Archiv der Kategorie: Asylantrag gestellt

OVG Sachsen / Az.: 4 A 584/16.A bzw. 4 K 673/15.A / Ungarn

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2.2.2. Nach der Überzeugung des Senats bestehen in Ungarn aktuell grundlegende Defizite sowohl hinsichtlich des Zugangs zum Asylverfahren als auch in Bezug auf dessen Ausgestaltung. Diese rechtfertigen in ihrer Gesamtheit die Annahmen, dass der
Kläger nach einer Überstellung mit beachtlicher Wahrscheinlichkeit keine inhaltliche Prüfung seines Asylgesuchs erreichen kann und er die Abschiebung in sein
Heimatland oder das faktische Verbringen seiner Person nach Serbien zu befürchten hat. Eine Überstellung nach Ungarn würde daher wegen der Gefahr der Kettenabschiebung seine Rechte aus Art. 4 EUGrCh/Art. 3 EMRK verletzen (zur
Verletzung von Art. 3 EMRK durch das Risiko des refoulement: EGMR, Urt. v. 14. März 2017 – 47287/15 -, Tz. 112 ff.). Insofern kommt es nicht darauf an, dass der Kläger in Ungarn mit beachtlicher Wahrscheinlichkeit einen einer Inhaftierung
gleichkommenden Freiheitsentzug zu erwarten hat.

2.2.2.1. Das ungarische Asylrecht und die Aufnahmebedingungen sind davon geprägt, den Zugang zu Asyl im Land zu beschränken bzw. zu behindern (UNHCR, Ungarn als Asylland, deutsche Version: Juli 2016, S. 4). Es handelt sich um systemische Mängel, die die ernsthafte Gefahr bergen, dass dem Kläger der Zugang zu einer Sachprüfung seines Asylantrages verschlossen bleibt.

Neben der grenzsichernden Maßnahme der Errichtung eines Zaunes entlang der ungarischen Grenze zu Serbien und Kroatien hat Ungarn Transitzonen eingerichtet, in
denen seit 2015 nach dem damals geltenden ungarischen Asylrecht – außer in Fällen von Personen mit besonderen Bedürfnissen – die Zulässigkeitsprüfung zum Asylverfahren der über diese Grenze einreisenden Antragsteller durchzuführen war (bordermonitoring.eu/Pro Asyl e.V., Gänzlich unerwünscht, Juli 2016, S. 22; UNHCR a. a. O., S. 9). Allerdings wurden in den Transitzonen an der kroatischen Grenze seit 31. März 2016, zumindest bis Mai 2016, keine Asylanträge gestellt (UNHCR a. a. O., S. 11). Bei den Transitzonen handelt es sich um unmittelbar an der Grenze gelegene umzäunte Gelände mit Wohn- und Bürocontainern, neuerdings auch mit Spielplatz
und Sportstätte, die die Asylbewerber nur in Richtung der Außengrenze verlassen können (Amnesty International [ai], Stranded Hope, September 2016, S. 16 f.; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [FAZ] v. 24. Juni 2016, An der roten Linie;
Frankfurter Rundschau [FR] v. 7. April 2017, Spielplatz mit Stacheldraht).

Die ungarische Asylbehörde hatte dort innerhalb von acht Tagen eine Entscheidung zur Zulässigkeit des Asylantrages zu treffen (aida, Country Report: Hungary, 2016 update Feb. 2017, S. 36), wobei in den Transitzonen alle Asylanträge als unzulässig abgelehnt werden (UNHCR a. a. O., S. 12 für den Zeitraum 15. September 2015 bis 31. März 2016). Dies beruht darauf, dass Ungarn Serbien als sicheren Drittstaat
ansieht und ein Asylantrag einer Person, die durch einen sicheren Drittstaat gereist ist und dort die Möglichkeit hatte, effektiven Schutz zu erlangen, nach ungarischem
Asylecht als unzulässig angesehen wird (aida a. a. O., S. 50 f.). Nach ungarischem Asylrecht sind die Asylbewerber vor einer entsprechenden Entscheidung anzuhören und es ist ihnen Gelegenheit zu gegeben, innerhalb von 3 Tagen darzulegen, weshalb in ihrem jeweiligen Fall der Drittstaat nicht sicher ist (aida a. a. O., S. 37). Gleichwohl erfolgen die Antragsablehnung als unzulässig entweder am Tag der Antragstellung bzw. am Folgetag (UNHCR a. a. O., S. 13), weil in der Praxis die 3-Tages-Frist dadurch unterlaufen wird, dass den Asylbewerbern unmittelbar nach der Anhörung eine Erklärung zum Unterschreiben vorgelegt wird, nach der sie mit dem Verweis auf den sicheren Drittstaat nicht einverstanden seien. Mit dem Ausfüllen dieser Erklärung wird das Anhörungserfordernis
als erfüllt angesehen und die Unzulässigkeitsentscheidung gefällt. Auf diese Weise wird verhindert, dass anwaltliche Hilfe in Anspruch genommen wird und eine nähere Begründung der
mangelnden Qualität von Serbien als sicherer Drittstaat erfolgt (aida a. a. O., S. 37).

