Hungary: Asylum-seekers with Inadmissible Claims are Denied Food in the Transit Zones at the Border

A new inadmissibility ground, a hybrid of the concepts of safe third country and first country of asylum, is in effect since 1 July 2018. The new provision stems from amendments to the Asylum Act and the Fundamental Law but it was only put to practice now, in mid-August. The application of the new inadmissibility criterion means asylum claims are rejected and claimants become subject to alien policing procedures. Despite challenging the rejection of their asylum claim in court, they are expelled from Hungary and ordered to stay in the transit zone, where they are denied access to food. This amounts to inhuman treatment and an absurd legal situation.

Based on cases represented by HHC attorneys and on alien policing interview records where the Immigration and Asylum Office (IAO) informs foreigners that they will not be given food in the transit zone but can freely decide to return to Serbia at any time, it transpires that the IAO refuses to provide food to foreigners in alien policing procedures in the transit zones with the aim of dissuading them from pursuing court appeals against inadmissibility decisions and to make them abandon their asylum applications by leaving the transit zones and returning to Serbia.

In order to put an end to the inhuman treatment, HHC attorneys submitted requests for interim measures to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The ECtHR granted interim measures in two cases on 10 August and in a third case on 16 August and ordered the Hungarian government to provide food to the applicants.

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Hungarian Helsinki Committee