Budapest, March 28 (MTI) – The European Court of Human Rights has banned Hungarian authorities from transferring eight teenagers and a pregnant woman from a refugee asylum near Budapest to the transit zone along the Hungary-Serbia border “to be detained”, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee reported on Tuesday.
The procedure was initiated by the committee last Friday, with regard to Hungary’s new border regulations taking effect, under which “obviously vulnerable clients in need of special treatment” could have been transferred from open camps to closed facilities in the transit zone.
In its ruling, the Strasbourg court put questions to the Hungarian government, to be answered before April 10, as to the timing and legal basis of such transfers, the committee said in its statement. The court also wants to know if services are in place to meet special requirements in the transit zone, if asylum seekers are granted opportunities to study or have access to medical services; are minors to be ensured the same conditions as adults, and if so, is there a legal basis.
Under a government proposal passed into law on March 7, asylum seekers can only submit their applications for such status personally, and in the transit zones at times of an “emergency caused by mass migration”. Applicants, with the exception of unattended minors under 14, are not allowed to leave the transit zone for other parts of Hungary before their applications are processed. The amended rules also apply to asylum seekers whose procedures were under way before the rules took effect, with the exception that they are allowed to leave the transit zone before their cases are closed.
György Bakondi, chief security advisor to the prime minister, voiced incomprehension over the ruling, and said that the Hungarian authorities had not passed any decision over the 8 teenagers and the pregnant woman, therefore “we do not know what decision we should not implement”. He also noted that the ruling was not a verdict but a temporary measure by the Strasbourg court.
In a statement to MTI, the interior ministry said that they had received no official ruling on the matter. The ministry has made no decisions regarding the transfer of the migrants in question, the statement said, and so the Hungarian Helsinki Committee “had no legal grounds” to seek judicial remedy.