Scores of refugees on Hungary-Serbia border injured in attacks

Scores of refugees on Hungary-Serbia border injured in attacks
2 min read
10 March, 2017
In a one year period, MSF reported over 100 deliberately inflicted injuries on refugees by Hungarian border guards on the border with Serbia.
Hungary's border guards have a fearsome reputation [Anadolu]
Scores of refugees have been injured on the Hungarian-Serbian border over the past year as Doctors Without Borders reported a shocking wave of violence against migrants on Friday.

Doctors Without Borders said the refugees had been attacked by Hungarian border guards and follows a series of anti-migrant policies by Budapest.

Medics treated 106 cases of intentional injuries caused by beatings, dog bites and exposure to pepper or tear gas.

"People tell us that they are beaten, made to lie on the ground while police officers stomp on them wearing boots," said Christopher Stokes, MSF General Director, who visited refugees in Serbia.

"They add that their clothes and shoes are often confiscated in the snow so that they have to walk back to Serbia barefoot through the cold."

He said refugees bore tell-tale signs of attacks by border guards and stories of humiliation were frequent.

Stokes said EU leaders were turning a "blind eye" to these abuses and called on them to take action. He said the injuries the "tip of the iceburg" and many refugees don't come forward when hurt.

The news comes as Hungary ramped up its anti-migrant policies with a wall being built on its borders with Balkan countries to prevent refugees entering.

Hungary has been accused of "making a mockery" out of the right to asylum by Human Rights Watch, after the government said it sought new powers for police to round up migrants anywhere in the country and transfer them to the Serbia border.

Populist Prime Minister Prime Minister Viktor Orban ramped up rhetotic against the mostly Muslim migrants on Tuesday calling refugees a "Trojan horse for terrorism".

Hungary's "border hunters" have a fearsome reputation with a recruitment drive by the government to attract 3,000 guards to the force and trained in martial arts and the ability to break "break resistance".