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17th August, 2018

Gov’t stops feeding asylum seekers

The Immigration and Refugee Affairs Office has stopped providing food to those asylum seekers whose application for refugee status has been rejected under a new regulation that entered into force on July 1.

Meals are provided only to children, Index reports. Those over 18 years of age simply do not receive any food.

Under the new regulation the immigration authority will immediately reject an asylum request if the applicant had passed through a safe country before arriving in Hungary.

Hungary – unlike the UN High Commission for Refugees – views Serbia as a safe country.

The refugee affairs office closed the transit zone and did not accept any asylum requests in the first ten days of July, the Helsinki Committee said. The transit zone was re-opened on July 10 but all applications were rejected on the above basis.

The Helsinki Committee took up the case of two Afghan refugee families and found that authorities rejected asylum requests out of hand and accommodated the asylum seekers in a section created for the purpose, citing the new regulation.

The Immigration Office argues that anybody staying there will be expelled, therefore authorities have no obligation to feed them.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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