Amnesty International: Hungary’s proposed new border control rules unlawful
Budapest, February 17 (MTI) – The government’s package of amendments aimed at stricter regulations of border control is in conflict with both domestic and international legislation, Amnesty International (AI) Hungary said on Friday.
The government’s starting position is wrong because there is no migration crisis in Hungary with only around 400 asylum seekers currently staying in the country, the organisation said. Those people could be accommodated at the current migrant reception facilities, AI said, and insisted it is not true that stricter measures are needed for the protection of the Schengen border.
Under the package of amendments submitted on Tuesday, all illegal entrants would be escorted back to the other side of the border. This means that people fleeing from wars and persecution would be collectively removed from Hungary’s territory, without a legal procedure, which stands against the constitution, AI said.
In line with the amendment, as long as the government maintains the state of mass migration crisis, asylum-seekers will be held in detention while their request is being assessed. According to AI Hungary, it is unlawful to keep people in detention without a court ruling and without access to legal remedy.
The proposed amendment also disregards an EU principle which prohibits detention purely on the basis of an asylum request. It could result in old and sick people or families with small children getting locked up, the statement said.
AI Hungary said it is especially problematic that under the proposal unaccompanied minors would be removed from the scope of child protection regulations. As a result, they would suffer serious discrimination due to their migrant status and age, which would violate the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child and also Hungary’s constitution.