Violent “gawking migrant” story turns out to be false

May 12, 2016

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The mayor of Körmend, representatives of the Vas county police department and Hungary’s immigration agency held a press conference Tuesday to dispel unsubstantiated rumors of an outbreak of violence between refugees and locals that was reported by independent television broadcaster ATV last week, reports 444.hu.

János Tiborcz, captain of the Vas county police department, told members of the press that police have not found any reason to implicate a single migrant in alleged acts of violence — reports of violence were subsequently shown to be false.

Tiborcz said the locals are just as safe now as they were before the temporary refugee centre opened.

According to a story published last Thursday morning on atv.hu, a group of refugees residing at the small make-shift camp in the western Hungarian town of Körmend were caught gawking at teenage girls playing handball. Atv.hu also reported the refugees broke the window of a neighboring building and that parents and students in the area are terrified.

Eager to milk this fake news report for everything it was worth, the government quickly announced that “Cologne” would not happen in Hungary, referring to orchestrated migrant attacks on women on New Year’s Eve in the German city.  Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán even ordered interior minister Sándor Pintér to immediately get to the bottom of what happened in Körmend in order “to protect the Hungarian people”.

It turns out that reports of “gawking migrants” were greatly exaggerated, and the volleyball coach who informed the press had learned second-hand about the incident.  Furthermore, the “broken window” turned out to be a small basement window (hardly suitable for gawking) which, in all likelihood, was broken some time earlier.

The police chief told reporters that law enforcement personnel questioned some 21 individuals about the window but were not able to determine how it was broken.

Based on eyewitness testimony, Tiborcz said “no one was in danger. The sporting facility is still safe and useable for everyone.”

From now on, he said, two police would be posted outside the building whenever it is being used. And the police would continue questioning migrants about the broken window over the coming days.