• Press Release

Refugees face chaos and harsh conditions at Serbia-Hungary border

September 7, 2015

Hungary should urgently provide refugees and migrants crossing the border from Serbia more humane reception conditions, transport and clarity about where they are being sent, Amnesty International said. With more people bound to arrive, the situation could escalate further.

“While Europe rejoiced in happy images from Austria and Germany yesterday, refugees crossing into Hungary right now see a very different picture: riot police and a cold hard ground to sleep on,” said Amnesty International researcher Barbora Cernusakova.

“While Europe has failed abysmally to respond, Hungary has a duty to ensure decent conditions for people who arrive. Its hostile approach doesn’t keep people out, it simply prolongs and adds to their ordeal.”

Around 2000 men, women and children, many from Syria and Afghanistan, arrived at the Hungarian border town of Röszke on Saturday, crossing over the border from Serbia, and many more are expected to continue to arrive the coming days. Amnesty International witnessed that around 500 people, including many children, ended up sleeping rough through a cold and wet night by the border collection point where hardly any food or shelter was provided.

Hungarian police told Amnesty International that the reception centre at Röszke is full, and they do not know when or if busses will come to transport refugees elsewhere. Refugees are starting to gather outside its gates.

Amnesty spokespeople in Röszke available for interview