In the small Hungarian town of Ásotthalom, migrants are regularly being photographed on their knees, hands on their heads, displayed like hunting trophies, with armed militiamen standing by. 

Laszlo has warned off migrants while images of police on motorcycles and horseback, in cars and even in helicopters played in the background, accompanied by an action-movie soundtrack. “Hungary is a bad choice, Ásotthalom is the worst.”



Beneath a photo published in June on the Facebook page of Toroczkai Laszlo, the mayor of Ásotthalom, a village of 5,000 on the Serbo-Hungarian border, the caption reads, “Violent invaders 0 – Citizen militia 1.” The image shows three migrant men lying face-down on the ground, their hands bound behind their backs. In another photo, shared more than 300 times, a thick-set man in camouflage poses in front of five young men, captured while illegally crossing the border

A rising star of the Hungarian far-right – he is vice-president of Jobbik, an openly xenophobic nationalist party –  last summer he launched an armed civilian patrol whose mission is to “capture” migrants near his village… This does not seem to bother local citizens, who are used to living behind barbed wire since the Hungarian authorities decided in 2015 to erect a fence along the entire 175-kilometre border between Hungary and Serbia.