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Finnish court suspends refugee returns to Hungary

Finland will suspend returns of asylum seekers to Hungary, apparently because a Finnish court decided on Saturday that the asylum seekers would not receive appropriate treatment in this country, according to a report.

Refugees passing through Keleti Railway station on their journey westward last summer. (Photo: LaMography/Moni Lazar)

Under the Dublin Regulation, asylum seekers who are in the European Union can be returned to the first country in which they entered the EU. Based on the decision by the Helsinki Administrative Court, which is in charge of all Dublin repatriation, if an asylum seeker files a complaint about being returned to Hungary, they cannot be sent here, according to YLE News, a Finnish news portal.

The article said that the decision indicates that “an authority has reason to believe that the asylum seeker will not be treated appropriately” if they are sent back to Hungary.

“The justification can be the risk that the insecure destination country presents to the asylum seekers in question, for example. But I must point out that I have not personally familiarized myself with the reasons for this particular decision,” Lisa Heikkilä, a judge at the Helsinki Administrative Court, was quoted as saying.

“In practice, Finland has not returned anyone who has appealed their decision to Hungary since last September,” according to the article. If the temporary suspension of returns becomes permanent, “this would mean that the Finnish Immigration Service would have to revisit its position on Hungary’s repatriation eligibility, as the Service is bound to follow the judgments of the Administrative Court,” the article said.