Freed Hungarian hostages arrive home from Syria

Three Hungarian hostages, kidnapped in Syria in mid-August and freed last weekend, arrived home on Monday.

They held a news conference organized by Hungary's Terrorism Aversion Center.

The three had been in Syria as private citizens and, together with three Syrian nationals, had been taken from their car on August 13 by the opposition Free Syrian Army.

Hungary's Terrorism Aversion Center immediately began negotiations and on August 23 their captors agreed to release them.

Deputy state secretary of the Foreign Ministry Ferenc Szabolcs Takacs said the men were released to the staff of Hungary's embassy in Syria on Saturday, and the embassy played an active role in transferring them to Lebanon from where they were able to return home.

He underlined that the men, all former police officers and dog trainers, had been in Syria as private citizens and that the Hungarian government knew nothing about them.

Hungary has kept its diplomatic mission in Syria open despite the unrest.

Zsolt Bodnar, a senor official with the Terrorism Aversion Center, said the men were unharmed, had been treated well, and that no ransom had been paid for their release.

One of the three men, whose names were not released, said that they were visiting a friend and that their journey had been unrelated to either the Syrian government or the opposition.

He also said that while they had not been physically mistreated by their captors, it would take a while before they came to terms with their captivity psychologically.

Meanwhile, Monday's daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet reported that the three Syrians taken with the Hungarians were also linked to Hungary. Two are permanent Hungarian residents and, wrote the paper, they will be returning to Hungary within the next few days.

The third lived in Budapest for 10 years before returning to Syria with his family. According to Magyar Nemzet, this man, Ibrahim Hassan, is believed to be applying to Hungary's embassy in Syria for asylum or refugee status for himself and his family.


Popular posts from this blog

How a cyber attack hampered Hong Kong protesters

‘Not Hospital, Al-Shifa is Hamas Hideout & HQ in Gaza’: Israel Releases ‘Terrorists’ Confessions’ | Exclusive

Former FARC guerrilla, Colombian cop pose naked together to promote peace deal