Hungary approves detention of all asylum-seekers

Under the terms of the legislation, asylum-seekers will be locked in border camps reportedly comprised of shipping containers until their cases are resolved.

Migrants may have to pay for their own imprisonment, and authorities will have the power to summarily return all adults refused entry to the Serbian border.

The plans were put before the EU last month. The Government’s chief spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs, told a briefing in London: “No migrants – not even those who have already issued their request for asylum – will be able move freely until there is a primary legal decision whether they are entitled for political asylum, refugee status or anything else, so they are not entitled to move freely in the country.”

Kovacs also said those seeking asylum would be free to return home if they didn’t wish to wait in the detention camps. The draft legislation brought huge protests from rights groups, with allegations that it contravened international law. Hungary, whose government is led by right-wing prime minister Viktor Orban, has previously built a huge fence along its borders to keep out refugees, sparking widespread criticism among the international community.

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