8 refugees hospitalized after fighting breaks out at closed asylum center

July 18, 2016

In June, more than 300 migrants demonstrated in Kiskunhalas for better conditions

Fighting broke out between refugees in the closed asylum center of Kiskunhalas Sunday evening.

According to György Bakondi, Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, 20 men – Algerians, Syrians, Pakistanis and Mongols – started the brawl, first with their fists, then chair legs. When security guards arrived, 200 men joined the fight.

Bakondi said 200 policemen helped restore order. Eight people were taken to hospital, none of them seriously injured, he said. The police were investigating.

Currently, there are three closed asylum centers in Hungary: Békéscsaba, Nyírbátor and Kiskunhalas. As journalists are not allowed inside and refugees cannot leave the camps, there is very little information on how asylum seekers are treated inside.

Last week, opposition MP Ágnes Kunhalmi visited the open camp at Körmend where she found abominable conditions. According to her account, the asylum seekers are housed in searing-hot army tents, many of which are infested with ants and parasites.  The Hungarian government later denounced her claims.

This was not the first violence in Kiskunhalas. In June, more than 300 asylum seekers demonstrated for better conditions and faster administration procedures at the camp.