Police in Körmend have fined a young Afghan man HUF 50,000 (USD 180) for jaywalking.
According to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the man was crossing the street around 8:30 pm on his way to Tesco when a police officer fined him for “a lesser infraction committed while commuting on a public road” for failing to use the designated crosswalk.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee says the police officer could have simply stopped the young man and pointed out that he must use the crosswalk when crossing the street. But why do that when you can fine someone USD 180?
The asylum seeker says he had no idea what was happening. He did not know why he was fined or what he had to do with the piece of paper.
According to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, this young man is not the only asylum seeker in Körmend to be fined by police for minor infractions. Those caught walking around town or at the train station are being ordered back to the nearby camp for asylum seekers. The message is clear: while they may be free to come and go while they await the outcome of their asylum application, the migrants are not welcome in Körmend.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee says police used similar intimidation tactics in Debrecen before closing the camp there, issuing unrealistically large fines to residents of the camp for minor infractions, such as not using a crosswalk or tossing cigarette butts in the street.