Die Unzulässigkeitsentscheidung kann durch einen innerhalb von sieben Tagen zu stellenden Rechtsbehelf angefochten werden, wobei zweifelhaft ist, ob das Gericht neue Tatsachen und Umstände berücksichtigt (bordermonitoring.eu/Pro Asyl e.V. a. a. O., S. 19; UNHCR a. a. O., S. 10). In der Rechtsbehelfsfrist und solange die Klage anhängig ist, längstens jedoch 28 Tage, war es den Asylbewerbern verwehrt, die
Transitzone in Richtung Ungarn zu verlassen (ai a. a. O., S. 16; UNHCR a. a. O., S. 13). Die – nicht zwingend vorgesehene – gerichtliche Anhörung findet in Form einer Videokonferenz statt (aida a. a. O., S. 16/39, UNHCR a. a. O., S. 10), wobei die
gerichtliche Entscheidung innerhalb von acht Tagen ergehen soll (UNHCR a. a. O., S. 10). Tatsächlich ergehen die Entscheidungen teilweise bereits ein bis zwei Tage
nach Eingang des Verfahrens (aida a. a. O., S. 39).

Selbst im Falle der gerichtlichen Aufhebung der auf Serbien als sicherer Drittstaat beruhenden Unzulässigkeitsentscheidung wiederholt die ungarische Asylbehörde die aufgehobene Entscheidung und prüft Asylanträge erst inhaltlich, wenn eine zweite oder dritte gerichtliche Aufhebung erfolgt ist
(UNHCR a. a. O., S. 19; bordermonitoring.eu/Pro Asyl e.V. a. a. O., S. 19). Im Falle einer negativen gerichtlichen Entscheidung oder der Rücknahme oder Unanfechtbarkeit der Unzulässigkeitsentscheidung werden die Asylbewerber aus der Transitzone in Richtung Serbien entlassen (aida a. a. O., S. 38).

Das Recht auf anwaltlichen Beistand während des gesamten Verfahrens kann in der Praxis nur schwer umgesetzt werden. So wird das Interview zum Fluchtweg unmittelbar nach der Ankunft in der Transitzone geführt. Selbst wenn nach
gerichtlicher Aufhebung einer Unzulässigkeitsentscheidung eine erneute Anhörung zur Frage des sicheren Drittstaates angesetzt wird, erfolgt dies so kurzfristig, dass der anwaltliche Beistand kaum rechtzeitig eintreffen kann (UNHCR a. a. O., S. 13). Die im Klageverfahren durch den anwaltlichen Beistand vorgelegten Unterlagen werden von der Asylbehörde dem Gericht zum Teil nicht vorgelegt. Selbst wenn sie direkt bei
Gericht eingereicht werden, erreichen sie den zuständigen Richter aufgrund der beschleunigten Verfahrensbearbeitung nicht immer vor der Entscheidung (aida a. a. O., S. 39). Darüber hinaus wird der Kontakt zwischen Rechtsanwälten und
Asylbewerbern seit Anfang 2017 durch Zugangshindernisse erschwert (aida, a. a. O., S. 40).

