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Mar 09, 2017

Hungary rejects UN's 'foul and baseless accusations' surrounding new asylum rules

Hungary's foreign minister has rejected UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s criticism of Hungary’s newly-amended asylum rules

Hungary's foreign minister has rejected UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s criticism of Hungary’s newly-amended asylum rules, calling the commissioner’s remarks “foul and baseless accusations”.

On Tuesday, Hungary’s parliament passed a new package of amendments tightening existing asylum regulations and procedural rules concerning the state of emergency due to mass migration.

The high commissioner wrote in an annual report to the UN Human Rights Council that the legislation passed by the Hungarian parliament “falls far short of international norms”, as it prescribes that asylum-seekers must be held in detention in the same area for the entire duration of the asylum procedure.

What's more, the commissioner criticized Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s remarks made last week that “ethnic homogeneity” was key for economic success. He said no society was homogenous, adding that “these toxic notions of so-called ethnic purity hark back to an era in which many people suffered atrociously, Hungarians included.”

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the commissioner had “not even bothered to read the prime minister’s speech”. The minister quoted the prime minister as having said that “Hungary is ethnically heterogeneous, but its ethnic diversity remains within a specific range, so this can be considered a form of ethnic homogeneity, civilisational similitude.”

While the high commissioner is only capable of bringing up the Holocaust, “the Hungarian government is getting meaningful things done” by protecting its borders and in turn, Europe. So far, no one has been able to clarify “what illegal migrants in Turkey, Greece, Macedonia or Serbia are fleeing from” and why they should be let into Hungary, the minster said.