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Hungary: Anti-torture committee observed decent conditions in transit zones, but criticises treatment of irregular migrants when “pushed back” to Serbia

The Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published a report on its recent visit to Hungary from October 20-26, 2017, together with the response from the Hungarian authorities (see also the main findings of the CPT in the summary of the report).

The main aim was to investigate the treatment and conditions of detention of foreigners detained under the Aliens Act. The CPT delegation visited two transit zones in Röszke and Tompa on the border with Serbia and several other institutions and interviewed people on the Serbian side of the border who had recently been “pushed back” to Serbia.

Although the delegation did not receive allegations of staff ill-treatment at any of the facilities visited, many interviewed foreigners who had been arrested in Hungary and escorted through the border fence into Serbia by the Hungarian police through the border fence shortly before the delegation’s visit, they claimed had been physically abused by Hungarian police officers in connection with their arrest and their return through the border fence (push-backs).

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