Hungarian Police Headquarters’ Comment on Convoy: Those Giving a Lift could be imprisoned

Author: Hanna Csatlós, MTI Original title: AZ ORFK NEM HAGYTA SZÓ NÉLKÜL A KONVOJT: BÖRTÖN IS JÁRHAT A FUVARÉRT
Publication: vs.hu Date: 13:58 06/09/2015

Hungarian Police Headquarters’ Comment on Convoy: Those Giving a Lift could be imprisoned

Those who help migrants to get to Austria may be punishable by law, said Viktoria Csiszer-Kovacs, spokesperson for the Hungarian Police Headquarters, quoting the recent warning of the Austrian Internal Affairs Portfolio. The warning was issued in response to the actions of civilians departing for Hungary in convoys to help migrants get to Austria.

About 150-200 cars and vans organised by Austrian civilians are heading to Hungary to help migrants, who got stuck in the country, to get to Austria. Some of them have already arrived at Keleti Station.

The Hungarian Police Headquarters held a press conference at the same time when the first cars reached Keleti Station. Viktoria Csiszer-Kovacs quoted the relevant part of Hungarian Penal Code declaring that helping others to cross the borders by the breach of legal rules is punishable with up to 3 years’ imprisonment.

She did not give an obvious answer to the question whether police will take action against the convoy itself. By comparison, the Austrian police have indicated earlier they won`t stop the cars carrying migrants.

To further questions on actions against those who won`t transfer migrants but only take them to the borders Ms Csiszer-Kovacs explained that abetting illegal residence is distinguished from human trafficking inasmuch as the former constitutes of helping an illegal resident of the country for financial gain, while the latter means helping them cross country borders.

However, there is a condition here, the perpetrator has to be aware that the person the help is provided to is illegally in the country. At the same time, it was emphasized that every case has to be investigated individually.

Journalist Balazs Cseko (above) is travelling with the Austrian convoy and he said to Index – which had previously contacted him – that in the convoy everyone is aware of the possibility of being arrested by the police because of transporting migrants. They are not concerned that their help may cause serious legal consequences, however. If it does, they are ready to face the procedure.

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