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UN Human Rights Watchdog Frets About New Hungarian Deportation Law

© AFP 2023 / ARIS MESSINIS Syrian refugees and migrants along a railway line as they try to cross from Serbia into Hungary near Horgos on September 1, 2015
Syrian refugees and migrants along a railway line as they try to cross from Serbia into Hungary near Horgos on September 1, 2015 - Sputnik International
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was concerned at the entry into force today of a law enabling the Hungarian police to escort irregular migrants found within eight kilometers of the border with Serbia to transit zones at the border, according to spokesman Rupert Colville.

Hungarian soldiers walk along the border fence between Hungary and Croatia at Zakany , Hungary October 16, 2015. Hungary declared its southern border with Croatia closed to migrants on Friday, diverting them into tiny Slovenia in a measure of Europe's disjointed response to the flow of people reaching its shores in flight from war and poverty. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is concerned about the entry into force of a Hungarian law empowering police to escort migrants to transit zones on the country's border with Serbia, spokesman Rupert Colville said Tuesday.

"Mr. Colville said that the Office of the High Commissioner was concerned at the entry into force today of a law enabling the Hungarian police to escort irregular migrants found within eight kilometers of the border with Serbia to transit zones at the border," the United Nations Office at Geneva said in a regular press briefing.

According to the OHCHR, the wording of the law leaves much room for interpretation, which could result in breaches of migrants' human rights as well as international law because of the lack of the procedures necessary for the forcible expulsion of migrants.

The UN agency expressed its fear that the new law might worsen "the existing desperate and inhuman conditions" of hundreds of people stuck between Serbian passport control and the Hungarian barbed wire border fence.

Hungarian police officers guard refugees to a regional train supposed to carry them to a nearby interim camp at a railways station in Budapest, Hungary September 2, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Colville pointed out that there were some cases of excessive actions by Hungarian police as well as harsh statements made by Hungarian officials.

He added that about 2,800 people had been criminally prosecuted under the September 2015 law that imposed prison sentences for making illegal border crossings and damaging state property, including destroying border fences.

Europe is currently facing a major refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of migrants attempting to reach wealthy EU member states through various routes, including via Italy, Greece, Turkey and Balkan states. Despite Brussels' efforts to curb the migration influx, many people still continue to attempt to reach the European Union.

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