MEP proposes using pig heads as a border deterrent

In a Twitter argument with Human Rights Watch, MEP Gyorgy Schopflin's sarcastic comments quickly spun out of control.

Rachel Kaplan ,

Baby pigs (Illustration)
Baby pigs (Illustration)

A Hungarian member of parliament suggested placing pigs' heads on the border fence as a deterrent against Middle Eastern migrants crossing into the country.

Gyorgy Schopflin's twitter comment came in response to Human Right's Watch director Andrew Strohlein's derision of Hungary's "vegetable scarecrows," carved vegetable heads which people have been placing on the fence to warn off Middle Eastern immigrants.

Hungary has been particularly unwelcoming to the Syrian refugees flooding Europe, erecting a barbed wire fence along its border, and tightening border security. In 2015, only 146 out of 177,135 asylum applications were accepted in Hungary.

Although his Twitter comment seems to have been made in jest, the social media site quickly exploded with insults for his "xenophobic filth." Strohlein called him "an embarrassment to Hungary, to Europe & to humanity."

"Temper, temper. I suppose you are unfamiliar with concepts like haram, hence the conniption. Have a pleasant evening," Schopflin retorted.

"Your words are disgusting. I expect that from anonymous neo-Nazi trolls. But you're an MEP. Act like one," Strohlein told Mr Schopflin.

"So wishing you a pleasant evening is 'disgusting'. NB your language is beginning to resemble hate speech," Schopflin replied.

Although Schopflin later apologized for his joke, he has not taken down his tweets, making it clear that from his "optic," the rhetoric still stands.