The Hungarian authorities must refrain from the arbitrary returning of asylum seekers and migrants to Serbia and ensure their access to a fair and efficient asylum procedure, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic stressed in a press release on Wednesday.
Mijatovic has submitted a petition to the Strasbourg Council of Ministers on the implementation of a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgment on Hungary, which was handed down in 2019. In her submission, the CoE Commissioner notes that “access to asylum and international protection in Hungary has become practically impossible due to the measures taken by the government since 2015.” She added that allegations of ill-treatment and disproportionate use of force in relation to deportations remain systematic.
Meanwhile, migratory pressure on the southern section of the Hungarian border has recently been increasing, with illegal immigrants arriving en masse to cross the border and continue their journey to Western Europe.
The migrants are increasingly violent towards police officers and often carry weapons.
On the August 20 weekend, more than a thousand border-violators were arrested by police and more than 300 people were prevented from entering Hungary illegally. The number of illegal migrants at the border is increasing rapidly with record numbers arriving almost every week.
According to public news channel M1,
Hungarian authorities had taken action against almost 150,000 illegal migrants by mid-August, far more than in the whole of last year.
The most serious problem is in the Western Balkans, where the number of illegal border crossings has tripled compared to the same period last year,” they wrote.
The situation in Vojvodina, Serbia, located on the Serbian side of the southern border, is extremely bad. A local woman said that migrants are lying on their doorstep, they throw garbage and steal their crops. Locals are afraid of the foreigners and see the situation as unbearable.
There have also been armed clashes between migrants on the Serbian side of the border during the summer, one of which resulted in the death of a person. At the beginning of July, an incident was reported from a forested area north of Subotica (Szabadka) which involved a group of Afghan and Pakistani migrants allegedly carrying firearms. The mayor of the town later confirmed that despite the efforts of doctors, one person could not be resuscitated, and a sixteen year old female was in critical condition.
Moreover, there are more and more car accidents involving migrants and human traffickers.
At the beginning of August, twenty migrants were injured when a smuggler driving the truck carrying them drove into a ditch near Budapest.
Also in August in another incident, three people were killed and eleven injured near Bócsa, 120 kilometers from the Hungarian capital. According to local police a Georgian national was trying to smuggle fifteen people across the country towards Western Europe in a car. The man driving the car did not give way and collided with another car, both vehicles then catching fire. Two of the border-crossers died at the scene, trapped inside the burning vehicle. Twelve of the injured occupants of the two cars were taken to hospital, one of whom later died.
Featured photo: MTI/Rosta Tibor