Deliberate Denial of Food in Hungarian Detention Centres

The UN Human Rights Office (UNHRO) has reported that people detained in Hungarian detention centers have been deliberately deprived of food if their application for asylum is denied.

In Hungary, anybody who enters the country without a right to stay there is immediately detained during their asylum procedure. The asylum procedure is reported to be substandard by UNHRO and is described as lacking ‘meaningful individualized procedures.’

Consequently, most people are denied asylum and are subsequently subjected to deportation procedures to expel them from Hungary. At this point in time, the immigration authorities deny further access to food — with the only exception to this rule being pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Under all International standards, this is a grotesque violation of Human Rights and has detrimental consequences to the psychological and physical health of people on the move.

Are You Syrious first reported on this back in August of 2018, after it was revealed by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. Since then, this new report states that ‘at least 21 people awaiting deportation have been deprived of food by the Hungarian authorities — some for up to five days.’

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee says that the Hungarian Immigration and Asylum Office refuses to provide food to people in “alien policing procedures” in the transit zones, with the aim of dissuading them from pursuing court appeals and to make them abandon their asylum applications by returning to Serbia. It should be noted that Hungary denies that people on the move are ‘detained’ in the country as “voluntary returns” to Serbia are permitted.

The UN Human Rights Office reminds states that they have an obligation and heightened duty of care towards migrants who are deprived of their liberty, including through the provision of food. The deliberate deprivation of food is prohibited under the Mandela Rules*, and violates the rights to food and to health, as well as the prohibition of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

We reiterate the right of all migrants to seek asylum, as well as the fundamental human rights principle of ‘non-refoulement’, which prohibits the return of any person to a situation where they would face a real and foreseeable risk of persecution, death, torture, and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment, or other irreparable harm.


via Are You Syrious

Photo: Bőr Benedek