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Visit Puts Orban Government’s Cruel Migration Policies Under Spotlight

On September 12, Budapest will welcome the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, a Pope whose message constantly called for welcoming migrants and refugees. But Hungary’s treatment of people seeking protection is a far cry from Pope Francis’…
Pope Francis unveils the sculpture on the theme of refugees and migration ' Angels Unawares ' by Canadian sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz, on Migrant and Refugee World Day, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019.
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COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
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Cease Inhumane Treatment, Resume Distribution Immediately

(Budapest) – Hungarian authorities have stopped food distribution since early August 2018 to some rejected asylum seekers held in transit zones on the Hungarian-Serbian border, Human Rights Watch said today. They should immediately ensure that all…
An anti-immigration poster by Viktor Orban's Fidesz party during Hungary's April 2018 elections, April 8, 2018, Gyongyos, Hungary.
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With independent media largely silenced or taken over, the courts increasingly curbed, and a parliament firmly under the control of the newly re-elected Fidesz ruling party, Hungary’s nongovernmental groups are the most effective…
Protesters attend a rally against Hungarian government's clampdown on a top foreign university and non-government organisations in Budapest, Hungary, May 21, 2017.
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Law Could Jail People Who Provide Services, Advice to Migrants

Hungary’s Parliament passed a law that not only makes it almost impossible to seek asylum in Hungary, but also makes it a crime to help migrants and refugees. If signed into law by Hungarian President Janos Ader, starting…
Members of the Hungarian government vote on the 'Stop Soros' package of bills that criminalises some help given to illegal immigrants, at the Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, June 20, 2018.
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A bill passed by the Hungarian Parliament would criminalize efforts to help migrants and asylum seekers and curb their access to protection. The law amends nine existing laws related to asylum, the national border, and the police. It creates a…
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Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) had a chance to stand up for its values and those of the European Union. But instead, it ducked the issue. The umbrella group of center-right and Christian democrat parties in European…
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban before a photo at the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017.
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Proposed Constitutional Amendment Limits Asylum Access

(Budapest) – A revised draft bill published by the Hungarian government on May 29, 2018, would criminalize efforts to help migrants and asylum seekers and curb their access to protection, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill the…
An anti-immigration poster by Viktor Orban's Fidesz party during Hungary's April 2018 elections, April 8, 2018, Gyongyos, Hungary.
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Withdraw ‘Stop Soros’ Measures; Halt Curbs on Rights Groups

(Budapest) – The Hungarian government submitted three bills to parliament on February 13, 2018 that would penalize and restrict groups working on asylum and migration issues, Human Rights Watch said today. The bills cast helping a person…
People protest in Heroes’ square against a new law that would undermine Central European University, a liberal graduate school of social sciences founded by U.S. financier George Soros in Budapest, Hungary, April 12, 2017.
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EU Commission’s Silence Undermining the Rights of Migrants

Migration was high on the agenda when the EU’s migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, visited Budapest last week. But, after lengthy discussions with Hungary’s justice and interior ministers, his public remarks after the meeting on 28 March…
Migrants walk along Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016
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Top EU Official Should Use Visit to Press Budapest to Comply with International Law

Hungary’s new asylum law allowing for the blanket detention of asylum seekers, including some children, will come into force on March 28. It’s the latest of Hungary’s abusive laws and policies designed to make it difficult to seek asylum there, and…
A refugee washes clothes on the Hungary-Serbia border, on the Serbian side of a transit zone set up by Hungarian authorities to filter refugees at Roszke, Hungary, September 2, 2016.
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EU Should Seek To Halt Plan to Hold Asylum Seekers in Transit Zones

Update: On March 7, 2017, the Hungarian parliament approved the law, 138 to 6 with 22 abstentions. The law will come into force 8 days after it is signed by the Hungarian president. (Budapest) – A draft bill proposed by the Hungarian government…
A refugee washes clothes on the Hungary-Serbia border, on the Serbian side of a transit zone set up by Hungarian authorities to filter refugees at Roszke, Hungary, September 2, 2016.
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Dimitris Avramopoulos Commissioner Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship European Commission Rue de La Roi 200 1049 1049 Brussels Belgium dimitris.avramopoulos@ec.europa.eu…
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Hungary’s governing party is cranking up the heat on nongovernmental organizations.  With its tight grip on parliament, and having undermined the courts and the media, the Fidesz government doesn’t like being held to account by pesky independent…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during his state-of-the-nation address in Budapest, Hungary, February 10, 2017.
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Serbia, Hungary Leave People Without Adequate Shelter as Winter Hits Hard

While many in Serbia prepare for Orthodox Christmas, others in the country and neighboring Hungary are bedding down in freezing cold weather hoping to survive. Temperatures in Hungary and Serbia have dropped to minus 20 degrees centigrade at night.…
Asylum seekers and migrants living in appalling conditions in abandoned warehouses behind Belgrade train station, Serbia. November 22, 2016.
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Ensure Prompt Asylum Process; Probe Excessive Force Allegations

(Budapest) – Hungary is keeping many of the most vulnerable asylum seekers stranded on its border in poor conditions for weeks while they wait to enter the country and file their claims. Some said that border officials had used…
Migrants rest as a policeman watches them near Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016.
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“What crime did we commit for 40 police officers to surround us? It’s like they think we are terrorists or criminals,” 48-year old Khatoon, a Yazidi woman from Iraq who had several family members who were murdered or taken hostage by ISIS, told me. For a…
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“What crime did we commit for 40 police officers to surround us? It’s like they think we are terrorists or criminals,” 48-year old Khatoon, a Yazidi woman from Iraq who had several family members who were murdered or taken hostage by the jihadist group…