The United Nations high commissioner for refugees Tuesday criticized Hungary’s policies on people seeking asylum in the country, saying they seem designed to hinder asylum claims.
Meeting with Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and Interior Minister Sandor Pinter, Fillipo Grandi stressed the concern for asylum-seekers being kept in the so-called “transit zones” during their asylum process.
“Refugee protection and the security of the country can be accomplished at the same time,” he said.
Grandi toured the Röszke transit zone on Hungary’s border with Serbia on his two-day visit to the country.
“When I was standing at the border fence today, I felt the entire system is designed to keep people, many of whom are fleeing war and persecution, out of the country and preventing many from making a legitimate asylum claim.”
In March, Hungary said it would not accept any refugee sent by other European Union countries.
As part of measures against refugees, Hungary has reinforced it borders with soldiers and police with the support of the Visegrad Group partners, a cultural and political alliance that also includes the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.
In 2015, Hungary installed razor-wire fences on its borders with Serbia and Croatia to stop the refugee flow. Additionally, it implemented stiffer penalties, including jail time, for illegal crossings and announced a state of emergency in border areas.