, his brother does not survive. Now there was a verdict.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has sentenced Hungary in connection with the death of a refugee. Hungary had to pay almost 40,000 euros in damages, the judges in Strasbourg decided on Thursday.

A Syrian man who, together with his brother and other refugees, including a family with three children, wanted to cross the Tisza River from Serbia to Hungary by boat in 2016 had contacted the ECtHR. They were helped by smugglers. The plaintiff stated that Hungarian border guards wanted to push them back to Serbia.

They used tear gas and threw stones, and police dogs were released when he tried to go ashore. His brother drowned trying to swim back to the Serbian shore. Hungary denied this account.

5,600 euros procedural costs

The man alleged a violation of the right to life and that the authorities did not adequately investigate the case. The Court now agreed with him in part. The authorities had not adequately fulfilled their obligation to protect the life of the man. Hungary has to pay 34,000 euros in damages and 5,600 euros in legal costs.

The European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, France, is part of the Council of Europe. The bodies, which are independent of the EU, work to protect human rights in the 46 member states.

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