Hungary has been severely criticised after water cannon and tear gas were fired at migrants at its closed border on Wednesday. UN Human Rights
Hungary has been severely criticised after water cannon and tear gas were fired at migrants at its closed border on Wednesday.
UN Human Rights Commission chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that such treatment was “xenophobic and anti-Muslim” and that Hungary’s handling of the crisis, had at times, violated international law.
Visiting Budapest, the European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, denounced Hungary’s border fence.
“Walls are temporary solutions,” he said, sitting alongside the Hungarian foreign minister.
“This only serves to divert flows or escalate tensions and I think you all agree with me that violence is not the solution either.”
Avramopoulos said: “There is no wall you would not climb, no sea you would not cross if you are fleeing violence and terror.
“We have a moral duty to offer them protection.”
There has also been strong criticism from international medical humanitarian organisation, Doctors Without Borders.
— Doctors w/o Borders (@MSF_USA) 17 Septembre 2015
Hungary though is planning to extend its security fence and is urging measures it says could tackle the influx at source.
“Let’s establish a common EU force to protect the borders of Greece,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.
“We are ready to make a massive national contribution to this. And the EU should take charge of financing refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.
“If new camps are needed, let’s finance those as well to provide decent conditions according to international legal conventions and let’s give EU money for that!”
Szijjarto said that the EU’s common refugee policy had failed to tackle the crisis, which has seen hundreds of thousands of people fleeing poverty, war and persecution pour into the continent.
Our correspondent in Hungary, Andrea Hajagos, said that the EU’s Migration Commissioner also visited a refugee camp at Bicske, 35 kilometres west of Budapest.
“We don’t know why he visited this facility in particular, as most of the refugees here have moved out already,” she said.