Hungary Wants To Put All Asylum Seekers In Detention Shelters

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Hungary is going to introduce plans to put migrants in detention centers indefinitely while they await the outcome of their asylum applications.

Zoltán Kovács, the Hungarian government’s chief spokesman, said the country will introduce the plans within weeks. Anyone seeking asylum in Hungary would be kept in “shelters” with the option of returning to their home countries at any point.

“No migrants – not even those who have already issued their request for asylum – will be able move freely until there is a primary legal decision whether they are entitled for political asylum, refugee status or anything else, so they are not entitled to move freely in the country,” Kovács said after a briefing Monday in London, The Guardian reports.

The EU directive on the treatment of asylum seekers states detention can only be allowed under “clearly defined exceptional circumstances.” Hungary hopes the option to give up on asylum and return home is enough to convince EU lawyers that the proposal doesn’t include involuntary detention.

Kovács further said Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s tough immigration stance has been “vindicated” after the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, which marked “a change of mood in Europe.” EU announced a 200 million euro package ($213 million) to combat migration and boost protection of the bloc’s external borders.

Hungary erected a border fence in October 2015 and will deploy 3,000 “border hunters” this spring.

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