Hungary: Romani man beaten, abducted and tortured in terrifying ordeal

20 March 2024

By Bernard Rorke

A Romani man who was subjected to a horrifying ordeal, feared for his life at the hands of villagers who, on 7 March 2024, abducted and tortured their terrified captive before dumping him in a well. The ERRC has urged the investigating authorities to pay particular attention to the possibility that this was a racially-aggravated hate crime.  

In a live video on social media, viewed by thousands, a battered and bloodied Gábor Dudás, from the village of Jászkarajenő in Pest County, described how when he went to collect kindling in a nearby wood, three men jumped out of a car, beat him with iron bars and bundled him into the vehicle. 

According to Dudás, they took him to a nearby farm and tortured him, beating him with a hammer and a lead pipe, pulling three of his teeth out with pliers, and threatening to castrate him, before dumping him in a well. His torturers allegedly told the victim "You're going to die, filthy Gypsy, we'll bury you alive." Dudás later told reporters “I was lucky that there was no water in the well. I pretended to be dead so they would leave me there. I still had enough strength to climb out of the well and go home.”

On March 11, local reporters described meeting Gábor Dudás – “he was sedated, his eyes were bloodshot, swollen, pus-filled, his nose was bandaged, he had a deep wound on his hand, and he could only walk with a limp. He told us he was very sick: ‘I'm urinating blood, spitting blood,’ as he headed for a hospital check-up in Cegléd with the support of his family.”    

In a statement to the news outlet Bors, the local police said the following about the case:

“A report was received from the victim on 7 March 2024. He said that several men, known to him by sight, stopped next to him in a car in Jászkarajenő, started beating him, then forcibly pushed him into the car and took him to a farm. They continued to assault him in the deserted area and later abandoned him. According to the primary medical opinion, the victim suffered serious injuries all over his body which took more than 8 days to heal. Within a few hours, the police arrested and detained a 52-year-old local man and interrogated him, but he denied the allegations.”

The Pest county police has launched an investigation into the case for aggravated assault and violation of personal freedom. The ERRC stated in a letter to the authorities that there is a reasonable suspicion that the perpetrators committed the criminal offence of ‘violence against a member of a community’; and has called for a thorough investigation by the police and the public prosecutor's office into the likelihood that this was a racially-motivated hate crime.


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