Police have also found the one-and-a-half-minute-long video that was recorded at a children’s home in Kaposvár and posted on Facebook. In the shocking footage, a teenage boy is violently kicking and hitting his roommate. The video was recorded by a third boy who is laughing and repeatedly joking about what is happening to the victim, reports Index.
The abuse took place in Somogy County at Zita Children’s Home. Director Tomorné Huber told Index that she could not comment on the matter. The Ministry of Human Resources responded to the abuse in a press release that states that the Secretary of State for Social Affairs of the Ministry of Human Resources only “became aware of the video recording 13 minutes after midnight on 10 January”.
In the shortest possible term, the Secretary of State ordered an internal investigation. He also instructed István Zsolt Benedek, the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Social Protection and Child Protection – the operating body of the establishment – to inform him immediately about the current state of the victim and ordered the Director-General to conduct an investigation. They added that, in cases of child protection, there is a zero-tolerance for abuse.
The abuse happened as follows:
The bullying begins because Karcsi (the abuser) does not like that his roommate is standing in the middle of the room.
“What is that you fucker? You want to be in my way, huh?”
His roommate made a futile attempt saying that he does not want to be in his way, but the abuser kicks the roommate in the head, and then the abuser starts hitting his head with his fists.
“No, Karcsi, no!” pleads the victim, but the abuser does not stop.
“Come on, like babies, let’s go!” pulls his victim towards himself, then he kicks the victim in the stomach. The roommate, hunched from the pain, asks Karcsi: “do not do it,” but the abuse continues. The abuser then begins to twist the victim’s hand with such force that the boy begs him not to break his arm, but the abuser kicked him in the head again. They hear a noise from the hallway and Karcsi silences the boy.
The boy who is recording the abuse encourages Karcsi to continue. To this, Karcsi hits the victim in the back with full force and the roommate begs him to stop hurting him. Karcsi makes him stand up again and kicks the victim in the nose. At this point, the recording and abuse end, probably because someone entered the room.
The police responded to Index‘s question and said that the Criminal Division of the Kaposvár Police Department has initiated criminal procedure for attempted serious assault.
A statement was later posted to Police.hu, in which police states that investigators have heard the victim and other witnesses at the children’s home. Based on the evidence obtained, one of the two alleged juvenile offenders was captured and taken into custody. The other suspect who had previously been questioned was the one who recorded the video.
This case is very unfortunate, but luckily, the Hungarian national police are launching a new campaign against domestic violence, and Jobbik, a Hungarian political party, is also proposing that police forces should be granted more power when investigating cases of domestic violence.
In the past, there was also an Ombudsman inquiry in connection with this children’s home.
In 2015, the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, during the OPCAT inspections, investigated the institution in Kaposvár and discovered serious problems. According to the report, the special children’s home was overcrowded, and the building and living quarters were rotten. Some door handles were missing, and some doors were punctured. Many walls were wet, and most of the furniture was broken.
Among children, violent behaviour was typical.
At the time of the audit, 9 of the 32 children supposed to live in the establishment were on the run. The reason for unauthorised leave – according to workers – is that children “want to be with their families”.
Although the institution is supposed to be open in principle, in practice, children who are admitted are sometimes not allowed out for a whole month, and they may also be barred from engaging in personal contact with their families. According to the statement of the Ombudsman, this isolation period severely restricts children’s personal freedom and is also illegal.
Children in the institution who have dissociative disorders also said that “they have to beat others here to be accepted”.
The use of bio marijuana and designer drugs is widespread at the facility, and, according to the workers, many children respect their peers who were in prison. It was at this facility that a boy forced one of his roommates to have oral and anal sex with him. The case was only reported after three weeks, at which point the medical inspection could not show results. The complaint was later withdrawn by the sexually abused child.
The purpose of OPCAT inspections is, moreover, to prevent abuse and ill-treatment and to protect the rights of people deprived of their liberty. The Ombudsman’s office has called on the government to change its legislation because the possible restriction of children’s freedom in these facilities is unjustifiably long.
The full 2015 Ombudsman’s report on the situation in Kaposvár can be found here.
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