Budapest, January 6 (MTI) – Hungary’s foreign ministry will press The New York Times to quote its statements in connection with an article which appeared in the US daily, claiming that a Syrian refugee woman was “beaten unconscious in a Hungarian prison”, daily Magyar Idok reported on Wednesday.
Attila Samu, press chief at the Hungarian interior ministry, told Magyar Idok that the interior ministry had suggested to the foreign ministry that this is the way it should handle a complaint over the “false statements” in the article. The article published on Jan. 2. in The New York Times accused an employee of Hungary’s law enforcement authorities, which are under supervision of the interior ministry, of committing a crime, Samu said.
A Syrian woman “was beaten unconscious by a Hungarian prison guard after refusing his advances,” The New York Times wrote in the article, which describes the experiences of women on the “migrant trail”.
The National Command of Law Enforcement (BVOP) firmly rejected the accusations concerning Hungary and added that there are only male inmates held on immigration charges in Hungary, hence there could have been no contact between women refugees and prison guards in any of BVOP’s facilities.
Leaders of the pro-government Civil Unity Forum (COF) and its foundation COKA commented on the matter saying that rights groups such as the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Civil Liberties Union risk applying double standards concerning the state of the Hungarian prison system if they do not stand up for Hungarian prison workers. The NGO said that while Hungarian rights groups “rush to Strasbourg on a daily basis to complain about prison conditions in Hungary, they only seem to be concerned about defending inmates”. To prove their credibility, civil rights groups must do all they can to dispel any belief that the dignity of prison workers is “not a priority” for them, COF said.