S&Ds: detention of asylum seekers in Hungary is not just inhumane but shameful

"Orban's rubber bullets and tear gas are not the answer. National ministers must agree to a lasting European solution today," says Pittella, adoption by the Hungarian Parliament of a motion for resolution, non-lethal force against refugees on the Hungaria

The S&D Group strongly condemns the decision of the Hungarian parliament to detain asylum seekers in camps built from converted shipping containers at the country’s southern borders. The Hungarian parliament has approved the bill to automatically detain all asylum seekers entering Hungary, as well as those already in the country for the entire duration of the evaluation of their asylum request. The S&Ds are appalled by the decision, which is not only inhumane, but also violates EU and international law.

S&D vice-president Tanja Fajon MEP said:

“The decision of the Hungarian parliament to automatically detain all asylum seekers is inhumane and dangerous. It means that on the top of their suffering, people who have fled war will now be trapped in container villages secured with razor wire. This kind of detention goes against fundamental rights and EU values. It also violates EU and international law. Moreover, the consequences of this measure will be detrimental for the physical and psychological health of the children, women and men who will live in the container camps in the so-called Transitzone. We must not tolerate this.”

S&D vice-president Péter Niedermüller MEP added:

“The forced detention of refugees is not only inhumane and violates the human rights and dignity of asylum, but is also in direct contradiction of European values and the common asylum policy of the European Union. It is the moral and political obligation of the S&D Group to strongly oppose and condemn this cruel and senseless law. The question is how long the European Commission is going to silently allow the government of one of the member states to repeatedly and consciously drag the values the European Union is built on through the mud.”

Note to editors

Hungary granted asylum to only 425 people out of 29,432 applications in 2016. It has also refused to accept any asylum seekers allocated under the mandatory quotas scheme, following last October’s referendum when the majority of Hungarians voted against the sharing of 160,000 asylum seekers among the 28 EU countries.