Zwischenzeitlich ist in Ungarn am 28. März 2017 eine Gesetzesänderung in Kraft getreten, nach der für alle Asylbewerber, die älter als 14 Jahre sind, auch für
diejenigen, die nicht über die serbisch-ungarische Grenze eingereist sind, das gesamte Asylverfahren – nicht wie bisher, lediglich die Zulässigkeitsprüfung über maximal 28 Tage – in den Transitzonen an der serbischen Grenze abgewickelt wird (FAZ vom 7. April 2017, Raus nur rückwärts; Süddeutsche Zeitung [SZ] vom 11. April 2017, Asylbewerber in Ungarn; FR vom 7. April 2017 a. a. O.; Spiegel Online vom 10. April
2017, EU-Staaten sollen keine Flüchtlinge nach Ungarn schicken; Abschnitte 1 und 3 des in englischer Sprache vom Beklagten überreichten Gesetzestextes).

Vor diesem Hintergrund ist nicht zu erwarten, dass das Asylgesuch des Klägers in der Sache geprüft wird. Vielmehr ist angesichts des klägerischen Reiseweges über Serbien eine Entscheidung über die Unzulässigkeit seines Asylantrages wegen der Einreise über einen sicheren Drittstaat absehbar.

Überdies ist – selbst wenn der Asylantrag des Klägers die Zulässigkeitshürde der Einreise durch einen sicheren Drittstaat überwinden würde – zu erwarten, dass sein Antrag lediglich als Folgeantrag angesehen und aus diesem Grund als unzulässig
abgewiesen wird. Nach einer Änderung des Asylgesetzes im Juli 2015 können Personen, deren Asylverfahren durch die ungarische Asylbehörde mit der Begründung eingestellt wurde, dass der Antrag nicht weiter verfolgt werde, binnen einer Frist von neun Monaten die Fortführung des Verfahrens persönlich beantragen (UNHCR a. a. O., S. 20). Die Einstellung des Verfahrens mit der Begründung, dass es nicht weiter verfolgt werde, findet regelmäßig dann statt, wenn der Asylbewerber das Land verlassen hat (aida a.a.O., S. 30). Sobald die Frist abgelaufen ist – wie hier beim Kläger – muss die betreffende Person einen neuen Asylantrag stellen, der als Folgeantrag behandelt wird. In diesem Fall wird ungeachtet der Tatsache, dass der vorherige Antrag nicht entschieden wurde, und ungeachtet von Art. 18 Abs. 2 UA 2 Dublin III-VO der Folgeantrag als unzulässig zurückgewiesen, wenn er keine neuen Tatsachen enthält, die die Zuerkennung des Flüchtlingsstatus oder eines subsidiären Schutzstatus rechtfertigen (UNHCR a. a. O., S. 20; aida a. a. O., S. 30). Soweit vom Liasonmitarbeiter der Beklagten beim Ungarischen Amt für Einwanderung und Staatsbürgerschaft in einem Lagebericht unter dem 13. Januar 2016 festgehalten wurde, dass dies nicht bedeute, dass kein Flüchtlingsschutz mehr gewährt werden
könne und nach aida (a. a. O., S. 49) die restriktive und willkürliche Interpretation des Tatbestandsmerkmals neue Tatsachen durch die ungarischen Asylbehörde kein
übermäßiges Problem darstelle, weil die meisten Asylbewerber mit neuen Beweismitteln oder Informationen über ihre Verwandten oder ihr Heimatland eine Sachprüfung erreichen können, verbleibt nach der Auffassung des Senats unter
maßgeblicher Berücksichtigung der Ausführungen des UNHCR (zur besonderen Relevanz der vom UNHCR herausgegebenen Dokumente: EuGH, Urt. v. 30. Mai 2013 – C-528/11 -, juris Rn. 44) das ernsthafte Risiko, dass der Antrag des Klägers ohne Sachprüfung erledigt und die Rückführung ins Heimatland betrieben wird.

2.2.2.2. Darüber hinaus ist nach der Überzeugung des Senats nach einer Überstellung des Klägers nach Ungarn mit seiner Unterbringung in einer der beiden Transitzonen an der serbischen Grenze zu rechnen, aus welcher er sich nicht – außer in Richtung Serbien – entfernen kann. Der Senat folgt insoweit
der Wertung des Menschenrechtskommissars des Europarates (FAZ vom 7. April 2017 a. a. O.) des UNHCR (www.unhcr.de vom 10. April 2017 UNHCR: Dublin-Überstellungen nach
Ungarn aussetzen) und des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte (Urt. v. 14. März 2017 a. a. O., Tz. 56), dass es sich bei der Unterbringung im Transitzentrum um einen faktischen Freiheitsentzug handelt, wobei sich eine mögliche Rechtswidrigkeit vorrangig unter dem Gesichtspunkt einer Verletzung des Rechts auf Freiheit aus Art. 6 EUGrCh/Art. 5 EMRK (vgl. EGMR, Urt. v. 14. März 2017 a. a. O., Tz. 69) und nicht aus einer im Rahmen des Art. 3 Abs. 2 Dublin III-VO relevanten entwürdigenden Behandlung nach Art. 4 EUGrCh/Art. 3 EMRK ergeben dürfte.

