Hungarian regime’s crackdown on war refugees


This video says about itself:

Hungarian Prisoners Making Barbed Wire To Stop Refugees

28 February 2016

Hungarian inmates are ramping up their production of barbed wire to try to stop refugees at the border. The country hasn’t taken in a single one yet.

By Martin Kreickenbaum:

Hungarian government cracks down on refugees

12 July 2016

This week, the Hungarian parliament in Budapest approved a further tightening of asylum laws and authorized the country’s security forces to deport refugees to Serbia and Croatia without due process.

Refugees caught within an eight-kilometer-wide strip along the border will now be summarily deported. In addition, border security is being massively strengthened. The number of soldiers and border guards will be increased from 4,000 to 10,000, and they will be equipped with additional vehicles, thermal imaging cameras and other devices.

The number of refugees registered on the Balkan route [has] plunged. Barely more than 250 refugees a day are able to traverse the closed borders along the Balkan route with the help of people smugglers.

The EU in Brussels has largely looked on approvingly at Hungary’s brutal actions, despite the fact that expulsions without an asylum hearing, expedited asylum proceedings and the detention of refugees and deprivation of their rights represent massive violations of international refugee protections and violate EU law.

The victims of this brutal policy of deterrence are refugees who have already endured weeks in overcrowded makeshift camps outside the transit zones. After fleeing from wars in Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq, they are now camped out in small tents or in the open air, in the dust and dirt in front of towering barbed-wire fences. Three mobile toilets were only recently installed, but there are no showers, no medical care, and only one water tap. Many people are ill, especially children. Once a day, Hungarian police officers bring tiny food parcels containing bread and canned fish.

There is virtually no escape from these miserable camps. The Hungarian security forces allow only 15 to 20 people into the transit zone daily to apply for asylum there. Refugees have to place their names on a list and then wait for weeks before they are allowed to pass through the gate in the border fence.

Aid organizations fear that the new regulations will catastrophically worsen the situation in the camps. Since the beginning of the year, the Hungarian security authorities have captured some 17,500 refugees who are accused of illegal entry. Previously, they had been taken to reception centers in Hungary. Now they will be brought back to the border fence, leading to a rapid increase in the size of the camp there, which will assume the proportions of the Idomeni camp in Greece. Already in the first days since the new rules have been in force, almost 150 refugees have been deported each day from Hungary.

“Refugees on Hungarian territory are escorted back to the border, without the possibility of lodging an asylum claim and without being provided any documentation, where they have to endure for an arbitrarily long time under inhumane conditions in order to apply for asylum,” Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki committee, told Spiegel online .

The Hungarian government claims that this does not constitute deportation. Although the transit zones and about a two-foot-wide strip in front of the border fence are not part of Hungarian territory, they also do not belong to any other state.

Since August 2015 the Hungarian government has defined neighboring Serbia, from which nearly all the refugees have entered, as a “safe third country.” As a result, of the 199,000 asylum applications made in Hungary last year, just 264 have been approved.

Hungary has steadily increased the repressive measures against refugees over the last twelve months. Following the classification of Serbia as a “safe third country”, and the complete closure of its borders with Serbia and Croatia, border fences and fortifications were built, soldiers have employed tear gas and batons against protesting refugees. In September last year, “illegal entry” was declared a crime and thousands of refugees dragged before the courts.

According to György Bakondi, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s security advisor, 4,942 refugees have been prosecuted for damage to the border fence. In general, the punishment has been immediate deportation and a re-entry ban. According to Bakondis, 300 refugees sit in Hungarian prisons.

However, the deportations are often not carried out, as Serbia and Croatia will not take back the refugees. Since there are no accommodation facilities for refugees in Hungary, apart from the detention centers—even for recognized asylum seekers—many refugees end up homeless on the street, where they are again exposed to state repression, since being homeless is also a crime.

Single male refugees who have been deported to Hungary from other EU member states following the Dublin procedures are imprisoned there on the spurious grounds that they might otherwise try to emigrate again.

In addition to this massive criminalization of refugees, a show trial has been launched in the Hungarian town of Szeged against eleven refugees for their alleged involvement in mass protests at the border fence in September 2015. One of them was even indicted for terrorism because he supposedly used a megaphone to incite the crowd that tried to storm the border fence.

The accused, who were sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to three years, included a blind old woman and a wheelchair-bound man. To date, however, there has been no investigation of the brutal police action, in which refugees were shot at with tear gas and driven back using water cannons and truncheons.

The incident was used by the Hungarian government to construe a direct link between refugees, illegal immigration, violence and terrorism. This is also the purpose of a referendum scheduled for October on the question of whether Hungary should participate in the distribution of refugees as agreed by the EU. The date was announced by President Janos Ader this week in Budapest.

This process has already failed for all practical purposes, since, of the 160,000 eligible refugees who are to be taken from Italy and Greece to other EU countries, only 2,800 asylum seekers have so far been redistributed. Moreover, the Hungarian government, which under the EU Commission’s plan would only have to accommodate 1,300 refugees, is seeking to cement its anti-refugee position by means of the referendum.

French policeman filmed ridiculing weeping refugee woman after her camp is dismantled. Armed riot police officer appears to laugh at woman who wanted to retrieve belongings from the camp: here.

Good house martin news from Hungary


This video is about a house martin nest in Poland.

After bad news about politicians in Hungary … now good news about birds and school children.

From BirdLife:

School’s out(side) for Spring!

By Shaun Hurrell, 30 Jun 2016

A bell in Hungary rings the start of a noisy week day. Like in many schools, the grounds fill with happy laughter, the bouncing of balls, children running and playing. But this spring a new noise rang through the air of the Ady Endre Primary in Gyál: the chirrrps and tseeps of House Martins on their arrival from Africa. Rather than distracting from studies, the children go outside in their lessons to see what it’s all about! They say there are at least 10 nests under the eaves of the school building, not too far from each other.

Art teacher Ms Viktória Szabó says: “The House Martins have kept busy ever since they arrived, lately by feeding their chicks. We’ve tried taking photos of them but it’s not an easy task because they fly really fast!”

Viktória is sharing her enthusiasm for nature with her classes through the Spring Alive programme, which this year has encouraged children to celebrate the return of Barn Swallows and other migratory birds to their neighbourhoods.

Spring Alive is a BirdLife International educational conservation initiative organised by OTOP (BirdLife in Poland) that encourages children to take action for the conservation of the migratory birds they learn about. Intimately associated with humans, swallows and martins are a species that anyone, almost anywhere can help with.

The 30 pupils of Viktória’s class have learnt loads about swallows and martins. Through music, literature, writing, and environmental studies, Class 3/a now know about their migration, nesting and feeding habits.

“They’ve looked at pictures, listened to presentations, and created drawings and photographs for the Spring Alive competitions of the small colony living on the school grounds,” says Viktória.

They’ve become ‘House Martin Scientists’ and monitored the stages of nest building and chick development, using the material on the Spring Alive website and going outside to see the birds.

Despite all the noises of the school, it is clear the House Martins are not disturbed. Instead, these local birds are perhaps these children’s first window into nature conservation, or even an understanding that the birds they are seeing are shared with other children in Africa.

As the European season of Spring Alive comes to a close, the project will move with the migratory birds into Africa, where the Spring Twin initiative will unite schools between the continents.

10 reasons for your child to celebrate spring with Spring Alive

“Recognising the arrival of migratory birds also brings a broader understanding of nature,” says Karolina Kalinowska, Spring Alive coordinator. “Some bird migrations are so huge, they are almost beyond comprehension. For local children, Spring Alive brings an opportunity to think globally.”

Thinking back to when you were at school – wasn’t it great to go outside and explore? Thanks to Spring Alive these lucky children in Hungary got to do it as part of their lessons!

Spring Alive is an international campaign to encourage children’s interest in nature and the conservation of migratory birds

Spring Alive is an international campaign to encourage children’s interest in nature and the conservation of migratory birds. Spring Alive is organised by OTOP, the BirdLife Partner in Poland, on behalf of the BirdLife Partnership. Wildlife groups, teachers and others who would like to become more involved in Spring Alive should contact the International Manager, Karolina Kalinowska, at karolina.kalinowska@otop.org.pl

For more information go to: www.springalive.net

Follow Spring Alive on facebookYouTube and flickr.

Cuckoos’ eggs in great reed warbler nests, new study


This is is a great reed warbler video from Hungary.

From Bird Study:

When should Common Cuckoos Cuculus canorus lay their eggs in host nests?

01 Feb 2016

Abstract

Capsule: Brood parasitic Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus chicks hatch earlier than the nestlings of their Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus hosts, but hatching priority is less consistent when Cuckoo eggs are laid after the onset of host incubation.

Aim: To reveal by field observations what the optimal stage is for Cuckoos to lay their eggs in relation to the host laying cycle to ensure prior hatching of the parasitic chicks.

Methods: We monitored the hatching of Cuckoo chicks in relation to the hosts’ laying stage at which the Cuckoo eggs appeared and also monitored host incubation behaviour.

