Hungary: Mass Brawl Breaks Out Between Syrians and Jordanians in Budapest Mall
Denes Albert, Remix, April 24, 2023
Budapest’s Lurdy shopping mall was the scene of an unusual event — at least for Hungary — when over a dozen Syrians and Jordanians became involved in a mass brawl.
Friday’s fight at Lurdy House pitted members of a Syrian and a Jordanian family against each other reportedly over a long-standing feud. After the altercation, three people were questioned by police and one was detained. The latter was already on probation for violence.
Prior to the fight, the Cultural Association of Egyptians in Hungary had held an event, which was peaceful. The president of the association said that the two families involved have been angry at each other for years. Some people hit others with chairs. One man was hit on the head so hard that he was taken to the hospital with a life-threatening skull injury.
After the incident, the police initiated an investigation into assault causing bodily harm and hooliganism. Three men were questioned as suspects, one of whom was taken into custody. Bettina Bagoly, spokeswoman for the prosecutor general’s office in the capital, told RTL that the man in custody did not admit to any wrongdoing. In fact, according to Hungarian news outlet Mandiner, he complained about his arrest, saying that he only responded with violence after the rival family provoked him.
The man had previously received a suspended prison sentence for assault and committed the new offense while on probation. The Metropolitan Prosecutor General’s Office proposed that he be placed under criminal supervision limited to his place of residence.
Scenes of such violence between rival ethnic gangs in Europe have been seen throughout Europe, including in France.
In Germany, over 100 rival clan members battled with sticks and knives on the streets of Essen last year. Rival Afghan and Turkish groups fought in front of a kebab shop in Paris last year as well. In 2020, the city of Dijon turned into a war zone as rival Chechen and Arab clans fought on the streets for days, with various groups traveling from across Europe to participate in scenes that shocked France. The fighting involved assault rifles, vehicle-ramming attacks, and police losing control of portions of the city.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has lamented the rise in multiculturalism and the resulting surge in crime over the years. In 2020, he said: “I also see that law enforcement and police are on the streets, and yet there is a wave of violence. Statues are being toppled, the conditions are deplorable, and there are gang wars on the beautiful streets of small towns in civilized Western European countries,” Orbán said. “I look at the countries of those who are advising us on how to conduct our lives properly and on good governance, proper operation of democracy, and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”