17:58 GMT31 May 2020
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    Amnesty International has slammed the Hungarian government for its stance on refugees and for going against EU law by preventing those seeking refuge from traveling through the boarders.

    "I feel like everything we'll find in Europe will just be more difficult. In the end no one wants us. So I wish I wasn't here. I wish I wasn't where people didn't want us."

    That was an extract taken from Amnesty's report, Stranded Hope, and is a quote from "N," a 15-year-old child from Qamisli, Syria, interviewed in the Kelebia camp in Serbia on August 6, 2016.

    This account is similar to that of countless other refugees, who on arrival in the EU have encountered a cycle of fear, helplessness and abuse when they reach Hungary.

    The Hungarian government closed their borders on the September 15, 2015 and since then, according to Amnesty International, they have delivered a sustained attack against the refugees.

    They have used barbed wire fencing, tear gas and draconian legalization, according to Amnesty's report, to unleash an onslaught of abuse in order to keep refugees out.

    "Information from the police shows that over 3,000 persons were returned in July and August only. The arbitrary restriction on the number of asylum applications that can be submitted at the border (30/day) means that these thousands of people are stranded at the border or in overcrowded centers in Serbia, without access to protection," ​Todor Gardos, Amnesty researcher for Hungary and co-author of the report told Sputnik.

    Mr. Gardos also stated that the latest legal amendments mean that the police can stop refugees and push them back to Serbia.

    "This measure is the latest in a series which seek to isolate Hungary by militarizing its borders and criminalizing the arrival of refugees and migrants."

    Amnesty believe that these latest developments are part of the systematic dismantling of the protections previously put in place to stop such treatment of refugees and migrants as criminals — they now take away their dignity.

    "We have seen countless statements from the government proclaiming that the country will be protected and will ensure it is not receiving any asylum seekers at all, if possible. These populist statements flout international standards Hungary has guaranteed in national law (e.g. the right to seek asylum)," Mr. Gardos told Sputnik.

    Amnesty International finds that Hungary is, on multiple counts, in flagrant breach of international human rights and refugee law, as well as EU directives on asylum procedures, reception conditions, and the Dublin Regulation.

    ​"The Hungarian authorities continue to intentionally undermine any agreement that could protect the rights of refugees and migrants to safely and legally arrive in the European Union, be treated with dignity and have a fair and individual opportunity to make their cases heard," Mr. Gardos told Sputnik.

    Hungary however, do not believe that Amnesty are presenting the whole truth.

    The report from the the human rights group was entirely false, according to presidential spokesman Zoltan Kovacs, who also described it as "sheer lies."

    Children playing in the Kelebia refugee camp
    © Photo : Amnesty International
    Children playing in the Kelebia refugee camp

    The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban said that he was adamant the EU would not take away the rights of the Hungarian people who deserve to have exclusive control over the question of who they want to share the country with.

    "The biggest risk at the moment is that Brussels can settle migrants in our country who we don't want to live with," Mr. Orban said in a recent interview. 


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    barbed wire, tear gas, humanitarian crisis, abuse, asylum, border fence, violence, border, migrants, refugees, Amnesty International, European Union, Zoltan Kovacs, Viktor Orban, Hungary, Europe
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