Hungarian Muslims rally around hurt UAE chess official

The country's Islamic community has offered the injured chess official a therapeutic spa stay to recover from his beating.

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Hungarian Muslims would like an Emirati chess official who was pummelled by thugs to see more of their country - but this time, the good side.

They have invited Saud Al Marzooqi to recuperate at a spa on the banks of Laka Balaton, and would also like him to take in the "beauty places" of two Hungarian villages.

On June 1 on the streets of the city of Szeged, Mr Al Marzooqi was run over by a car, kicked and beaten unconscious by three men whom he has described as police officers who thought he was an illegal immigrant.

Joos Adel, the director of the Hunguest Hotel Helios in Heviz, extended the offer of two weeks at a thermal spa to Mr Al Marzooqi.

In a letter sent to The National and addressed to Mr Al Marzooqi, Mr Adel said: "We have heard of the terrible and outrageous incident last Friday in Szeged. The Hungarian Islam community and the Hunguest Hotel Helios strongly condemn the physical attack against your person."

Mr Adel said Mr Al Marzooqi's therapy sessions at the spa would be conducted by professionals.

"We would like to take care of you personally," he noted.

Zoltan Bolek, the chairman of the Hungarian Islamic Community, said the offer was organised by businessmen and municipal officials.

"We want to help our brother and show him our country from its better side," he said.

"Mayors of Nagypáli and Nagyvisnyo in Zala county invite the chessmaster to their villages to know the beauty places and natural sites and the traditions of these villages."

Mr Bolek added: "The Hungarian Islamic Community deeply condemns the terrible abuse of the chess official from the UAE.

"We hope that the police and authorities take every necessary step to investigate this incident and to punish the abusers and provide justice in this case."

Mr Bolek described it as the organisation's "duty to help our suffering brother in his hard situation" as well as to "show that our country is a friendly place where the unacceptable and terrifying habits of the abuse are uncommon".

Mr Al Marzooqi, a member of the UAE Chess Federation, was visiting Hungary with Salim Abdulrahman, the Emirati junior chess master, and filed a complaint on June 4 after being taken to hospital with five broken ribs.

Prosecution officials have said his complaints were "well founded".

"The authorities have questioned two witnesses," Ferenc Szanka, a spokesman for the prosecutors' office leading the investigation, said yesterday.

Prosecutors have also turned to medical and technical experts, with the latter analysing close circuit footage of the incident, he said.

Csongrad county police declined to comment on the matter with a spokesman referring to the ongoing investigation. "Police will comment on the incident once the investigation was closed," spokesman Szabolcs Szenti said.

Rita Aida Attia of the Hungarian Islamic Community said she had tried to contact Mr Al Marzooqi but the hospital denied access.

"I called the hospital on Saturday but was told by staff that no calls are to be put through," she said.

* With additional reporting by Marton Eder in Budapest