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21st August, 2018

Pastor prevented from delivering food to migrants

Head of the Hungarian Evangelical Fellowship Gábor Iványi was prevented from giving food to asylum-seekers on the border with Serbia after Hungarian authorities stopped providing food to those whose request for asylum has been initially rejected but who are awaiting the outcome of their appeal against that decision.

Iványi announced a public call on Saturday to provide five loaves of bread, one tin of fish and an apple for migrants waiting in the transit zone on the border with Serbia.

Iványi asked members of the religious community he leads to donate Ft 300 a day to help buy sufficient food to feed one person.

He and a group of volunteers tried to provide food for the migrants on Monday, the national holiday, but they were not allowed into the zone by authorities.

First, the pastor was told at the Röszke border crossing station that he did not have a permit. He tried to obtain a permit at Mórahalom and at the Immigration and Citizenship Office in Szeged for hours, but did not receive an official answer. No members of staff admitted to having authority, and nobody could say who the competent person was.

“The ruling power has shown its own face. It is like an impenetrable net of seaweed,” Iványi said, adding “this is where we are 1,084 years after we decided to belong to Europe”.

Iványi tried to enter the transit zone from Serbia but failed.

Finally Iványi gave the food package to a Calvinist priest in Subotica, Serbia, asking him to give it to the migrants.

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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