Asylum seekers in an immigration centre in Hungary

Asylum seekers in an immigration centre in Hungary

A report by the independent Hungarian Ombudsman office a couple of weeks ago said there have been instances where entire families had been forced to strip naked in front of officials as part of medical assessments in closed detention centres.

According to Marta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a not-for-profit organisation, this “is extremely degrading.”

“For a father to be forced to strip in front of his daughter, this is quite unthinkable among traditional Kosovar families, ” – Ms Pardavi says.

Tales of arbitrary detention, strip searches and severely overcrowded conditions in refugee centres are emerging from Hungary.

In a direct challenge to the EU, Hungary yesterday suspended an EU asylum programme known as the Dublin Regulation which states that asylum claims must be handled in the EU country where migrants first arrive or first request protection.

So far this year, some 61,000 migrants have entered Hungary, compared to 42,700 in 2014, and conditions in the reception centres where migrants are held are worsening, as the country struggles to cope with demand. The majority of the migrants come from Kosovo, Afghanistan and Syria.

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