A Syrian-born Cypriot who was jailed four years ago in Hungary on terrorism charges has been reunited with his family in Cyprus according to Amnesty International that mounted a campaign for his release.
“After four long years of separation Ahmed has finally been reunited with his family, just in time for his elder daughter’s tenth birthday,” AmnestyHungary wrote on Twitter.
Ahmed, a construction worker who was living as a permanent resident in Cyprus with his own family, joined thousands of refugees in 2015 who were attempting to travel from Turkey to Germany in order to assist in the safe passage of his own parents and other family members.
Reports said Ahmed grabbed a loudspeaker and tried to calm things down during the clash between police and protesters
He was arrested on the Hungarian border during clashes with local police after officials announced they would not allow refugees to pass through the country.
Ahmed was sentenced to prison for 10 years in Hungary on terrorism charges at a time when the country was seeking ways to toughen its stance on immigration.
The trial was marred by controversy after the judge in his case refused to hear testimony from defence witnesses. A police officer for the prosecution was also said to have been “not fully certain” about Ahmed’s identity in connection with allegations that he was throwing stones.
Reports said Ahmed grabbed a loudspeaker and tried to calm things down during the clash between police and protesters. He was also later seen on video cleaning rubble from the road and helping injured rioters. It later emerged that Ahmed could not be seen attacking guards during the clashes while he still faced charges of inciting violence.
Amnesty said Ahmed’s return to Cyprus was an “overwhelming relief” while adding he should never have been convicted in the first place.
Amazing news! Ahmed's children got their wish and he has flown home to them in Cyprus after 4 years unfairly imprisoned in Hungary (not on wings, but by plane). Just in time for his daughter's birthday!— Amnesty Magyarország (@AmnestyHungary) September 28, 2019
Thanks to everyone who supported him! pic.twitter.com/SOyi542U6n