Amnesty Reports On Mistreatment Of Refugees In Hungary

  • 8 Jul 2015 9:00 AM
Amnesty Reports On Mistreatment Of Refugees In Hungary
Asylum-seekers passing through Balkan countries on their way to the EU are routinely mistreated, subject to beatings, extortion and other abuses from both police and criminals, Amnesty International declared in a report released yesterday. At a Budapest press conference the organisation’s regional official Tódor Gárdos said almost all refugees arriving in Hungary through Greece, Macedonia and Serbia are subject to abuse somewhere along the way.

Hungarian Helsinki Committee co-president Márta Pardavi told the reporters that none of the three can be viewed as safe third countries for asylum-seekers, as their refugee care system is unsatisfactory and does not provide treatment worthy of human beings.

Pardavi said Serbia is striving to avoid assessing asylum requests, as only six people were granted refugee status during 2008-14.

These people who take to the roads out of necessity are aware of the vicissitudes ahead, Gárdos remarked. He said Hungary is attractive to them rather than countries further south because their cases will be decided more quickly and they are more likely to receive protection than in Serbia or Macedonia.

Even in Hungary, migrants are “routinely detained, often in overcrowded and degrading conditions, or ill-treated by police officers,” according to the Amnesty report.

With the passage of Hungary’s new law on Monday, refugees arriving from August will not receive substantive answers to their requests for asylum, as their applications will simply be declared unacceptable, and they will be sent back to Serbia, Pardavi said.

However, she welcomed the government proposal to involve migrants in public works projects. “Think how much it means to a Syrian family when they see that the father can work again after years of war,” she remarked.

“If the government expands this – with intelligent opportunities that meet with their qualifications and their situation – it could be good in a given case,” Pardavi added.

Source: Hungary Around the Clock

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