What are the chances that this man will become a loyal, stable, productive member of secular Austrian society?
“Syrian bites police officers because wife should lift veil,” translated from “Syrer beißt Polizisten, weil Ehefrau Schleier lüften soll,” MeinBezirk.at, September 16, 2022 (thanks to Medforth):
An illegal migrant. Syrian. Mid-30s. With wife and small child. Picked up on August 28 in Nickelsdorf. Sad daily routine for the police in the border regions. Thus one case of many. What follows is an automatism prescribed by law. Entry registration, practised thousands of times, which every “stranger” has to go through. Fingerprints are taken, personal details are recorded, photos are taken for documentation purposes. Of course, there is no exception for this family either.
But the Syrian does not like the control. He protests loudly. Becomes angry. He shouts. Refuses to give fingerprints. Doesn’t see what the point is. Gestures. All attempts at explanation on the part of the executive are met with no understanding. On the contrary. The illegal migrant is on the rampage. He cannot be calmed down. As the situation in the data reception centre is in danger of escalating, six police officers take a stand. They stay in the background, but on standby, just in case. Better safe than sorry. And a good thing, as it would later turn out.
Because when the Syrian sees that his wife is to lift the veil, ergo take it off, as part of the entry documentation, there is no stopping the patriarchally oriented man. The misogynist goes completely crazy. He attacks the executive officers. Beats them with his fist. The police officers literally have to do all they can to subdue the illegal migrant. During this scuffle, the perpetrator bites and injures a uniformed officer on the finger.
The violent man was tried in room 7 of the Eisenstadt Regional Court. The prosecutor accused the defendant of “resisting arrest and grievous bodily harm.” This was anything but a “trivial offense.” The Syrian defendant claimed that he had not known what fingerprints were to be taken for or what the entry formalities were supposed to be good for. He confessed to the charges and apologized. He was also sorry for what had happened. That was essentially it.
Surprisingly, the female judge did not explicitly question the course of events. How the illegal migrant could dare to attack and hit police officers or even injure one of them. Nor did he have to explain his escalation of violence, his excess, in any way. Instead, the perpetrator was able to describe in detail that he was confused because he had already been sitting in a car for 13 hours, ergo had been dragged. The police were not good to him. Because his mouth was covered. And he was handcuffed… Then he fell unconscious and only woke up in hospital. That’s all he remembers.
The police officer who suffered the finger bite also had to be taken to hospital. On the witness stand, however, he was not questioned about the incident itself. Not in any way. No “how did the injury occur? How did the fight happen? How did it play out on the ground?” Nothing. Because the perpetrator confessed, the judge said, she only wanted to know if the police officer was seeking compensation for pain and suffering: “My wound was treated in hospital, and I also had to take antibiotics. 500 euros would be appropriate.” Then the police officer said, “I was injured, but I did not go on sick leave, but immediately resumed my duties at the border.” That was the end of his questioning.
The public prosecutor demanded a punishment appropriate to the guilt and offense. The Syrian’s defense lawyer demanded a lenient sentence. Among other things, he stated that his client had suffered a culture shock in Austria and had therefore reacted wrongly. The illegal migrant explained: “Originally I wanted to travel to England. But now I want to stay in Austria. God willing. Because many people have recommended that I stay here!”
Short and sweet was the judge’s verdict. Guilty. 6 months imprisonment. Probation for three years. Plus payment of 500 euros to the injured police officer. In her reasoning, she explained that because of the previous orderly lifestyle, the confession and the short time already served in prison, the sentence was only to be suspended. And the offender should be released immediately. “Go and get your things. All the best,” the chairwoman told the Syrian, who accepted the sentence. The prosecutor had a different opinion. She made no statement. Therefore the sentence has not become final.