Hungary to deploy thousands of police to Serbian border

Hungary will deploy thousands of police officers to its southern border to halt influx of immigrants

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Hungarian soldiers stand next to a barbed wire fence near Asotthalom, Hungary.

Hungary, a member of EU’s border less Schengen zone, will deploy thousands of police officers to the border of its southern neighbour Serbia where it’s establishing a security fence to stem an ever increasing inflow of migrants.

The announcement came from the Hungarian cabinet on Wednesday, citing the increasingly aggressive and resolute behaviour of migrants as the reason for deploying border guards.

The current chief of staff and a minister of the Prime Minister's office of governing Fidesz party, Janos Lazar told reporters that "several thousand police officers will be deployed to the Serbian border whose task will be to defend this border section,” Reuters reports.

According to The Associated Press, Lazar also said that Hungary is “under an organised attack,” speaking of human traffickers who abuse the European Union’s refugee system.

Regarding the deployment of police officials, Lazar added that Hungary is making the penal code amendments that will soon regulate illegal border crossings.

The penal code amendment which is expected to be approved by the Hungarian parliament by the end of August will increase the punishment of undocumented migrants with several years in prison.

Lazar informed reporters that the first phase of the plan will be for Hungary to establish a temporary fence covered with razor wire, which will be concluded by the end of August. Proceeding with the second phase, which will be the main wall to prevent undocumented migration of migrants.

Hungary has started to build the wall in mid-June, a four-metre high and 175 kilometre-long fence to stem the flow of migrants from the Serbian border.

This decision angered Serbia who the Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said “nobody builds walls in a modern world you know, and particularly not in a part of Europe,” adding they are not going to do the same thing to its southern neighbour Macedonia.

Hungary was also criticised by some non-governmental organisations, like Migszol, about the anti-migrant fence. On the other hand far-right groups protested that the government was not taking enough measures to stem the influx of migrants.

In response to critics, Hungary used the US-Mexico border fence as an example and the barriers of Bulgaria, another EU country, erected against migrants coming through Turkey.

Hungary also criticizes European countries for not taking measures and failing to come to a consensus over undocumented migrants on June 28, with tens of thousands of asylum seekers now in Greece and Italy.

The head of the governing Fidesz Party's parliamentary group Antal Rogan said that up to 300,000 migrants may attempt to reach western European countries over Hungary.

Around 250,000 have already reached Europe by sea since the beginning of 2015.

In 2015, 100,000 migrants registered in Hungary. The number is more than double compared with 43,000 in 2014.

Hungarian police also detained 2,087 undocumented migrants on Sunday which is the highest number in 2015.

Refugees, as many as 60 million people according to UN records, fled to other countries due to war, violence and persecution in 2014. Their main route in Europe is through the Balkans and Italy.

According to data from the International Organisation for Migration most deaths that occur around the world for migration is in the Mediterranean Sea.

In the last eight and a half months 2,300 people have died while migrating. 102,000 people arrived in Italy, up to 135,000 people arrived in Greece and up to 2,200 Spain.

TRTWorld and agencies