Budapest, September 21 (MTI) – Hungary’s parliament on Monday granted authorisations similar to those of the police force to soldiers on duty in areas where the government has declared a state of migration crisis.
Under the new law, soldiers will have the authority to detain people, search clothing, baggage or cars, perform traffic checks or apply coercion if necessary.
Soldiers will also be in a position to close an area down, and ban people from entry or prevent them from leaving. Under the same rules applicable to the police, soldiers will be able to make photos or video footage.
Soldiers at the border zone can apply coercion if an attack cannot be otherwise prevented, but it must not be aimed against human life. Similarly to the police, using rubber bullets, sound and flash grenades, tear gas grenades or net guns will not count as use or arms.
The ruling parties, which proposed the legislation, said that the migration crisis necessitates a closer cooperation between agencies protecting the borders, as well as the involvement of the military.
The proponents, however, said that though the military’s new tasks are closely linked to police activities, they cannot lead to the military’s taking over police functions. Under the new law, managing a state of crisis is up to the police, with assistance from the military.
The new legislation will also authorise the police to conduct investigations outside Hungary, in cooperation with the secret services, into activities aimed at violating the state borders, terrorism, as well as people smuggling.
The draft, in its first version, contained a stipulation under which police would have been authorised to enter private homes in their search for illegal immigrants. In the wake of a proposed amendment, however, the passage had been omitted from the final version of the motion.