Hungarian interior minister visits local transit zone -Photos
Tompa, April 6 (MTI) – Hungary complies with all EU regulations regarding the protection of external borders, Interior Minister Sándor Pintér told a press briefing on Thursday in Tompa, near the Hungarian-Serbian border.
Speaking after a visit to the local transit zone housing asylum seekers, Pintér said that the protection of the passport-free Schengen area’s external borders was an EU expectation. The goal is that no one should cross the border unchecked, Pinter said.
Those crossing the border illegally will be granted decent conditions in transit zones at Tompa and Röszke, outside the south borders of Hungary, he said. The two transit zones can accommodate 250 people each. Migrants can wait for the assessment of their applications there, he said. They are not detained, all asylum seekers are free to leave towards Serbia, the minister said, but added that Serbian authorities are “in a difficult situation”; with 7-10,000 illegal migrants already in the country, Serbia is reluctant to accommodate more.
Over 900 applications were processed last year, and more than 80 people received international protection in 2017, Pintér said.
Answering queries about allegations of police brutality on the border, Pintér said that the EU border agency (FRONTEX) carefully monitors the Hungarian police and found no irregularities. Of all the complaints tried by the independent prosecutor’s office, a single policeman has been found guilty, he said. This policeman was fired immediately, he added.
József Seres, regional director of the Immigration and Asylum Office, said that asylum seekers can only submit their applications in the transit zones since March 28. There, all migrants are examined medically and searched for weapons and dangerous objects. Their personal data and finger prints are recorded, and they are questioned in their mother tongue or a language they speak, Seres said.
Asylum seekers are housed in 5-person containers, Seres said, with areas separated for single men, families and minors between 14 and 18.
Minors under the age of 14, if travelling alone, are provided welfare services, Pintér said.