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UNHCR urges Hungary to consider refugee situation

History

The Hungarian Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees sent an open letter yesterday to the Hungarian Parliament, asking the government to consider making fast-track amendments to the Asylum Act, Aliens-police Act and Act on national frontiers.

According to the UNHCR, if Parliament approves the amendments, it would make it “impossible for people fleeing persecution to access international protection in Hungary”, noting that “people fleeing bombs and bullets … need to be treated with humanity and compassion”.

“Today, the world looks at Hungary as vulnerable women, children and families have no other option but to seek safety in this country. The proposed measures will bring legal and physical barriers, which could have fatal consequences. Your verdict on this issue is a matter of life or death for thousands of desperate people,” the press release said.

According to the UNHCR, if the Hungarian Parliament passes the proposed amendments, it would “undermine the right to a fair asylum procedure”, adding that “it is worrisome that the draft amendments would continue to enable the lengthy detention of asylum-seekers.”

“Apart from failing on moral and basic humanitarian standards, the proposed amendments are not in line with Hungary’s obligations under international treaties,” the press release notes.

At the end of the letter, the UNHCR offers help for Hungary in the treatment of asylum-seekers, noting that the “world welcomed the refugees of Hungary in 1956”.

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