The Hungarian Government has finished building a new fence at the country’s border. The razor-wire structure stands four meters high, and spans 175km along the border with Serbia. However, it has failed to stop refugees who are risking injury to escape the ongoing violence in Syria to enjoy a better life in the European Union.
More than 4 million people have fled Syria due to a civil war that began in 2011. Since the beginning of 2015, more than 200,000 refugees have entered Hungary according to National Public Radio. This has prompted the nation’s government to enact new legislation, requiring all people to carry a passport when entering the border. Requests for asylum will be reviewed according to the usual judicial process.
Refugees entering Hungary from Serbia could be deported because Serbia is safe, and theoretically able to grant asylum. Damaging the fence is also an offence, and police have already detained two men for since the new laws took effect.
Hungary has declared a state of emergency in two counties, where refugees have violently clashed with police after being refused entry. Two of the seven borders with Serbia have been closed. Many international media reports showed images of tear gas and water cannons used against children.
This little refugee kid crying after Hungary police use tear gas& water canons 2 disperse migrants on Serbia border pic.twitter.com/oIQ4WQlgqt
— gultuysuz (@gultuysuz) September 16, 2015
However, earlier footage shows refugees behaving aggressively, and making threats to police:
Refugees have been provided with food, and water but these were tossed aside in protest. The New York Times quoted Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tamas Menczer saying that throwing rocks, and sticks is not only against the law but an act of terrorism.
“A person who attacks the border is committing an act of terrorism,” Menczer said in a televised interview.
— Mariann Őry (@otmarianna) September 18, 2015
The Hungarian Government believes the border clash was organized by two men who are now wanted for questioning, Mr. Menczer said
“A person who directs the attack through a megaphone is also committing an act terrorism.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently phoned Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to discuss the migrant crisis.
“Both sides agreed that Hungary, and Germany are meeting their European obligations,” her office told the Associated Press.
“Merkel and Orban further agreed that … onward travel of refugees due to the emergency situation at the Hungarian border was … an exception.”
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