Hungary: Anti-torture committee critical of treatment and conditions of migrants and refugees

In a report published today, anti-torture experts have highlighted the ill-treatment and detention conditions experienced by migrants and refugees in Hungary.

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) established that the majority of detained foreign nationals interviewed stated that they had been treated correctly by police and prison officers or armed guards.

However, its report also reveals that a “considerable number” of foreign nationals complained of ill treatment by police and discovered wanting conditions in some detention centres.

Given the context of the arrival of an unprecedented number of foreign nationals to Hungary last year – nearly 10,000 foreign nationals arriving every day in the summer months of 2015 alone – the committee acknowledges the “particular circumstances” faced by Hungarian authorities.

Nonetheless, its report calls on Hungarian authorities to issue a formal statement to all police officers and all armed guards working in asylum and detention facilities that any form of ill treatment of persons deprived of their liberty cannot be accepted.

The visit examined the treatment and conditions of detention of foreign nationals deprived of their liberty under aliens’ legislation or amended criminal legislation according to which crossing the border fence or damaging it constitutes a criminal offence. The committee also assessed legal safeguards offered to the detainees.

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