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Mar 07, 2017

Hungarian government "categorically rejects' claims of police brutality against migrants

The Hungarian government denies media reports which state refugees who made it to the Serbian-Hungarian border encountered incidents of violence by Hungarian authorities

Hungary’s interior ministry has “categorically rejected” reports in media outlets that allege Hungarian border police regularly commit violence against migrants.

The ministry reacted after Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported that refugees who attempted to cross the border illegally from Serbia to Hungary encountered incidents of violence by Hungarian authorities.

According to MTI, the newspaper reported that the allegations were made by witnesses from medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) but were without foundation.

The ministry said in a statement that if an illegal migrant “gives the slightest implication” during questioning that they had been assaulted, the police submit the minutes of the questioning sessions to the prosecutor’s office. It said that out of the eight such cases that had been referred to the prosecutor’s office, six had already turned out to be “baseless hearsay”.

As part of collaborative operations organized by European border agency Frontex, there are currently 36 guest police officers conducting border patrols in Hungary, but so far none of them have reported any incidents of human rights abuses or violence against migrants, it added. Although Aftonbladet said it was unable to verify the validity of the personal accounts given in the article, the media reports it as fact that migrants are abused in Hungary, the ministry said.

Parliament will vote on a set of amendment proposals to Hungary’s asylum regulations on Tuesday. If passed into law, the bill before parliament would prohibit asylum-seekers from leaving the transit zones set up on the border until their cases are decided.