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Investigation opens over refugee drowning in Hungary

History

Hungarian prosecutors have launched an investigation into whether police can be held criminally accountable for negligence resulting in the death of a 22-year-old Syrian man in early June, as reported by Reuters today.

A group of refugees was pushed back into the Tisza River at the border on June 1, allegedly resulting in the drowning death of a Syrian man, according to criticisms leveled against The Hungarian government by The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Hungarian police were forced to intercede and retrieve an Iraqi mother and her children from the water during the ensuing struggle, according to the UNHCR. During the chaos, a Syrian man was lost in the current, and the Hungarian police announced that they found the 22-year-old’s body in the river at the Hungarian town of Szeged on June 3, according to reports.

The UNHCR brought further criticisms against the Hungarian government earlier this week, saying Hungary’s plan to shut down refugee reception centers will make it significantly more challenging for those granted asylum to integrate.

Montserrat Feixas Vihe, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Central Europe, noted that conditions in countries from which refugees are leaving have not changed, but it has become more difficult for them to find safety and security in Europe.

“The need for them to flee is just as bad as last year,” Feixas Vihe told the Associated Press. “They need to seek protection and they are not able to get it here. That is a major problem”.

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