Amnesty International blasts Hungary for abuse of refugees

By bne IntelliNews September 27, 2016

Asylum-seekers are suffering violent abuse, illegal push backs and unlawful detention by the Hungarian authorities at the country's southern border with Serbia, a report published by Amnesty International (AI) on September 27 claims. Human Rights Watch repeatedly warned of similar abuses during the summer.

The report, just the latest of many international voices accusing Hungary of failing to comply with international standards, appears as Budapest is busy running a virulent campaign demonising refugees ahead of a national referendum on the EU’s migrant quota system on October 2. The poll is widely viewed as a tool to maintain support for the populist Fidesz government, with Brussels having essentially admitted that the quota system is all but dead.

Tighter border controls introduced by Hungary on July 5 have left hundreds of refugees stuck in "no man’s land” in deteriorating conditions at the razor-wire fence built last year, NGOs report. At the time of AI’s visit to the border, more than 600 people were staying in makeshift camps, many of them for months on end, the report notes.

According to the new regulations, migrants - including vulnerable asylum seekers, such as unaccompanied children - apprehended within 8km of the border can now be returned to Serbia without any legal procedure. Migrants told Amnesty International that excessive force was used during these push backs, with asylum seekers being beaten, kicked and chased by dogs.

Those that do pass through the “transit zones” – metal containers at the border in which asylum claims are processed - are taken to refugee centres in Hungary. Conditions are dire, according to AI. “The centres lack basic services [and] barely provide education and activities for children or healthcare,” the report states.

In December, the European Commission initiated infringement proceedings against Hungary's asylum legislation, stating that “in some instances, [it is] incompatible with EU law.” No further information about the proceedings has been made public.  

Earlier this month, Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn sparked a diplomatic row as he argued Hungary should be kicked out of the European Union for abusing EU values in its treatment of refugees. Leaders from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have also expressed their “great concern” in a joint letter condemning Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s refusal to follow EU rules and agreements on the treatment of displaced people.

Related Articles

Poland isolated again as it threatens to block EU declaration

Poland will not sign the Rome Declaration if its demands for moulding the EU’s future are not reflected in the document, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo threatened on March 23. The statement could ... more

Hungarian referendum on nuclear deal with Russia rejected

The expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant will be Hungary's “biggest political error of the 21st century” claimed Bernadett Szel, leader of the small opposition party LMP, on March 22, as she ... more

Hungary finally joins the negative yield club

Hungary finally joined the negative yield club on March 21 as Government Debt Management Agency AKK  accepted a bid of -0.01% at an auction of 3-month T-bills. Hungarian yields have been on ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss