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Hungary’s new border rules are alarming, says UNHCR
September 16, 2015, 8:43 am
HOMELESS: A refugee carries a child in his back at the Hungarian border with Serbia near the town of Horgos.

Elements of Hungary’s new border rules are “really alarming,” the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said.

UNHCR expressed its concerns at the time devoted to assessing asylum seekers and their return to Serbia.

Erno Simon, a spokesman for the UNHCR in Hungary, cited Hungary’s decision to designate Serbia as a “safe third country” for refugees to be sent back to and criminal punishments for asylum seekers caught crossing the border illegally.

He also questioned Hungarian statements that authorities would deal with asylum requests in a matter of hours, which he described as a “very small period of time” for such complex cases, while denying them official access to the country. “There are many details of the new law, the new legislation, which are really alarming,” Simon told Reuters.

Meanwhile, local media reported that at least 22 migrants trying to reach Greece by boat, including 11 women and four children, drowned Tuesday when their vessel sank off Turkey’s southwest coast.

Turkish coast guards recovered nine more bodies, bringing the toll to 22, and rescued 211 migrants from the wooden boat which set off from the southwestern resort town of Datca for the nearby Greek island of Kos, Dogan news agency reported.

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