Helsinki Committee: New border laws canʼt be enforced


The new laws that Hungary has passed to protect its borders from the thousands of refugees who enter the country every day “just simply canʼt be carried out” Marta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee told a gathering of journalists in Budapest this morning.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó speaks today during a meeting in Prague, where ministers from the Visegrad countries, Germany and Luxembourg discussed the refugee crisis. More cooperation with Serb officials will be necessary if Hungaryʼs border control plans are going to work, according to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. (Photo: MTI/Zsolt Burger)

The laws, which go into effect on September 15 and will likely be enhanced by new emergency powers in a September 22 vote in Parliament, would technically make it quite easy to deport the refugees streaming west from Greece toward Germany, because they all enter Hungary via Serbia. The Hungarian government has designated Serbia as a “safe” country, which means that refugees entering from Serbia can be deported there through an expedited process, Pardavi said.

“There is ample convincing evidence that Serbia at this moment cannot be considered safe. It is not able to duly process the asylum claims, to provide protection, to provide reception conditions,” according to Pardavi.

Whatʼs more, she said, the plan cannot be implemented because Hungary does not have the capacity to conduct the expedited deportation proceedings that the government envisions using. Another problem is that it will mean creating a huge refugee problem for Serbia.

“Weʼll see how Serbia reacts to this because it would actually mean that, very soon, within a matter of days, it would be looking at receiving thousands” of rejected asylum seekers, Pardavi said. “And the incoming, the  people who are just moving northwards through Serbia, would also be present in the territory.”

She added: “Itʼs clear form the start that these plans just simply canʼt be carried out. There does need to be far more cooperation.”

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