Finnish faith leaders and human rights actors: the Hungarian asylum policy is inhumane and unacceptable

Finnish faith leaders and human rights actors are deeply concerned about decisions of the Hungarian Parliament in relation to asylum seekers. According to a joint statement, these decisions are in flagrant breach of human rights and are therefore ethically unacceptable.

Along with Finnish faith leaders, Amnesty International, the Finnish League for Human Rights, the Finnish Refugee Council, the Finnish Refugee Advice Centre, and the Helsinki Deaconess Institute have signed a statement on March 9, 2017.

The statement in full:

“We wish to express our deep concern about the decision of the Hungarian Parliament to confine all asylum seekers in detention centres and restrict their right to personal freedom. The threat of terrorism is used to justify the law. In practice, the decision means that every asylum seeker arriving in Hungary will automatically be deprived of their liberty in container camps at the border with Serbia.

“The decision also affects children and others who are vulnerable. The automatic deprivation of a person’s liberty for the sole reason that they are seeking international protection is in contravention of Hungary’s international human rights obligations and EU law. The Hungarian measure threatens to lead to the return of asylum seekers without their being given access to a fair asylum procedure.

“Under international law, detention cannot be arbitrary and automatic: an individual must have the right to effective legal recourse in relation to the deprivation of their liberty. The detention of asylum seekers may only be used as a last resort if it is absolutely necessary. Children should not be detained simply for reasons connected with immigration.

“We consider this clear violation of human rights and the abuse of people in distress at border posts ethically unacceptable.”


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