On Wednesday 7th of December Migszol received reports that people in the Bicske camp are now being moved out of the reception center to other camps.
Even if the closure of Bicske was announced until the end of the year (which we strongly oppose) we did not have any precise information on when it would take place. The people living in Bicske at the time - asylum seekers and recognised refugees - were surprised as well. That morning they saw a bus coming and the first group was taken to Körmend camp.
This is only one example of how the Immigration Office does not take into consideration NGOs and groups working to support asylum seekers and refugees, but even more than that, it also shows the neglect towards the people who are trying to start a new life in Hungary, the people over whom these decisions are being made. In some cases, people were asked to sign a document that they agreed to be transferred to another camp but no translation was provided.
Goodbye pictures from Bicske
Migszol condemns this action and condemns the Hungarian Immigration Office for closing the best-functioning camp in the country and place people in inhumane conditions. Körmend camp is the worst camp currently existing in Hungary (which says a lot). It is made up of tents that are completely unsuitable for people to live in, particularly in these extremely cold temperatures. It is now below 0°C which puts people’s health and even lives at great risks. Our friends that arrived in Körmend wrote to us about the conditions and sent us pictures.
Additionally, these camps are in remote places and segregated, which results in further exclusion of those people who are trying to start a new life here. Many had started attending different activities in Budapest (Hungarian classes, friendships, university, etc..) that they can no longer continue.
The Immigration Office never publicly explained why they want to close the Bicske camp. Migszol sees this as part of a deliberate destruction of the Hungarian asylum system and of the racist propaganda that has been spread in the last year. This goes along with the closure of Debrecen camp, and the cancellation of financial support to asylum seekers and refugees (the “integration contract”).
One explanation unofficially expressed by the Office of Immigration and Nationality (OIN) for the closure of the camp was that there was not enough people to be accommodated, and thus there was simply no need for it. This justification is ridiculous, as we know that around 6400 people are blocked in Serbia as a consequence of the Hungarian border management. The Hungarian authorities reduced the number of people being allowed into the transit zone at the start of November from 15 to 10 people per transit zone per day, and only during weekdays. Additionally, people crossing the borders irregularly, who are entitled to apply for asylum, are simply and almost systematically pushed back to Serbia. More than 1000 people are sleeping rough in Belgrade waiting for their “turn”. The Immigration Office’s statement can also certainly not explain why they would close the best-functioning camp in the country and not the tent camp or far-off facilities.
In these conditions, other EU countries should also take on their responsibility and be aware of the consequences of sending asylum seekers back to Hungary based on the Dublin regulation.
Migszol is always demanding protection, decent support, accommodation and respectful treatment for asylum seekers and refugees.That goes way beyond, but definitely includes NOT INTENTIONALLY FREEZING PEOPLE IN TENT CAMPS: