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Immigration Detention in Hungary: Transit Zone or Twilight Zone? June 2020

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Hungary’s efforts to block asylum seekers were at the centre of an important May 2020 European Union Court of Justice ruling concerning its “transit zone” detention sites, located along the border with Serbia. For years, Hungary refused to acknowledge that people were “detained” in these facilities, going so far as to refuse the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention entry during its visit to the country in 2018. Long denounced for their inhumane conditions, with the onset of the Covid-19 crisis these “zones” were completely sealed off, preventing people from applying for asylum in the country. The EU court found that Hungary was unlawfully detaining asylum seekers at these sites, prompting the country to close them while also further tightening asylum procedures. Read full Report