Hungary: Court awards €20,000 to asylum seekers after human rights law breaches

Human rights judges say the detention of two Bangladeshi migrants in the border zone between Hungary and Serbia was unlawful.

The Strasbourg also ruled yesterday that the removal of the asylum seekers from Hungary to Serbia exposed them to the risk of inhuman and degrading reception conditions in Greece.

In its judgement in the case of Ilias and Ahmed v. Hungary (application no. 47287/15) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 5 §§ 1 and 4 (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention on Human Rights because the applicants’ confinement in the Röszke border-zone had amounted to detention, meaning they had effectively been deprived of their liberty without any formal, reasoned decision and without appropriate judicial review;

no violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) as concerned the conditions of their detention in the transit zone, but a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) as concerned the lack of an effective remedy with which they could have complained about their conditions of detention;


a violation of Article 3 on account of the applicants’ expulsion to Serbia insofar as they had not had the benefit of effective guarantees to protect them from exposure to a real risk of being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment.

As just satisfaction (Article 41), the European court held that Hungary was to pay each applicant 10,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 8,705 for costs and expenses.

The court found in particular that, in the applicants’ asylum proceedings, the Hungarian authorities had: failed to carry out an individual assessment of each applicant’s case; schematically referred to the government’s list of safe third countries; disregarded the country reports and other evidence submitted by the applicants; and imposed an unfair and excessive burden on them to prove that they were at real risk of a chain-refoulement situation, whereby they could eventually be driven to Greece to face inhuman and degrading reception conditions.

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