Asylum seekers hoping for refuge in Hungary are systematically imprisoned in detention centres without ever being convicted of a crime and are held alongside genuine criminals.
That is the finding of a report published by a United Nations agency.
Not only that but witnesses say they are also abused.
Former Afghan inmate Yusuf at the Nyirbator detention facility described his experience:
“If somebody misbehaved, that person was taken to a part of the prison, that we called Guantanamo. Those refugees who did not behave in the correct way, those who were not quiet enough or started some kind of fight were taken there for several days and beaten up by the police.”
The report released by the UN High Commission for Refugees has condemned Budapest for imprisoning thousands of people. Many of whom have come to Hungary to escape brutality or war.
UNHCR Regional Director Gottfried Koefner said:
“It’s a very sad thing that refugees who flee for very good reasons and may have seen prison bars from inside before, the first thing that happens to them when they cross the European Union’s border in Hungary, they end up in detention and see prison bars from inside again.”
Hungary began locking up migrants in large numbers in 2010, before the current government took office, but the practice has continued.
The approach is justified by the authorities as few of the migrants carry papers and are often impossible to identify.