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UN asks Hungary to repeal new law that violates Refugee Convention

by Ace Damon
UN asks Hungary to repeal new law that violates Refugee Convention

The UN has asked Hungary to repeal the new asylum application law, which it considers contrary to the 1951 Refugee Status Convention by providing for refugees to return to the country from which they fled.

“It denies them access to the territory and the asylum procedure, which is one of the foundations of international refugee policies,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman in Budapest, Ernö Simon, to the EFE agency.

The law, passed on 16 June by the Hungarian parliament, with the favorable vote of Fidesz deputies, of nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, “can compel asylum seekers to return to the country from which they fled,” he explained.

The spokesman refers to an amendment to the Hungarian asylum law, introduced after the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last May found that Hungary deprives refugees of freedom in so-called “transit zones” created in 2015 on the border with Serbia.

The ECJ ordered the closure of these “transit zones”, where refugees indefinitely await the processing of their asylum application under conditions equivalent to a “deprivation of liberty” and should, as such, be considered a “measure of detention” .

After the sentence, Hungary ordered the closure of the “transit zones” and adopted a new provision that obliges the asylum seeker to announce the intention to apply for asylum at the Hungarian embassies in neighboring non-EU countries, namely in Serbia and Ukraine .

Once the intention is announced, the embassies have 60 days to decide.

“This contradicts all the principles of international asylum policies of the past 70 years,” said the spokesman, specifying that those establish the right to “have access to the territory. [do país em que se espera ter asilo] and a transparent process ”.

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