Hungary detains 9,380 refugees

Hungary adopts new strict border regime as it detains highest number of refugees in one day

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A migrant holds a child as they wait on the Serbian side of the border with Hungary in Asotthalom, September 15, 2015.

Hungarian police said on Tuesday that they detained 9,380 refugees, the highest daily figure so far this year, as the country implements new and tougher laws to prevent the piling of refugees, who aim to cross the country’s borders and reach western Europe.

The new laws came into effect at midnight (22:00 GMT) on Monday.

From this day forward anyone who attempts to pass the border without the proper documents will face criminal charges, such as imprisonment and deportation.

"We will start a new era," government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said, soon after midnight, on the border. "We will stop the inflow of illegal migrants over our green borders."

Late on Monday, the police closed the main spot used by refugees to cross the border.

Refugees rushed, since they were aware of the law that could keep them out of EU territories, some were seen passing through fence gaps, still under construction, according to Reuters.

While some made their way into EU territories, others were halted and directed to the official border by police and soldiers. Soon after, two border crossings in Horgos - a village located in the North Banat District of Serbia - closed, leaving dozens of refugees with nowhere to go.

The asylum-seekers are running out of opportunities to reach EU as Hungary is determined to finish a 175km fence along its southern border, as soon as possible.

The Hungarian government says that refugees will still be able to claim asylum at two official border crossings into Hungary, only if they already haven’t attempted to do so in Serbia. Otherwise, they will be automatically extradited within eight days.

In 2015, at least 190,000 refugees entered Hungary from Serbia, escaping conflict zones in the Middle east and Africa, to reach EU countries for a better life.

Another country to close its border was Austria. After almost 10,000 asylum-seekers arrived, police shut the A4 motorway on the Hungarian border on Monday, when dozens of people were on their way to Vienna on foot.

Austrian police said, now that Germany has closed its border, they're having a hard time to house the thousands of refugees arriving daily.

A young man from Syria said that he just wanted to continue his path and get to Germany.

"Yes, there is enough food and water but we just want to leave,"19-year-old Abdullah told Reuters.

On Monday, EU ministers were unable to come to an unanimous agreement over mandatory quotas to move 120,000 refugees and the next meeting will take place in October.

However, they were on the same page on relocating 40,000 refugees from Greece and Italy to other EU countries, a proposal the European Commission had made earlier in the summer.


TRTWorld and agencies