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UN refugee agency voices concern at Hungary’s new law to detain all asylum seekers

Geneva (IINA) � The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) voiced deep concerned at a new bill passed on Tuesday by the Hungarian Parliament that could lead to a mandatory detention of all asylum-seekers, including many children, for the entire length of the asylum procedure.

In practice, it means that every asylum-seeker, including children, would be detained in shipping containers surrounded by a high razor-wire fence at the border for extended periods of time, spokesperson for UNHCR Cecile Pouilly told a news briefing at the UN Office at Geneva.

The new law violates Hungary’s obligations under international and European Union (EU) laws, and will have a terrible physical and psychological impact on women, children and men who had already greatly suffered, she said.

This is extremely worrying, especially thinking about children being detained, Ms. Pouilly noted, adding: Children should never be detained under any conditions as detention was never in a child’s best interest.

She said the Hungarian government had also already erected a razor wire barrier along the entire border with Serbia and, now, only 50 asylum seekers were allowed to enter the country per week, at two crossing points.

According to UNHCR, under international and EU laws, the detention of refugees and asylum-seekers could only be justified on a limited number of grounds, and only where it was necessary, reasonable and proportionate.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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