Results: Great Reed Warblers incubated more on day 5 after the host’s onset of laying relative to day 3. All Cuckoo eggs hatched earlier than hosts when they were laid prior to the onset of host incubation (day 4). Cuckoo eggs also maintained hatching priority in about 2/3 of the nests when laid on days 5–6.

Conclusions: Most Cuckoo eggs are laid prior to the onset of host incubation and this, together with other adaptive mechanisms, ensures the prior hatching of Cuckoo eggs. Cuckoo eggs laid after the onset of incubation lose the advantage of prior hatching in approximately 30% of nests.

Nazi crimes whitewash in Hungary


This video says about itself:

Holocaust Survivor Chava Fried- Arrow Cross takeover in Hungary

15 October 2014

Born in 1922 Chava Fried grew up in Vac, Hungary. The war started for her with the German occupation in March 1944. After escaping to Budapest she lived under an assumed identity and worked in a factory. She befriended one of the owners of the factory who hid Chava until liberation in January 1945. Chava moved to Canada in 1953.

From Associated Press:

Jewish Group Condemns Far-Right WWII Remembrance in Hungary

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Feb 6, 2016, 3:57 PM ET

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has condemned a far-right commemoration in Hungary of a World War II battle in which speakers lauded a wartime pro-Nazi Hungarian leader.

A report on the feol.hu website said a Waffen-SS veteran who was scheduled to speak at Saturday’s memorial in the city of Szekesfehervar did not attend for health reasons. The Wiesenthal Center said the event was “another blatant attempt to honor and glorify the perpetrators of the Holocaust.”

Last year, international criticism caused a foundation to cancel plans to erect a statue in Szekesfehervar of a Holocaust-era minister who helped draft anti-Semitic laws.

The Wiesenthal Center’s Mark Weitzman said authorities‘ failure to condemn the event, considering that Hungary is currently chairing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, was “an exercise in political and historical hypocrisy.”

Doctors Without Borders criticizes European Union anti-refugee policies


This video says about itself:

No Man’s Land For Refugees Between Hungary And Barbed Wire

15 September 2015

Ten of thousands of refugees have fled their homelands, heading to the Hungarian border and hoping to find peace in Europe. But Hungary has put up barbed wire to stop the refugees and passed harsh new anti-refugee laws.

From MSF/Doctors Without Borders, about the crisis for refugees and anti-refugee policies in the European Union:

Obstacle Course to Europe: A Policy-Made Humanitarian Crisis at EU Borders, December 2015

Report from Médecins Sans Frontières

Published on 19 January 2016

During 2015 MSF teams provided just under 100,000 medical consultations on three search and rescue vessels in the Mediterranean, in Greece, Italy, throughout the Balkans and we are now working in northern France. Many of these consultations were for illnesses and injuries sustained on the life threatening journeys that people were forced to take for want of a safe, legal alternative. In Serbia, for example, 80% of the consultations performed by our medics were related to the tough conditions on the journey.

The lack of adequate reception conditions to meet basic humanitarian standards also took their toll. MSF treated people for hypothermia and exhaustion after they were forced to sleep outside or wait in long queues without access to shelter, toilets, food, water or sanitation for days at a time. We were often unable to move people out of these queues for medical reasons. Others were forced to languish in dire reception centres – in Italy conditions became so inhumane that MSF decided it had no choice but to leave.

MSF also witnessed states and governments actively obstructing efforts to improve conditions. In Kos, Greece, for example, there is still no reception facility, despite months of pleading by MSF for authorisation to improve reception facilities. Winter setting in and temperatures plummeting only adds to the suffering.

MSF also treated the psychological scars of the situations people had initially fled, the impact of the dire conditions on the journey and the uncertainty that people faced (a situation compounded by the lack of basic information available on the route). In late November, in Idomeni, for example, MSF psychologists noted a significant increase in the number of panic attacks and self-harm attempts, a direct consequence of the dire conditions faced by people at the border with FYROM and ongoing uncertainty about their futures.

Arbitrary decisions by governments along the route also increased the suffering and danger faced by people. Each time a border closed without consultation with the neighbouring country thousands were abruptly halted, stranded in no man’s land with little or no humanitarian assistance.

The policies of deterrence, border control and security have failed to deter people, working only to increase their suffering by making the journey to Europe more miserable, more dangerous and more expensive.

The report then moves onto identifying policy responses that would minimise suffering and save lives, centred largely on providing protection to people who need it. This includes safe and legal alternatives to dangerous journeys in the hands of smugglers, decent reception, proactive search and rescue. It also includes safe passage between EU countries and an end to acts of violence and abuse from state authorities.

