Over 1000 migrants have received court sentences in Hungary for attempting to climb over the anti-immigration border fence erected on the country’s southern border in September, according to the news website Index.hu.
Since mid-January, the number of migrants attempting to scale the border barrier has been on the rise due to alternative migration routes to Western Europe gradually being sealed off, according to the report. Most foreign nationals caught trying to make their way through the fence are expelled from Hungary for a period of one to two years, while others are handed suspended jail sentences or expelled for longer periods of time. Some migrants were given a custodial sentence for damaging the border barrier.
In the weeks following the erection of the fence, the number of proceedings launched against illegal border-crossers – around ten to twenty each week – was low. However, migrants have been appearing in court in increasing numbers for the offence since mid-January, with the number rising to an average of seventy individuals per week over the past three weeks.
On 5 February, Hungary Today reported that smaller groups of migrants, numbering up to sixty people, have started to resurface at Hungary’s sealed-off southern border with Serbia.