Mit der Unterbringung im Transitzentrum geht zudem die unmittelbare Gefahr der Abschiebung nach Serbien einher, zumal der Kläger eigenen Angaben zufolge über Serbien nach Ungarn eingereist ist. Eine solche Abschiebung nach Serbien würde einen Verstoß gegen Art. 3 EMRK/Art. 4 EUGrCh darstellen. Art. 3 EMRK begründet eine Verpflichtung, eine Person nicht in ein Land zu abzuschieben, wenn wesentliche
Gründe dafür vorliegen, dass die betreffende Person, wenn sie abgeschoben wurde, unmittelbar oder mittelbar einem ernsthaften Risiko einer gegen Art. 3 EMRK verstoßenden Behandlung im Bestimmungsland ausgesetzt sein würde (EGMR, Urt. v. 14. März 2017 a. a. O., Tz. 112 f.). Ein solches ernsthaftes Risiko würde bei einer Abschiebung des Klägers nach Serbien eintreten, da Serbien seinerseits auch kein
Asylverfahren aufweist, das eine inhaltliche Prüfung der Fluchtgründe garantiert. Als sichere Drittstaaten können solche Staaten anerkannt werden, in denen die Bestimmungen der Genfer Flüchtlingskonvention und der EMRK eingehalten werden und ein ordnungsgemäßes Asylverfahren gesetzlich gewährleistet ist (vgl. Art. 39 Abs. 2 RL 2013/32/EU [Abl. 2013, L 180/60]). Diesen Anforderungen genügt Serbien
nicht. Der UNHCR empfiehlt seit 2012, Serbien wegen grundlegender Mängel des Asylsystems nicht als sicheren Drittstaat einzustufen und Asylbewerber nicht dorthin
abzuschieben; diese Bewertung des serbischen Asylsystems als mangelhaft wird auch von der Europäischen Kommission geteilt (NdsOVG Urt. v. 15. November 2016 a. a. O., Rn. 55 m. w. N.; EGMR, Urt. v. 14. März 2017 a. a. O., Tz. 120). Zudem
sieht Serbien seinerseits u.a. Griechenland, Mazedonien und die Türkei als sichere Drittstatten an. Die Türkei – über die der Kläger gereist ist – wendet die Genfer Flüchtlingskonvention nur auf europäische Flüchtlinge an (vgl. VGH BW Urt. v. 13. Oktober 2016 a .a. O., Rn. 43), zu denen der Kläger nicht gehört.

Zwar nimmt Serbien seit September 2015 keine Drittstaatsangehörigen zurück, es sei denn, sie haben gültige Reise- bzw. Identitätspapiere und sind von der serbischen
Visumpflicht ausgenommen (UNHCR, Ungarn als Asylland, S. 19). Daher wurden auf 3.006 Übernahmeersuchen Ungarns aus der ersten Jahreshälfte 2016 für nur 114 Personen die Zustimmung Serbiens erteilt. Diese betrafen mit Ausnahme von sieben Personen auch nur Staatsangehörige südosteuropäischer Staaten und der Türkei (UNHCR vom 9. September 2016, Die Situation von Asylsuchenden nach einer
Rücküberstellung nach Ungarn gemäß der Dublin-Verordnung, S. 1). Aus den Transitzonen heraus erfolgt aber keine Überstellung unter dem Rücknahmeabkommen mit Serbien. Vielmehr werden die abgelehnten Asylbewerber ohne Beteiligung der serbischen Behörden auf die Außenseite der Transitzone zurückgeleitet (UNHCR vom 9. September 2016 a. a. O.). Auch wenn sich dort noch ein schmaler Streifen
ungarisches Territorium – Niemandsland nach Auffassung der ungarischen Behörden – befindet (aida a. a. O. S. 16; bordermonitoring.eu/Pro Asyl e.V. a. a. O., S. 22),
handelt es sich in der Sache, auch aus Sicht der ungarischen Regierung, um eine Abschiebung nach Serbien (UNHCR vom 9. September 2016 a. a. O.; FAZ v. 7. April 2017 a. a. O.).

