Sunday, July 24, 2016

Protesting Hungary's Anti-Migrant Laws

Hundreds of refugees have set off marching from the Serbian capital to the Hungarian border in protest against closed borders and European Union restrictions on entry.

Human Rights Watch released a report criticising Hungary's treatment of refugees and migrants detained after entering or while attempting to enter its territory. The report claims that a group of 30 to 40 refugees and migrants - among them women and children - were beaten by soldiers for two hours after being held in Hungary.

Lydia Gall, HRW's regional researcher, said that "the abuse of asylum seekers and migrants runs counter to Hungary's obligations under European Union law, refugee law and human rights law". "The European Commission should use its enforcement powers to press Budapest to comply with its obligation under EU law, to provide meaningful access to asylum and fair procedures for those at its borders and on its territory. Hungary is breaking all the rules for asylum-seekers," Gall said.

Hungary built a razor-wire fence along the 175km border with Serbia and criminalised breaching or damaging the fence to enter the country. Hungarian forces can expel to Serbian territory any refugee or migrant caught within 8km on the Hungarian side of the border without any deportation process.

Hungarian authorities allow 15 people a day - 14 from families and one single male - to enter a pair of transit zones between the two countries and apply for asylum.

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