Human Rights Watch: Migrants abused at the Border

13.07.2016 | Human Rights Watch

(Budapest) – Migrants at Hungary’s border are being summarily forced back to Serbia, in some cases with cruel and violent treatment, without consideration of their claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said today.

New laws and procedures adopted in Hungary over the past year force all asylum seekers who wish to enter Hungary to do so through a transit zone on Hungarian territory, to which the government applies a legal fiction claiming that persons in the zone have not yet ‘entered’ Hungary. Human Rights Watch found that while some vulnerable groups are transferred to open reception facilities inside Hungary, since May 2016 the Hungarian government has been summarily dismissing the claims of most single men without considering their protection needs.

“Hungary is breaking all the rules for asylum seekers transiting through Serbia, summarily dismissing claims and sending them back across the border,” said Lydia Gall, Balkans and Eastern Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “People who cross into Hungary without permission, including women and children, have been viciously beaten and forced back across the border.”

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The Guardian: Refugees stuck in Serbia begin marching towards Hungarian border

Die Lage sei schlecht und werde schlechter, warnte das Flüchtlingshilfswerk der Vereinten Nationen schon Mitte vergangener Woche. In einem Bericht des Flüchtlingskommissariats zur Situation in Serbien hieß es, im äußersten Norden des Landes hätten sich binnen Tagen mehr als 1200 „Flüchtlinge/Migranten“ versammelt, die in Ungarn das Gebiet der EU (wieder) betreten wollen, das sie bei der (illegalen) Ausreise aus Griechenland verlassen hatten. Allein am 6. Juli, so der Bericht, habe man 120 Migranten betreut, die erzählten, aus Ungarn wieder in das Niemandsland zwischen ungarischer und serbischer Grenze abgeschoben worden zu sein. Belgrader Medien berichten in Anspielung auf frühere Zustände an der griechisch-mazedonischen Grenze, nahe des Dorfes Horgos drohe ein „serbisches Idomeni“ zu entstehen – ein wildes Flüchtlingslager für zehntausende „Niemandsleute im Niemandsland“, die ein Zaun an der Weiterreise hindere.

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The Situation at the Serbo-Hungarian Border

08.07.2016 | moving-europe

Latest update on the situation at the Serbo-Hungarian Border. The report covers the situation in the official camps in front of the Transit Zones as well as the consequences of the new “push back law” passed on July 5, 2016.

Although the state-controlled Balkan corridor is closed since March, hundreds of people still travel across the Balkans towards central Europe. People cross from Greece through Macedonia or from Turkey through Bulgaria to Serbia, where around 300 people arrive every day. After a few days in Belgrade, most people continue to Subotica, a small city close to the Hungarian border. Despite the fence along the Serbo-Hungarian border, there are several possibilities to cross from Serbia into Hungary. There are three camps in the area. One is a state run “one-stop-centre” in the outskirts of Subotica. The other two are self-organised camps right at the transit-zones. Around 15 people per day are allowed to cross legally into Hungary from each camp at the transit-zone.

Increasing Numbers of Pushbacks from Hungary to Serbia

Many people try to cross into Hungary on their own during the night to avoid the long waiting period and uncertainty in the transit zone. The unauthorised ways are highly frequented and many people manage to transit Hungary and continue their journey. However, the Hungarian police and fascist civil defence units control the Hungarian border tightly. They systematically push refugees back from Hungary to Serbia. In the last weeks, these pushbacks increased, leading to a larger number of people stuck in Serbia. There are many people reporting violence from the Hungarian authorities during the pushbacks. For more information, see previous report on violence during pushbacks from Hungary.

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Report on Police Violence during Push-Backs from Hungary

29.06.2016 | moving europe

A new law is about to be passed in Hungary on July 5. When it comes into practice it will legalize the displacement of hundreds of people who cross the Hungarian border fence to the Serbian side. This is based on a legal trick, as the fence is built five meters into Hungarian territory. Therefore, legally spoken, it is based on a displacement and not a deportation and needs no bilateral agreement with Serbia. However, in practice it is nothing else than a push-back as it leaves people with no other option as returning to Serbia territory.

Already in the last days people in Serbia witnessed push-backs from Hungarian territory and interviewed some of those who have been affected.

In the last days we witnessed an increased number of people who left for Hungary returning to Belgrade. They crossed into Hungary, but were caught by the police and pushed back to Serbia through a hole in the fence. Many people reported violent behaviour by the Hungarian police, including pepper spray, electrical shocks, beatings and setting dogs on them.

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Between Transit, Repression and Push-backs: Report on the Current Situation for Refugees in Serbia

30.05.2016 | moving-europe

Belgrade, remaining an important transit point, proves that the so-called “Balkanroute” is still a well beaten track. There is a constant flow of people arriving and leaving the city. On a daily basis, approximately 100-200 people arrive1. Most of them come via Bulgaria and Macedonia and stay only for a couple of days to rest, organize and prepare for further traveling. Others also stay for longer, as Serbia, which is not part of the Dublin Agreement, does not cause them any trouble for further asylum applications.

Continue reading about the Transit Zones, Repression and Push-Backs in the border region as well as in Belgrade.

critical reports and analysis about serbia as a country of transit and origin