Sunday, March 05, 2017

Hungarian Culture? Hungarian Compassion?

Thousands of guards have been deployed to patrol Hungary’s 100-mile southern border with Serbia, where soldiers and prison inmates are expanding a barbed wire fence into an electrified 13ft barrier. Armed with heat sensors and cameras, it features loudspeakers blaring messages in English, Arabic and Farsi.
Attention, attention. I'm warning you that you are at the Hungarian border,” the messages say. If you damage the fence, cross illegally, or attempt to cross, it’s counted to be a crime in Hungary. I’m warning you to hold back from committing this crime. You can submit your asylum application at the transit zone.”
But the “transit zones” allow just a handful of migrants to cross each day at two designated border posts, leaving at least 7,000 people trapped in Serbia in dire conditions and increasing desperation.
They treat us like animals, and we are humans,” revealed Shahid Khan. “When they beat us, they were laughing with each other. The policemen, when they beat us, they are taking selfies with us...They beat us with everything, with fists, kicks and batons. They deliberately gave us bad injuries. ” 
As extreme cold swept Europe at the start of 2017 and temperatures in Hungary plummeted to -20C, a new form of torment was reported. Refugees said border police would take their drinking water and pour it over them before abandoning them in the snow, sometimes taking coats, clothes and shoes. They were dumping them at random points at the border in the middle of the night and exposing them to potential death by hypothermia with people showing up in Serbia completely naked.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) Balkans and Eastern Europe researcher, Lydia Gall, explained, “It’s all part and parcel of the Hungarian government’s policy of keeping people out or making their lives as miserable as possible.”
Viktor Orban, the anti-immigration Prime Minister, has dubbed migrants “poison” and claimed they are a threat to security and European culture that must be held back. If we can’t do it nicely, we have to hold them back by force,” he said. “And we will do it."

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