Amnesty slams Hun­gary’s mi­grant ‘abuse’

The Myanmar Times - - World -

AMNESTY In­ter­na­tional yes­ter­day de­nounced Hun­gary’s right-wing gov­ern­ment for “de­lib­er­ately” mis­treat­ing asy­lum seek­ers and whip­ping up anti-mi­grant fears ahead of a na­tional vote on the EU’s trou­bled refugee re­lo­ca­tion plan.

“Against the back­drop of a toxic ref­er­en­dum cam­paign, poi­sonous anti-refugee rhetoric is reach­ing fever pitch,” Amnesty said in a re­port.

Hun­dreds of mi­grants and refugees have suf­fered phys­i­cal abuse, il­le­gal bor­der push­backs and un­law­ful de­ten­tion at the hands of au­thor­i­ties in re­cent months, Amnesty said.

The study is based on re­search con­ducted in Ser­bia, Hun­gary and Aus­tria – three key coun­tries along the Balkan mi­grant trail – and in­cludes in­ter­views with 129 mi­grants.

Peo­ple stuck in so-called “tran­sit zones” on the Hungarian-Ser­bian bor­der told Amnesty they had been “beaten, kicked and chased by dogs” be­fore Hungarian guards force­fully pushed them back into Ser­bia.

The group said the “ap­palling treat­ment” of mi­grants and the de­nial of asy­lum pro­ce­dures were a “de­lib­er­ate pop­ulist ploy” to de­ter refugees from en­ter­ing the coun­try.

“The toxic rhetoric of Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Or­ban has trick­led down to the level of lo­cal gov­ern­ment and of­ten per­me­ates the con­text in which po­lice and lo­cal asy­lum cen­tres op­er­ate,” Amnesty said.

Amnesty said Mr Or­ban had re­placed “the rule of law with the rule of fear” to en­cour­age vot­ers to re­ject the EU pro­posal in the Oc­to­ber 2 vote. The ref­er­en­dum will ask Hun­gar­i­ans whether they sup­port the EU’s plan to re­lo­cate mi­grants among the bloc’s 28 mem­ber states with­out the ap­proval of par­lia­ment.

Hun­gary has not taken in a sin­gle mi­grant un­der the scheme, which Mr Or­ban sees as an at­tack on na­tional sovereignty. –

Photo: AFP

A Hungarian po­lice of­fi­cer stands guard in front of a gate at the closed M5 high­way to block mi­grants at the Hun­gar­i­anSer­bian bor­der near Roszke sta­tion af­ter the Hungarian gov­ern­ment es­tab­lished a new bor­der pro­tec­tion law.

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