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Risk of human rights violations for asylum seekers returned to Hungary

Third party intervention
Strasbourg 13/01/2016
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Risk of human rights violations for asylum seekers returned to Hungary

“Due to sweeping changes introduced in Hungary in asylum law and practice over recent months, asylum seekers returned there run a considerable risk of being subject to human rights violations” said today Commissioner Muižnieks while publishing the written observations he submitted on 17 December to the European Court of Human Rights in relation to two complaints against Austria concerning the transfer of the applicants from Austria to Hungary under the Dublin III Regulation.

Basing his observations on his visit to Hungary carried out from 24 to 27 November 2015, the Commissioner stresses that in recent months a considerable proportion of those returned to Hungary under the Dublin III Regulation were detained in asylum detention centres - where a restrictive detention regime applies - without real access to effective remedies against such detention.

The Commissioner also notes that persons currently returned to Hungary under the Dublin III Regulation do not, as a rule, have their asylum applications examined on the merits. This is due to Hungarian legislation that considers Serbia – the country through which the vast majority of asylum seeekers initially arrived to Hungary - as a safe third country. “This situation not only deprives asylum seekers of the right to have their claims properly assessed, but also exposes them to a very high risk of being subjected to deportation to Serbia and to further refoulement to other countries, with the corresponding risk of treatment contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Third party interventions represent an additional tool at the Commissioner’s disposal to help promote and protect human rights. They are foreseen by the European Convention on Human Rights and are based on the Commissioner’s country and thematic activities. These observations do not include any comments on the facts or merits of the case, but provide objective and impartial information to the Court on aspects of concern to the Commissioner.