Budapest, October 12 (MTI) – The European Court of Human Rights has thrown out an appeal by two Bangladeshi nationals, represented by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, seeking to ban Hungary from returning them to Serbia, the press office of the Hungarian justice ministry said on Monday.
In their appeal dated Sept. 25, the two migrants requested that the European Court issue a temporary restraining order against Hungary, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry noted that before ruling, the European Court had consulted Hungary over its classification of Serbia as a safe country.
The two applicants submitted an application for asylum in southern Hungary on Sept. 15, telling the authorities that they had left their homeland five years ago, after a flood, and had worked in several countries since. They said they had not filed an asylum application in Serbia because they did not wish to stay there, the ministry said in its statement.
The Hungarian authorities turned down their applications, saying that Serbia was a safe country, after which the Helsinki Committee agreed to help the two migrants in a domestic judicial appeal. When this was rejected, it agreed to represent them in Strasbourg.
The applicants were ensured an opportunity in the procedure to prove that Serbia is not a safe country for them, the ministry said, adding that this was in line with the European Court’s practice of assessing unique circumstances to decide whether a country should be banned from expelling a given appellant. The ministry noted that the European Court had never condemned Serbia for violating the rights of refugees. It also added that Serbia is signatory to the Geneva Convention, and does not return asylum seekers to crisis areas.
The ministry insisted that most migrants use Serbia as a transit, and will apply for and receive services during the time before they cross into the next country. The vast majority of migrants that file an asylum application will not wait for completion of the procedure but leave Serbia for other EU countries, the statement said.
The ministry criticised the Helsinki Committee for “experimenting” with migrants “without providing meaningful legal assistance”.