A report from Amnesty International entitled “Stranded hope: Hungary’s sustained attack on the rights of refugees and migrants” accuses the country of using the poor treatment of migrants as a deterrent to seeking asylum. The document speaks of complicated bureaucratic procedures and violent behavior by law enforcement to keep migrants from applying for asylum to the authorities in Budapest.
John Dalhuisen, Amnesty’s Europe director, argues that Orbán’s Hungary “has replaced the rule of law with the rule of fear,” based on a system that, in addition to the fences crowned with barbed wire placed on the borders with Serbia and Croatia, includes a whole series of practices to keep migrants away from the country and make them understand that Hungary does not want them.
Dalhuisen, however, does not point the finger only against Budapest but against the European leaders who have not fought against Hungary’s breaches of E.U. law. Yet Orbán and his aides and supporters say that theirs is the only E.U. country to have raised the issue of the defense of the Schengen borders, the only one that really applied the E.U. rules in this area. Amnesty International has joined other organizations in the accusations against the Hungarian government, especially Human Rights Watch.