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Hungary arrests five over refugee deaths, Austrian authorities save intercepted children

30.8.2015 23:06
The truck in which dozens of dead refugees were found on 27 August 2015 in Austria. (PHOTO:  Repro video
The truck in which dozens of dead refugees were found on 27 August 2015 in Austria. (PHOTO: Repro video

A court in the Hungarian city of Kecskemét remanded four men into custody on 28 August who are suspected of having contributed to the deaths of the 71 refugees in a refrigerator truck that was discovered in eastern Austria last week. Agence France-Presse reports that those arrested will remain in custody until 29 September at the request of Hungarian prosecutors.  

A fifth suspect was subsequently arrested in Hungary. Justice officials there believe those arrested to date are just "small fish" in a gang of human traffickers.

The bodies of what were probably Syrian refugees were found by Austrian Police last Thursday in a parked truck on the highway between Budapest and Vienna. Those suspected of participating in the tragedy who were arrested in Hungary are described as one Afghan man and three Bulgarians.

The Austrian Press Agency reports that a Bulgarian businessman with Lebanese roots is the owner of the truck and that the Afghan and one of the arrested Bulgarians were drivers. The fifth man detained has also been described as Bulgarian.

It is unclear how long the corpses were in the truck, which previously belonged to the Slovak meat production company Hyza and still bears the logo of that firm. Hungarian authorities say the truck entered Austria from Kecskemét in central Hungary.

The New York Times reported yesterday that three small children had been hospitalized with severe dehydration in northern Austria after being found in another small van with 23 other migrants by police, narrowly averting another fatal tragedy involving Middle Eastern refugees taking their chances with human traffickers. Police found the children around 4 AM Friday after chasing the vehicle near the Austrian-German border, less than 24 hours after the decomposing bodies in the other truck were found.

The paper reports that twin girls, aged five, and a six-year-old boy from Syria were in life-threatening condition and were immediately hospitalized in Braunau, where they have since improved, according to police spokesperson David Furtner. The driver, a 29-year-old Romanian, was arrested. 

agw, ČTK, mik, The New York Times, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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refugee, war, Asylum, Austria, Bulgaria, Human trafficking, Hungary


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Czech survey finds youth are more prejudiced against minorities than their elders

8.2.2018 7:46
A survey performed by experts from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR) in collaboration with the Institute of Sociology has ascertained that while the subjects of the Holocaust, minorities and tolerance are being taught in the Czech schools, the instruction is having no influence on some widespread prejudices. ÚSTR has long focused on instruction about these sensitive historical subjects in the schools and more than 600 teachers take its courses annually.
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Outgoing Czech PM backs MP who doubted Romani Holocaust, says he has apologized and his words have been "misinterpreted"

7.2.2018 16:32
Outgoing Czech PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) says that he believes the chair of the SPD movement, Tomio Okamura, has already apologized for his remarks about the Protectorate-era
concentration camp at Lety u Písku, a site of the genocide of the Roma during the Second World War. When asked today whether he supports removing Okamura from his post as vice-chair of the lower house, as the Christian Democrats propose, the PM said he considers Okamura's apology to have been sufficient.
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Czech Republic: Unique "Memory of the Roma" project keeps historical memory alive through video

7.2.2018 7:33
Over a cup of coffee in her apartment in Rokycany, Czech Republic, 67-year-old Květa Tůmová Tomášová recalls the stories of her family, whose roots are in the Šariš region of eastern Slovakia. She talks about labor camps, partisans, the Second World War, the postwar migration to the Czech Republic, her childhood in Rokycany, and the classroom where she and her brother Mírák were the only Romani children.
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