Even though the number of asylum-seekers is decreasing, government spokesman Bence Tuzson announced on Wednesday that the Hungarian government and hired an additional 3000 policemen to secure the country’s border with Serbia.
Tuzson announced that the extra personnel will be sent to the border as soon as possible, and that the Ministry of Interior will be responsible for their recruiting and training, he added.
Meanwhile Magyar Idők reports that securing the border has costs the government billions of forints since the migration crisis started. In an article published yesterday the pro-government print daily cited governmental sources when reporting that Hungary and spent a staggering HUF 4.5 billion (USD 16.2 million) securing its border since the start of the European refugee crisis.
(Why, that’s nearly as much as the government is spending this year on anti-refugee propaganda!-ed.)
According to official police figures, the number of asylum seekers apprehended on the territory of Hungary is decreasing. On August 9th, police captured only nine of them. The number was even lower on 4th August when only one migrant was apprehended.
No help in transit zones
Since a new law came into effect at the beginning of July, asylum-seekers apprehended within 8 kilometers of the border can be sent back to the territory of Serbia without any legal proceedings. Meanwhile, there are still hundreds camping in dire conditions in a no man’s land on the border between Serbia and Hungary, waiting to enter transit zones. The procedure is incredibly slow: Hungarian authorities are allowing only 15 asylum seekers to enter the transit zones daily.
Until last week, civil groups were trying to distribute food and water to people stranded on the border, but the Hungarian government ordered them to suspend their operations.
A recent report by Human Rights Watch sharply criticized Hungarian authorities for failing to provide assistance to asylum seekers waiting to enter transit zones. They have no shelter, shower or proper food, and only a few portable toilets installed by Serbian authorities in early June.
Human Rights Watch also interviewed people who were apprehended inside Hungarian territory after trying to enter irregularly. They all said they were beaten and abused by people in uniform and then pushed back through the three-layer razor-wire fence into Serbia.