Hungarian Government Denies Widespread Abuse of Migrants Claimed by Campaign Groups

HORGOS, SERBIA - JULY 17: A man stands besides the border fence close to the E75 Horgas border crossing between Serbia and Hungary on July 17, 2016 in Horgos, Serbia. Serbia has announced that it will start joint army and police patrols on its borders with Bulgaria and Macedonia to …
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A new report shows that while there have been instances of violence from Hungarian border guards or police, the extent is nowhere near what various pro-migrant NGOs have claimed.

Over the last year, many humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have accused Hungarian border guards of mistreating and abusing migrants trying to cross into the country illegally. New reports show that the Hungarian government has been aware and has investigated many cases, but the figures cited by the pro-migrant groups are often far larger than the reality, Die Welt reports.

Statistics show that Hungarian border patrols are far less violent than their equivalents in Bulgaria, yet many migrant groups choose to focus on the central European country, specifically the area around the Serbian border.

In 44 cases Hungarian police have been indicted on charges of violence or abuse towards migrants by the Hungarian justice system. Of those only two cases ended in a judgement.

One of the two cases saw a policeman receive a fine of 425 euros after he sprayed pepper spray at a migrant through a border fence while the migrant was on the Serbian side of the border. The court heard that the migrant victim had apparently insulted the family of the officer and had a “threatening attitude.”

The second case was more violent and saw a policeman knee a migrant in the face and he received a 1,000 euro fine for his actions.

Many of the cases against the police were not brought up by the Hungarian government themselves including 14 which came from police officers, two cases from the state prosecutor and one from the army. Other cases were brought by victims and their lawyers who are often hired by pro-migrant NGOs.

Most of the cases had been thrown out of court because there simply has not been enough evidence to reach a ruling.

The government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor has denied that border guards have abused migrants as NGOs like Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have alleged. According to MSF, the Hungarian government is responsible for “systematic abuse” of migrants and claiming that up to 65 percent had been physically abused.

Hungary was one of the first European countries to shut down border traffic during the migrant crisis and build a large border fence, which they are now reinforcing. The government has also produced new measures to detain asylum seekers in Hungary while their asylum applications are being processed.

Despite reducing the number of migrants by a significant amount, there has been evidence that over a thousand asylum seekers have camped out on the border with Serbia in recent months attempting to enter the country and travel on to Western Europe.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at




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