Hungarian right-wing media attributes the disappearance of a Pakistani student to ‘Coronavirus’ without investigation

A generally anti-immigrant tone lingered throughout the article, augmented by comments manifesting a dislike for CEU students.

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Raza Khan, a 28-year-old Pakistani student at the Central European University (CEU), was last seen on the 2nd of March this year.

There has not been any progress on the updates of his whereabouts thus far. However, he made the headline of a right-wing Hungarian news platform which goes by the name Pesti Srácok. The news site pledged that Khan went missing after discovering he had contracted the deadly virus i.e. to escape expulsion from Hungary.

The article claimed that Khan, upon learning that his Iranian peers had tested positive and later expelled, abandoned his residence. This claim remains uncorroborated; the Iranian students were ascertained as Hungary’s first cases much later than the date of Khan’s disappearance.  Furthermore, not much evidence was provided to prove Khan’s closeness to those individuals.

A generally anti-immigrant tone lingered throughout the article, augmented by comments manifesting a dislike for CEU students.

The CEU has publicly dismissed the claims of the article. In a released statement, it mentions that it “has seen no evidence whatsoever that Raza has been infected with the virus and urges the media not to give publicity to unsubstantiated claims…”

Similarly, appeals for the piece’s takedown have been made by CEU’s student unions. They further demand an investigation of the individuals responsible for it.

This is not the first time that forged news like this has been endorsed by the Hungarian government. The right-wing media’s inclination toward vilifying foreigners is apparent. Such propaganda has fuelled xenophobic sentiments and remains a tool for the Fidesz government to mislead the public.

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