Fencing Federation Secretary General gave false report on migrant attacks in Leipzig

July 31, 2017

Secretary General of the Hungarian Fencing Federation Gábor Boczkó (pictured above) falsely reported multiple attacks by migrants in Leipzig, Germany, home of the 2o17 World Fencing Championships, on the news program of Hungarian national TV, reports 444.hu.

The former European and World fencing champion Boczkó told state television on Tuesday that continuous disturbances on the main square of Leipzig committed by people who “can probably be considered migrants” hindered the national team’s ability to concentrate solely on the competition.

He recounted “someone waving a large machete” on the square and “a man of color, who attempted to kidnap a two-to three-month-old infant from a white lady.” Boczkó stated that police tried to apprehend the man but he broke out of their grasp and fled.

Bockzó said witnessing these incidents had shocked him as “one does not see events like this in Budapest on a daily basis.” He told state television that due to the “critical state of security in the city, the Hungarian team decided that team members can only go out on the streets in groups and solely before dark.”

As 444.hu did not find any trace of the exceptional incidents reported by Boczkó in either the national or the regional German press, they contacted the Leipzig City Council for answers.

“Leipzig is a safe city where people can move freely both day and night,” said Leipzig City Council spokesperson Matthias Hasberg. “There is no way people need to move in the city in groups and solely before dark, not even Hungarian sportsmen. The Hungarian fencing team was accommodated in a hotel where many other teams resided during the time of the world championships. No complaint was filed for disorderly conduct, apart from the Hungarian team’s.”

Hasberg added that neither the council nor police are aware of any extreme disturbances or disorderly conduct at the square during the world championships. He called Boczkó’s account of machete waving and a kidnap attempt “fiction, and it has nothing to do with reality.”

Contrary to Boczkó’s account that police tried to apprehend the alleged kidnapper, according to Leipzig police spokesperson Uwe Voigt, no such incident was reported to the police. Voigt also failed to find any trace of a machete waving individual among police reports. The spokesperson acknowledged that there was an argument between a North-African couple in one of the parks, but the police officer on the scene quickly settled the situation and no crime was committed.

Encouraged by the police spokesperson’s statement on the arguing couple, state television included an update on Boczkó’s report in Thursday’s news program titled “The Leipzig police also acknowledged the attack.” However, the report failed to include the fact that no crime was committed in the case, and seized the opportunity to stress that according to the police’s statement events such as this (couples arguing) happen every day, and quickly reported on a rape case committed some 425 kilometers away in Rosenheim, allegedly by a migrant, originally reported by German daily Die Welt.

The Hungarian Fencing Federation published two videos on Thursday on their official Facebook page as proof of Boczkó’s stories. Both videos show police apprehending people allegedly in the immediate proximity of the Hungarian team’s hotel. But neither of the videos portray anything remotely close to Boczkó’s statement, and although the second video shows a man holding a long object, the video was shot from such distance and its quality is so poor that it is impossible to identify the object.