Hungary to detain all asylum-seekers

The legislation, approved by a large majority of lawmakers, is in response to recent terror attacks in Europe carried out by migrants, according to hardline Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Hungary to detain all asylum-seekers

World Bulletin / News Desk

Hungary's parliament on Tuesday approved the automatic detention of all asylum-seekers in container camps at the borders, sparking "deep concern" at the UN's refugee agency.

Speaking at a swearing-in of the latest contingent of some 450 new border police in Budapest on Tuesday, Orban called immigration "the Trojan horse of terrorism".

"If the world sees that we can defend our borders... then no one will try to come to Hungary illegally," he added.

Under the new measures, all asylum-seekers entering Hungary as well as those currently in the country will be confined in the container camps while their applications are processed.

Anyone who passed through a "safe third country" including Serbia will be rejected, and any appeals against rejections will be fast-tracked into a three-day procedure. 

Migrants whose applications are rejected may have to cover the costs of their own detention.    

Hungary previously systematically detained all asylum applicants but suspended the practice in 2013 under pressure from Brussels, the UN refugee agency and the European Court of Human Rights.

The UNHCR said the legislation "violates Hungary's obligations under international and EU laws, and will have a terrible physical and psychological impact on women, children and men who have already greatly suffered."

The local branch of the Helsinki Committee said it was the "last stepping stone in completely disregarding (Hungary's) asylum obligations under EU and international law and trampling the rights of asylum seekers."

Amnesty International said in a statement last month that the new rules "disregard EU guiding principles that it is forbidden to detain someone on the basis that they have claimed asylum".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Mart 2017, 17:12