STRASBOURG – Due to changes introduced in Hungary in the asylum law and practice in recent months, “asylum seekers returned there run a considerable risk of being subject to human rights violations” and deportation to Serbia, Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks said Wednesday.

Illustration - AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic
Illustration – AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

The Commissioner stressed that “in recent months a considerable proportion of those returned to Hungary under the Dublin III Regulation were detained in asylum detention centres – where a restrictive detention regime applies – without real access to effective remedies against such detention,” the CoE said in a statement.

He also noted that “persons currently returned to Hungary under the Dublin III Regulation do not, as a rule, have their asylum applications examined on the merits.”

“This is due to Hungarian legislation that considers Serbia – the country through which the vast majority of asylum seekers initially arrived to Hungary – as a safe third country,” the statement said.

This situation “also exposes them to a very high risk of being subjected to deportation to Serbia and to further refoulement to other countries,” Muiznieks warned.