Hungary Accused of Violating Human Rights with Refugees

Hungary's strict border controls have left hundreds of refugees stranded on the border Hungary's strict border controls have left hundreds of refugees stranded on the border © Edvard Molnar/EPA

13 luglio 2016
Government rejects accusations by Human Rights Watch of human rights violations towards refugees at borders

In a report published on 13 July 2016, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Hungarian Government of human rights violations of refugees at its border with Serbia.  In the report, based on interviews with 41 among refugees, migrants and officials from international organizations, Hungarian police and the immigration office, Hungarian security forces were accused of beating refugees, including women and children, for two hours after being detained.

Some migrants interviewed stated that they had been beaten with sticks, batons and fists, resulting in grave injuries as well as being sprayed with tear gas. A large number of refugees has been sent back from the Hungarian transit zone within the borders, to Serbia through the razor wire fence built in September 2015 to stem the flow of migrants into Hungary.  The transit zone, along the border with Serbia, within Hungarian borders, was created to process asylum-seekers and refugees before they are allowed into Hungary. HRW claims that the Hungarian government is breaking all international standards on asylum-seekers, leaving many stranded in precarious conditions inside the legally fictitious transit zone.

A researcher at HRW asserted that Hungary was not complying with its obligation under EU law to provide meaningful access to asylum procedures at its borders and territories. Only 76 out of 18,000 asylum applications have been accepted in between January and May 2016.  The Hungarian government also rejected a similar report the the UN refugee agency UNHCR.  On June 13, HRW sent its findings to the Hungarian Office of Immigration and Nationality, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior, with no response to date.


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