Can the soldiers control crowd, will they be able to calmly deal with the tense situation? When do they can use live ammunition and when rubber bullets only? The Hungarian Army is preparing for one of its largest deployment, and hvg.hu collected what rules bind the soldiers who were in war zones and have seen a lot.
Will the soldiers shoot at the refugees or will the use of live ammunition prohibited? – perhaps the public is concerned with this issue the most since it turned out that governing party Fidesz would deploy the army as well to protect the southern border region to curb the wave of migration.
At the same time with Jobbik’s proposal in this regard, vice president of the National Security Committee of the Parliament Szilard Nemeth (Fidesz) announced last Wednesday that the army would also have to work at the Serbian-Hungarian border, in addition to the fence building.
What will be the mission of the soldiers?
According to the pro-government draft law submitted to the Parliament, the cabinet would announce a crisis situation and then it deploy the soldiers who
bail out the police in the management of mass immigration, are patrolling with them and they can lock and ensure the site
can stop cars
guard by force of arms the objects and facilities of the army
can participate in riot control
although the law is not clear enough, it also refers that they can participate in the arrest of illegal border crossers, fugitives (the draft would allow the use of “trapping net”).
Defense Minister Csaba Hende added more tasks at his Tuesday’s Parliamentary hearing:
military police tasks
deployment of drones
registration of migrants.
What weapons can be used?
When asked whether the soldiers can shoot, it is difficult to answer on the basis of the draft. Still, the soldiers perform certain tasks with weapons; others – such as flood defense – can only be performed without weapons. In this, the 2011 law regulating the activity resolutely words listing the various tasks.
According to hvg.hu, now, Fidesz would amend the National Defense Act that “the handle of mass-scale immigration” would be inserted to the tasks which can be performed “by soldiers who can use weapons”. So, there was a possibility in the National Defense Act that soldiers the new border guard duties of soldiers would be inserted to the functions fulfilled without weapons, but not this solution was chosen by the pro-government drafters. Although Fidesz sources denied they would have made a favor to Jobbik, the fact is the government party does not have the two-third majority, so they need the opposition’s support. Jobbik indicated they are ready to help Fidesz, but only if the government party supports their proposal submitted last Thursday, which would also impose use of weapons.
However, the ruling party’s proposal states: no matter what kind of coercive means is deployed by the soldiers, they must act that the arms “should not be directed to take a life”. Rubber bullets, pyrotechnic devices, tear gas grenade and catching nets are listed as means can be used instead of firearms. Furthermore, a part of the soldiers will be better prepared in this than probationary police secondary school students who will be sent, as part of the border hunter troops, by the Interior to the border. Indeed, the soldiers – preparing for foreign missions, such as Afghanistan or Kosovo – are trained for riot control. But this does not exclude that they would use the weapons in a very exceptional situation.
The bill makes an exception in one case and enables live ammunition: if the soldiers detect a serious incident, attack which threatens their physical integrity, life or anyone else’s life. In this case they use a ”device” which is capable of killing people. Illustrated by one example: if they see the policeman patrolling with them is wrestled by an illegal immigrant with a knife in his hand.
Moreover, the task of the soldiers will be the protection of military objects (their camps, vehicles etc.) in the conflict region, which is carried out by weapons. According to the military law they can also shoot, if someone threatens them.
“In the mid-1990s, a tragic event happened in Pecs. A soldier guarded an ammunition depot, when he saw a figure approaching the fence in the night. He called him to come out, cast a warning shot, but the figure did not give up. It was a separate problem that the fence holey, so the soldier bestirred himself to shoot, severely injuring the man. In retrospect, in turned out that the victim was a mentally disabled man who later died of his wounds” – retired soldier Gyula Kovacs revived his memories to show when the soldiers may use firearms and what are the risks, hvg.hu said.
The law states that, if the soldier must use a gun, he has to do so:
first comes the notice: “the target” stop, go out
if it is possible, the soldier should try to ask for help
instead of weapons, he should try to use another means of coercion, maybe wrestle him
fire a warning shot.
Can they shoot at the immigrants cutting through the fence?
Although the barbed wire – with the assistance of public workers – was built by soldiers, it is not the property of the military, but of the police, according to the Law on State Border. It is not a military but a national security establishment, so under the law, it is not the soldiers’ task to defend it by force of arms – in contrast with an ammunition depot, for example. But the exact details will be determined not by the submitted law, but a government decree. After the adoption of the law, the cabinet can decide how the soldiers will protect military facilities.
Minister Csaba Hende sought to emphasize at Tuesday’s parliamentary hearing that the soldiers would not going to control riot by firearm. The Defense Act specifically prohibits the use of firearms “at the dismantling of an illegally gathered or unlawfully conducting unarmed mass.”
Nevertheless, the deployment of the army is an unusual solution. As hvg.hu reported, Western democracies avoid deploying soldiers within the country’s borders; at most in extraordinary cases – flood or terrorist attack – the army helps the police. Even during the party-state system, a separate border guard protected the borders and it was assigned to the Interior, not the Ministry of Defense.
based on the article of hvg.hu
translated by BA