Wednesday 28 September 2016

Asylum seekers 'treated like animals' in Hungary

Published 10/09/2015 | 02:30

Migrants are detained by riot police in Hungary after crossing the border with Serbia
Migrants are detained by riot police in Hungary after crossing the border with Serbia

An official for New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) who has visited refugee registration camps in Hungary says asylum seekers are being treated "like animals".

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Peter Brouckaert, HRW emergencies director, made his comments at a police-supervised migrant collection point near Hungary's border with Serbia, where thousands arrive daily in hopes of passing through quickly to reach Austria and Germany.

Many end up waiting hours or days in a farm field for buses to take them to a nearby Hungarian registration centre.

In recent days, frustrated by delays, large groups have forced their way through police lines to walk north along a highway.

"Hungary has become a place of absolute humiliation for the Syrian people and for the other people trying to reach asylum in Europe," Mr Brouckaert said.

"They are blocked here. They are suffering in the heat. We see children all over the place collapse in absolute exhaustion," he added.

Mr Brouckaert said HRW officials have also visited Hungarian asylum registration centres "and they're even more horrific".

"People are kept in pens like animals, out in the sun without food and water, without any medical assistance when they get sick. It's simply unacceptable that people are being treated like animals on the doorstep of Europe," he added.

Irish Independent

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