The situation for refugees worsens dramatically in Hungary

25.10.2013
Translated from German by Translators for justice
Source: http://www.proasyl.de/de/presse/detail/news/ungarn_lage_von_fluechtlingen_verschaerft_sich_zunehmend/

PRO ASYL and bordermonitoring.eu report on the refugees’ current conditions in Hungary and state that the transporting of refugees to Hungary needs to stop immediately.

According to a report released today by PRO ASYL and bordermonitoring.eu, the systemic deficiencies present in the Hungarian asylum system have either remained unchanged or have become worse. Based on their research from 2013, the report criticizes questionable arrests being issued by the government and states that the refugees are being abused by the guards. Moreover, new research shows a number of problems in the Hungarian policy system for refugees. Below is a list of issues which, according to the report, are in need of improvement.

Homelessness and Lack of Health Care
Even officially recognized refugees are receiving a lack of health care and becoming homeless. It has been reported that the refugees, who had been living in Bicske in “Pre-Integration Camps” for six months, were released homeless. In addition to becoming homeless, after leaving Bicske, the refugees are not being given enough financial support to cover their living expenses and lively hood. In order for them to even receive financial aid, they often have to meet conditions impossible to fulfill. Without a registered home address, for example, it is impossible for refugees to receive adequate health care. Especially for refugees and families with children, being accepted into a homeless shelter is almost impossible. The Hungarian government, under the leadership of Viktor Orbán, has deemed it a crime to sleep in public; violators could be charged with either a penalty fee or imprisonment.

Unlawful Imprisonment
On July 1, 2013, refugee legislation in Hungary supposedly changed in order to adapt to the Reception Directive 2013/33/EU, which secures basic human rights for all refugees in Europe. However, the legislation allowed arrests to be made that could only be reasoned unjust. As a result, almost every asylum seeker could be given a reason for arrest. For example, one can be arrested for simply “obstructing the asylum process”. This reason for arrest especially impacts refugees being transferred back to Hungary under the Dublin Regulation, who are not in possession of a residence permit. In this case, refugees can be accused of obstructing the asylum process by simply having migrated further.

No Right of Appeal
In Hungary, the individual right of appeal against arrest is not permitted. A legal investigation of the arrest can only take place once every 60 days. In 2011 and 2012, only three of 5,000 arrests were reversed in the courts. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has recently criticized Hungary for this.

Intolerable Accommodations

In 2012, the number of applications for asylum reached around 2,200. This number rose to almost 12,000 in the early half of 2013. Because of the unbearable conditions in Hungary, an estimated 7,000 asylum seekers were quick to immigrate further to other EU countries. Consequently, this could lead to a massive increase in the number of refugees being returned to Hungary under the Dublin Regulation. If this does occur, it may lead to a permanent collapse of the refugee acceptance system in Hungry. The shelters for refugees are already overfilled, and, as an alternative, refugees are being housed in emergency tents and gymnasiums.

Little Protection against Racially Charged Violence

In several locations, Jobbik, the neo-fascist party in Hungary, mobilized to fight against asylum seekers. Among other events, they organized a torch march in May of this year in Debrecen. They demanded that the central accommodation facilities for asylum seekers in the city be shut down. Large racist movements are also taking place in other locations.

Due to these developments, PRO ASYL and bordermonitoring.eu are demanding that refugees no longer be deported from Dublin to Hungary. In order for the refugees to be tried in Germany, the Federal Ministry of the Interior must inform the appropriate federal offices to make the right of entry in Germany applicable to refugees.

In addition, PRO ASYL and bordermonitoring.eu are calling upon the European Commission to point out the unfair Hungarian system for violating the human rights of refugees and to make Hungary legally responsible for this violation. The EU must put pressure on the Hungarian government to change their behavior towards refugees.

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