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Apr 26, 2017

Hungary to appeal European Court of Human Rights decision to award two Bangladeshi migrants compensation

The court had awarded the asylum seekers approximately 3 million HUF (9.600 EUR) each in compensation and close to 3 million HUF in legal fees to the Helsinki Committee

Hungary will appeal the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) decision to award two Bangladeshi asylum seekers compensation for what they say was wrongful detainment and deportation back in 2015.

The Strasbourg court ordered the Hungarian state to pay the petitioners 18,705 euros each in compensation and legal fees. According to government sources, Hungary will appeal to the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR over the ruling. 

Last month, the court said that Hungary had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by detaining the two asylum seekers in the Röszke transit zone near Hungary’s southern border. The court also said that authorities had later sent them back to Serbia, which the ECtHR said had put them under the risk of facing inhumane treatment in the Greek refugee reception centers.

Justice ministry state secretary Pál Völner said the two asylum seekers had spent 23 days in the transit zone before leaving the country. He said the Helsinki Committee had taken on their legal representation while they were in the zone and took their case all the way to the Strasbourg court.

Völner noted that the court had awarded the asylum seekers approximately 3 million HUF (9.600 EUR) each in compensation and close to 3 million HUF in legal fees to the Helsinki Committee.

In the absence of the petitioners, the compensations are awarded to the “so-called rights organization," Völner said, adding that the Helsinki Committee had announced in the press its intention to collect the amount.

Völner also said that illegal migration was a process “encouraged” by foreign “pro-migration organizations”, adding that Italian authorities had found evidence of “collaboration” between people smugglers and “migrant organizations”.

The state secretary said Hungary was being pressured from abroad. Völner said US billionaire George Soros’s scheduled visit to Brussels this week was proof of this, arguing that Soros was travelling to Brussels to force his “pro-migration policies” onto Hungary through the EU.

Last month, János Lázár, the minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, said the Hungarian government must prepare for the exertion of major pressure in the next few months on account of its immigration policy on the part of the European Commission, the Strasbourg court and non-governmental organizations.

He mentioned as an example that the European Commission is expected to exert pressure on Hungary with a view to the acceptance of the mandatory resettlement quotas. He added in this context that according to the government’s information, a hearing on the quota lawsuit will be scheduled shortly.