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Prison service denies press reports claiming ‘demeaning prison conditions’ for imprisoned Italian woman

Hungary's prison service directorate BVOP has firmly rejected media reports claiming "inhumane conditions" in a Budapest prison where an Italian woman is kept for alleged participation in organised armed attacks in Budapest last year.
1. February 2024 7:16

The head of BVOP’s prison services department held a press conference in the 8-person cell in the Gyorskocsi Street facility where the 38-year-old defendant is held.

“We firmly reject unfounded statements made by a former inmate giving account of rats and bedbugs, poor food, insufficient hygienic conditions and inadequate medical care,” Mihaly Kovacs said, adding that Italian and Hungarian press reports citing the inmate were “a lie”. “Such unfounded accusations seriously hurt the reputation of BVOP and its staff,” he said.

Kovacs said that Hungary has strict regulations on prison conditions and their enforcement is monitored regularly by the chief prosecutor’s office and the ombudsman for fundamental rights.

Hungarian prisons strictly observe the regulations and respect human dignity, Kovacs said, adding that inmates were ensured the right to lodge a complaint or file a report. “The Italian citizen has so done at the office of the fundamental rights ombudsman which, concluding an investigation, has not find BVOP being at fault,” he said.

Answering a question, Kovacs firmly rejected claims that the Italian woman had been denied the possibility to contact her family members by phone for months.

The woman is one of three defendants kept in prison on charges of participation in violent attacks by the Antifa movement in February 2023.

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