Civil groups say accelerated asylum procedure “unlawful, inhumane”
Budapest (MTI) – Hungary’s accelerated asylum procedures carried out in transit zones at the border are “unlawful, inhumane and detrimental” to the country’s international relations, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and civil group Menedek – Hungarian Association for Migrants said on Wednesday.
The groups said in a joint statement that in containers at the border, asylum-seekers are handed quick rulings that Serbia and not Hungary is responsible for assessing their asylum applications. Applicants are only allowed help from interpreters by phone, they added. The statement said that by declaring applications invalid, Hungary, in an “unlawful procedure”, shifts the responsibility for granting asylum onto Serbia.
“Serbia is not a safe country, not even if the government declares it one in a decree,” they said. They said that if the immigration office considers the asylum procedure closed, the applicant has a right to appeal the decision, which, under the law, would delay the applicant’s expulsion from the country. In practice, however, applicants are immediately escorted outside the border fence, the statement said.
The civil groups said the accelerated procedure is inadequate for handling the migrant crisis, because authorities rule on roughly 100 applications per day, when the number of applicants filing for asylum in one day could be in the thousands.