Tightening criminal rules targeting refugees

As of 15 September 2015 three new provisions were introduced to the Criminal Code, which violate the human rights of the refugees concerned. Short analysis of the HHC.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee has analyzed the Government’s amendments to existing criminal law in relation to the fence at the border with Serbia.

The Government recently introduced three new crimes related to crossing the border, tightened criminal rules relating to smuggling in human beings, and introduced special rules expediting criminal procedures for those illegally crossing the fence.

Several elements of these new rules are in direct violation of international legal obligations, and they are practically impossible to implement, the expected case load will produce an enormous pressure on the whole of the Hungarian criminal justice system. Hungary has already been condemned to pay compensation by the European Court of Human Rights several times due to the lengthiness of criminal procedures, and recently lost a strategic case before the Court due to overcrowding in criminal detention. It is easy to predict that the handling of these new cases, “with priority over all other cases” according to the new rules, will further delay the procedure in other criminal cases and further increase the overcrowding of detention facilities.

The analysis is available here.

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Hungarian Helsinki Committee