Hungary's border fence – Photo: wikipedia

CoE commissioner calls on Hungary to refrain from arbitrary removal of refugees

The Hungarian authorities should refrain from arbitrary removals of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to Serbia and ensure access to a fair and effective asylum procedure, Dunja Mijatovic, human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe, said on Wednesday.

In a submission to the CoE Committee of Ministers concerning the expulsion of two individuals to Serbia, the commissioner said that “access to asylum and to any form of international protection in Hungary has become virtually impossible due to multiple measures taken by the Government since 2015. In addition, the number of forced removals to Serbia has increased significantly, with over 75,000 reported cases in 2022 alone. Allegations of ill-treatment and disproportionate use of force applied in the context of these removals persist.”

Mijatovic said policies and practices related to asylum and removal procedures in Hungary remained characterised by a lack of safeguards stipulated by the relevant international agreements.

In her opinion, the Hungarian authorities should undertake fundamental and far-reaching measures to bring the asylum system in line with the country’s international human rights and refugee protection obligations.

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