Hungarian official says 70 people had their asylum applications accepted
Hungary closes border with Serbia, leaving hundreds of migrants gathered at border
Germany and Austria call for an emergency EU summit next Tuesday on crisis
A railway carriage fortified with razor-wire was wheeled in to block the remaining gap in the fence with neighboring Serbia, closing a route that tens of thousands of refugees have used to escape bombings and terrorism in their homelands.
Refugees were trickling into Hungary, according to a government spokesman.
Zoltan Kovacs told CNN’s Hala Gorani that 70 people had their asylum applications accepted and 40 were rejected. About 275 people were arrested at the border.
“Thirty-five of them, mainly women and children, have already been transferred to shelters within the country, according to the European protocol,” Kovacs said.
Hungary is a member of the European Union; Serbia, to its south, is not but is in negotiations to join.
Under laws that took effect Tuesday, anyone caught climbing the fence faces up to three years in jail. Hungarian authorities said arrests had already begun.
“We call this as a temporary fence. Obviously it is … a must decision (rather) than a nice decision,” Kovacs said.
“We don’t like building fences, but up until we are able to reinstate border control on the natural border/green borders of the country, we have no other choice.”
Registration and entry to Hungary will now be possible only at two assigned entry points, he said.
Hungary also plans to expand the fence along its border with Romania to the east, Norbert Domotor, spokesman for the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Tuesday, although he said construction had yet to begin.
In a statement, Amnesty International slammed Hungary’s actions as “ugly” and “draconian.”
“For refugees fleeing from terrifying conflict zones to be met by such an intimidating show of militarized force is shocking, and a woefully irresponsible response to people already traumatized by war and brutality,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Europe.
“This ‘raise the drawbridge’ mentality will simply redirect, but not put an end to, desperate and dangerous journeys.”
Hungarian authorities took action after an unprecedented influx of migrants entering from Serbia.
A record 9,380 migrants made the crossing Monday, Hungarian police said, nearly double the previous record of 5,809 migrants set a day earlier.
The closing of the border left throngs of refugees, carrying everything they had …Read More