Commenting on the report, Vickie Hawkins, MSF executive director, said:

“Through Greece, Italy, the Balkans and in northern France, MSF teams have witnessed first-hand the fundamental inhumanity of the political response to the European refugee crisis. By putting concerns of borders, security and deterrence ahead of the needs of those caught up in this crisis, politicians have failed in their responsibility to protect people, instead actively increasing suffering and costing lives. Whilst MSF can treat wounds and try to heal psychological scars, unless European governments abandon their obstacle course approach in 2016 the extreme suffering and death will continue.”

Hungarian nazi not honoured with statue


This 2013 video is called Hungary’s Jobbik party hold anti-Semitic rally.

From the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

Hungarian town votes down contested statue for anti-Jewish politician

December 18, 2015 7:53am

BUDAPEST (JTA) — Following an outcry, a municipality in central Hungary cancelled its plan to erect a statue commemorating a statesman who drafted anti-Semitic laws during the Holocaust.

The city council of Szekesfehervar voted down on Friday the plan to erect with public funding a statue in memory of Balint Homan, the Clubradio station reported.

He served as minister of education and religion in the 1940s and was partly responsible for drafting legislation in 1938 and 1939 to restrict the rights of Jews in Hungary and for the deportation in 1944 of 420,000 Jews to Auschwitz.

The plan to erect a statue in his honor provoked protests by local and international Jewish groups, including the World Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League.

The private fund that initiated the statue’s erection this week sent a letter to the municipality and to the mayor, informing them that they are withdrawing the Homan statue project. The foundation also repaid authorities the $55,000 paid by them for the project.

Statue for Hungarian anti-Semite?


This video says about itself:

Shock over Hungary Anti-Semitism: Diplomats, Jewish leaders protest against planned statue

14 December 2015

Washington has expressed shock and disappontent at Hungarian plans to erect a statue of Balint Homan, a WWII politician who contributed to murderous anti-Semitism in Hungary in the 1930s and 1940s.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Anti-fascist crowds bid to halt pro-nazi statue

Tuesday 15th December 2015

DIPLOMATS, anti-fascists and Jewish groups held a candle-lit demonstration in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, on Sunday evening against a planned statue honouring late pro-nazi minister Balint Homan.

As a minister in the 1930s Mr Homan spearheaded anti-semitic legislation before urging the deportation of Hungarian Jews in 1944.

Nazi Germany and its Arrow Cross Party allies murdered 565,000 Hungarian Jews during the second world war.

After Hungary’s liberation by the Red Army, war criminal Mr Homan was sentenced to life imprisonment for voting to declare war on the Soviet Union in 1941. He died in jail in 1951.

“Balint Homan was an emblematic figure in the humiliation and deportation of Hungarian Jews,” said Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities president Andras Heisler.

“He was an anti-semite who does not deserve to be honoured.”

From YouTube:

NEW YORK/BUDAPEST, July 8 [2015] – The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is urging authorities in a Hungarian city to abandon plans to honor a Horthy-era government minister well known for his actions against the Jews. Municipal leaders in Székesfehérvár, a city of 100,000 inhabitants located between Budapest and Lake Balaton, are planning to erect a life-size bronze statue in honor of Bálint Homan (1885-1951). It is to be funded in large part through a grant from the Hungarian Justice Ministry.

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder called on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to block plans for the statue from moving forward. “Seventy years after the end of World War II, it is inconceivable and wrong for a city to erect a statue in honor of a known anti-Semite and a key figure in the persecution of Hungarian Jews before and during World War II. Homan was an outspoken supporter of Nazi Germany and the fascist Arrow Cross regime in 1944, and he remained unrepentant until his death,” said Lauder.

“Bálint Homan was an emblematic figure in the humiliation and deportation of Hungarian Jews. He was an anti-Semite who does not deserve to be honored, and doing so would insult the victims of the Holocaust,” declared WJC Vice-President András Heisler, who also serves as president of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz).

In a letter to Székesfehérvár Mayor András Cser-Palkovics, a member of Orbán’s Fidesz party, Heisler recently wrote: “From October 1932, Bálint Hóman, as culture minister in several Hungarian governments, played a key role in the systematic outlawing of the Hungarian Jewish people. His name is connected to the first anti-Jewish law. He supported banning Jews from exercising certain professions. Before the German occupation [in 1944], he wanted to expel Jews and later served as a member of the Arrow Cross regime.”

Heisler added that no Hungarian citizen today could be proud of a personality like Homan, and he stressed that Homan’s academic achievements could not outweigh the role he played before and during the Holocaust.