The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has sharply criticised the Hungarian police for the ill-treatment of illegal migrants. The CPT report, released on Tuesday, in Strasbourg, cites numerous testimonies of refugees who, they said, were subjected to brutal forced expulsions from Hungary to Serbia.
Interviewed by the experts of the CPT the migrants said that Hungarian police attacked them with dogs, kicked them and beat them with their truncheons, and sprayed pepper gas into their face. A doctor, who accompanied the delegation of the committee, confirming that they had sustained these injuries.
The CPT report notes that there is no procedure in Hungary regulating the filing of a complaint of forced expulsion from the country without judicial hearings. In addition the CPT experts expressed concern that Hungarian authorities placed families with children, as well as unaccompanied children between 14 and 18 years of age, in transit areas while their asylum applications were being processed. The CPT urged the Hungarian authorities to place children in more comfortable conditions.
The Government of Hungary rejected the CPT report, calling it a political, not a professional document, and stating that the evidence in the report “contradicts the facts”.
Last week Members of the European Parliament voted to censure the Hungarian government for eroding democracy and failing to uphold fundamental European Union values.
The procedure was initiated at the end of 2017 when a report on the rule of law in Hungary was commissioned by the committee for civil liberties. Dutch Green MEP Judith Sargentini completed her draft report in the spring and concluded that there were sufficient grounds for triggering Article 7. Among the reasons given for invoking the motion of censure against Hungary was its harsh treatment of migrants.