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UN: Hungary depriving rejected asylum seekers of food

Syrian refugees wait next to the border gate between Hungary and Serbia on 23 March 2017 [Omar Marques/Anadolu Agency]
Syrian refugees wait next to the border gate between Hungary and Serbia on 23 March 2017 [Omar Marques/Anadolu Agency]

Hungary is deliberately depriving rejected asylum seekers of food as they await deportation, in violation of international law, the United Nations human rights office said today.

The UN called on authorities to end the practice. “According to reports, since August 2018, at least 21 migrants awaiting deportation had been deprived of food by the Hungarian authorities – some for up to five days,” Reuters reported UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani telling a news briefing.

Last year Amnesty International warned, “the atmosphere towards migrants and those trying to support them has become so toxic” in Hungary.

READ: Hungary detains Syrian Daesh member accused of killings 

The country has become the most anti-migrant state in Europe with consulting firm Gallup’s Migrant Acceptance Index revealing that Hungary has the third-worst score in the entire world when residents were questioned on how accepting they were. The survey included comments on issues such as “an immigrant becoming your neighbour”.

Prime Minister Victor Orban has repeated racist remarks including referring to all refugees as “Muslim invaders” and migrants trying to reach Hungary as “poison”.

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