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15th February, 2019

Refugee couple denied food for a week

The two adults in a five-member Iraqi family staying in the Tompa transit zone in Hungary alongside the Serbian border were not given meals by Hungarian authorities from last Friday until Thursday.

Only their three children were given food. The mother and the father ate leftovers from their children’s meals.

Authorities provided food only after the Hungarian Helsinki Committee appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in one day and ordered the government to make arrangements for feeding the family.

The Hungarian cabinet received the court’s letter on Wednesday but according to the Helsinki Committee the parents were only given meals around noon on Thursday.

The court ruled that asylum seekers must be given three meals a day and must not be subject to torture, or inhumane or humiliating treatment.

The family has been living in the transit zone for eight months with three children under the age of ten, one of whom is chronically ill.

Their request for asylum has been rejected in a binding ruling but there is an ongoing procedure for designating a temporary place of residence.

The purpose of that procedure is that they should not wait in the transit zone to be deported, Index writes.

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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