Agnes was taken into police custody on 5 October 2010 – minutes after attending to a woman who had unexpectedly gone into labour at Agnes’ birth centre in Budapest. Both mother and baby were transferred to hospital, where they were soon discharged.
Hungarian law prevents midwives from attending births outside hospitals and Agnes has been charged with ”reckless endangerment of life committed in the line of duty”. She could face imprisonment for 1–5 years.
She has been held in prison since 8 of October and her imprisonment has recently been extended for a further 60 days. Under Hungarian law she can be held without trial for up to a year.
She is currently confined to her four-woman cell for 23 hours a day, and has been subject to strip searches, is allowed one 10-minute phone call every week and is limited to one hour of access to 2 of her family per month.
She recently appeared at a court hearing shackled and bleeding from a wound caused by her restraints.
Her lawyers have lodged an appeal against her continued detention and a complaint has been made to the European Court of Human Rights about her mistreatment in prison.
Protests against her treatment have been held in Hungary.
Agnes’ case is attracting attention worldwide. Articles have appeared in the UK press and her lawyer has spoken on Woman’s Hour. International homebirth experts have written to the media in support of her release.