Hungarian police abused refugees

Migrants have been ill-treated while being returned from Hungary to Serbia, a Committee of the Council of Europe has found. Although this comes on top of other recent criticism, and the Hungarian government doesn't seem to care too much.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
Hungarian police abused refugees - NewsMavens
Hungarian detention camp, YouTube

Why this story matters:

Several refugees had complained that they were  “kicked, punched or hit with a baton” by Hungarian police while being deported back to Serbia -- the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) concluded in a recently published report.

It is the latest evidence of an alarming phenomenon-- that the hostility towards refugees is not only a rhetorical tool by the ruling elite but also a real-life problem.

Authorities, who feel encouraged by the government, do not shy away from physical abuse.

According to the CPT’s recommendation, all police officers should receive a clear message from the highest political level that any form of abuse is unacceptable. It is quite unlikely that the government, which in the past years has been adding fuel to the fire, will follow the advice.

The CPT’s damning report is the latest in a series of criticism aimed at the Fidesz-government. It was published days after the European Union backed the Sargentini Report.

The right-wing populist elite, however, does not seem to care. Members of the party recently told the Nepszava newspaper that many of them would not mind at all if Fidesz was kicked out from the European People’s Party. 

Details from the story:

  • Among others, the CPT's delegation visited the transit zones of Röszke and Tompa (both in Hungary) in October 2017. Its members interviewed refugees in Serbia, on the other side of the border.
  • According to the report, refugees did not complain about ill-treatment by staff while being detained at the establishments, only when they were being sent back.
  • The Hungarian government denied many of the allegations and claimed that the findings were not professional but politically motivated.
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