Hungary Reluctant To Compensate Bangladeshi Asylum Seekers And Appeals Against Human Rights Court Ruling
Tamás Székely 2017.03.20.
Hungary will appeal a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ordering it to compensate two Bangladeshi asylum seekers for wrongly detaining and deporting them in 2015, the Hungarian Prime Minister’s internal security advisor György Bakondi (pictured above) said.
Building of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France (photo: wikipedia)
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled against Hungary regarding the detention and deportation of two Bangladeshi asylum-seekers. In its non-binding ruling issued on Tuesday, the ECtHR said Hungary had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by detaining the two asylum-seekers in the Röszke transit zone near Hungary’s southern border in the autumn of 2015. The court also said that authorities had later sent them back to Serbia, which the ECtHR said had put them under the risk of facing inhumane treatment in the Greek refugee reception centres. The ECtHR said the actions of Hungarian authorities were in breach of the right to liberty and security, the prohibition of torture and the right to an effective remedy prescribed by the European Convention on Human Rights. The court ordered Hungary to pay the petitioners 18,705 euros each in compensation and legal fees.
Speaking at a press conference, Hungarian security chief György Bakondi said Hungarian authorities had assessed the asylum seekers’ requests in line with the law. He said they had been sent back to Serbia because the authorities had determined that it was a safe third country. He said the two Bangladeshi petitioners had been represented by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which he said “consistently acts as an organisation in support of migrants” and “participates in the attacks against Hungary’s migration policy”. Hungary will not change its migration policy, as it is convinced that it acts in line with the law, Bakondi said.
In reaction to the ruling, the governing Fidesz party called it a nonsense that Hungary was being punished for defending its own borders and those of Europe. The migration crisis can only be handled by a powerful defence of borders and by “not giving in” to pressure from Brussels and Strasbourg, the party said in a statement. Péter Niedermüller, an MEP of the leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK), said however, the “ruling proves that the government’s refugee policy is not only inhumane but also breaks international law.” He suggested that the compensation and the fees concerned should be paid by government members and lawmakers of Fidesz and the opposition Jobbik party. “It is not the taxpayers who should settle the bill if the government fails to observe international law,” he said.
Responding to a ruling by the court in Strasbourg , Prime Minsiter Viktor Orbán said in a radio interview on Friday that Hungary had been taken to court by an international organisation funded by George Soros, in whose favour the court had ruled. In other words, he said, a judgement has been reached against the very country which has acted in accordance with the law. In his view, “the whole affair is absurd nonsense”, amounting to collusion between people smugglers, Brussels bureaucrats and foreign-funded organisations operating in Hungary. “In Austria and Germany people can sleep soundly, because here the Hungarians are protecting Europe’s external borders”, he insisted.