EU Courts Tells Hungary to Release Migrants In Border Transit Zone Detention


The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has called on Hungary to release migrants kept in transit zones on the Serbian border, claiming the illegal aliens were being kept in unlawful detention.

The subject of the ECJ ruling was two border transit zones which were both closed in early March due to the spread of the Chinese coronavirus. 321 migrants were in the zones at the time of the closure.

Three weeks prior to the ECJ ruling, an expert affiliated with the EU court stated the camp in Röszke violated Freedom of Movement laws and constituted detention, Die Welt reports.

The background of the case came after legal action was launched by four asylum seekers from Iran and Afghanistan who had been rejected for asylum in Hungary, after the Hungarian authorities noted that all of them had come from safe countries such as Serbia and Bulgaria where they did not face persecution.

When Hungary attempted to send the migrants back to Serbia, the Serbian authorities rejected the migrants, and they instead stayed in the Röszke transit zone.

The transit camps on the Serbian border have been in operation since 2017 and asylum seekers are only allowed to leave their assigned areas under police supervision.

Prior to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, Hungary reported a fresh surge in migrants attempting to cross the Serbian border, releasing CCTV footage in late January showing a group of around 50 to 70 migrants trying to storm a border checkpoint at Röszke.

Just weeks later a group of around 500 migrants gathered on the Serbian border holding various signs, many of which were in English, bearing slogans such as “We are only refugees, not criminals”.

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán commented on the situation at the border at the end of February, saying: “We must expect another migratory wave and mass attack on the Hungarian border fence, [and] the Hungarian border must be protected.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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