Hungary Condemned by ECHR for Illegal Push-Back of Young Asylum Seeker

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After six and a half years, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that the Hungarian government has breached human rights in the case of an Iraqi-Kurdish child seeking asylum. The child was forcibly pushed back to Serbia in 2017 without any proper investigation.

Karoh fled his home country in 2017, when he was 16 years old. Despite the Hungarian police being aware of his age, they forced the boy to go to Serbia instead of placing him in the Children’s Home for Unaccompanied Minors in the town of Fót, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The client of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, who has now won this case in Strasbourg, along with his adult companions, was forced to leave Hungary under the rules that were newly introduced at that time. These rules have since then been ruled unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the EU.

Particularly, the Court criticised the fact that the victim of the Hungarian’s state violation was a child in need of help.

Attorney of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Karoh’s legal representative, Tamás Fazekas, on the Strasburg ruling, said that it would be much better for everyone if Hungary were to review asylum applications under a fair asylum system instead of deporting children without due process.

Because the Hungarian government has been causing suffering and harm for years. We are glad that justice has been restored a little, even if our client ended up receiving protection in another state.

Legal representative, Tamás Fazekas

Karoh’s judgment in Strasburg is the sixth in a series of decisions for the clients of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. These decisions have ruled that mass pushbacks without legal basis and regarding individual circumstances violate the prohibition of collective expulsion.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee says that “no matter what the Prime Minister says,” fundamental human rights apply to internationals too, as according to the Committee, it has been confirmed by the European Court of Human Rights for the second time.

On October 5, last year, the ECHR declared Hungary guilty of inhuman treatment of people seeking asylum on three judgments delivered at Strasburg that were represented by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

The Committee back then said that for more than five years, Hungarian transit zones were not a gateway to the country’s asylum protections, as stressed by the government; instead, their role was to scare and exhaust asylum seekers in this territory so they would return to Serbia “voluntarily,” thus depriving themselves of asylum.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently urged Hungary and Belgium to finalise the Migration Asylum Pact after both these countries held the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU this year: Belgium from January until June and Hungary from July until December.

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