Es gibt keinen Anlass für die Annahme, Ungarn werde in Bezug auf den Kläger oder sonstige Personen, die nach der Dublin III-VO überstellt werden, von dieser aktischen Abschiebungspraxis
abweichen. Vielmehr hat Ungarn zwischenzeitlich die
Aussetzung von Drittstaatsangehörigen auf der Außenseite des Grenzzaunes zu Serbien fest etabliert. So trat im Juli 2016 ein Gesetz in Kraft, nach der alle Ausländer, die innerhalb eines Streifens von 8 Km zum Grenzzaun aufgegriffen werden und sich illegal in Ungarn aufhalten, auf die Außenseite des Zaunes gebracht werden, ohne dass ihre Daten aufgenommen werden oder sie einen Asylantrag anbringen können (aida,
a. a. O. S. 17 f.). Allein im Zeitraum Januar 2017 bis März 2017 wurden auf diese Weise 2.823 Personen auf das Gelände außerhalb des Zaunes hinausgeleitet (Hungarian Helsinki Committee [HHC] Hungary: Key Asylum Figures as of 1 April
2017). Bereits hinsichtlich der Umsetzung dieses Gesetzes wurde nicht nur von Gewaltanwendung gegenüber aufgegriffenen Personen berichtet (FAZ vom 14. Juli
2016, Vorwürfe wegen Misshandlungen; FAZ vom 26. Juli 2016, Geburt eines Lagers; FR vom 28. September 2016, Amnesty: Ungarn misshandelt Flüchtlinge; Die Tageszeitung
vom 2. August 2016, Gestandet im Niemandsland), sondern auch davon, dass Personen, die weiter als 8 Km von der Grenze entfernt aufgegriffen wurden, trotzdem auf die Außenseite des Zauns verbracht wurden (ai a. a. O., S. 20). Mit der Gesetzesänderung zum 28. März 2017 wurde diese Vorgehensweise nunmehr nach ungarischem Recht
legalisiert. Danach kann jeder Ausländer, der sich irregulär in Ungarn aufhält und unabhängig davon, ob er über die ungarisch-serbische Grenze eingereist ist, auf die Außenseite des Grenzzaunes zu Serbien verbracht werden (ecre, Asylum in Hungary: Damaged beyond repair?, März 2017, S. 5; Abschnitt 7 des von der Beklagten in englischer Sprache überreichten Gesetzestextes).

Soweit der Liasonmitarbeiter der Beklagten – wie von der Vertreterin der Beklagten in der mündlichen Verhandlung festgehalten – im Lagebericht vom 13. Januar 2016 eine
geringe Gefahr der Abschiebung nach Serbien für Dublin-Rückkehrer beschrieben hatte, erfolgte dies vor den ungarischen Gesetzesänderungen vom Juli 2016 und vom
März 2017. Die Angaben haben daher keine Aussagekraft mehr für die derzeitige Situation in der die Abschiebungen
nicht unter Inanspruchnahme eines Rücknahmeabkommens, sondern faktisch aus den Transitzonen heraus erfolgen. Auch
in der mündlichen Verhandlung konnte die Beklage von keinen Erfahrungen dahingehend berichten, dass Dublin-Rückkehrern in den Transitzonen eine andere Behandlung widerfährt, als anderen Asylantragstellern. Dies gilt umso mehr, als die
Beklagte nach der jüngsten Gesetzesänderung und dem Aufruf des UNHCR, dieDublin-Rückführungen auszusetzen (www.unhcr.de vom 10. April 2017 a. a. O.) keine Überstellungen nach Ungarn mehr vorgenommen hat (vgl. HHC, Key Asylum Figures as of 1 April 2017 und of 1 May 2017).

Bundesverwaltungsgericht Schweiz / D-7853/2015 / Ungarn

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Das Bundesverwaltungsgericht hat sich im Urteil D-7853/2015 1 vom 31. Mai 2017 mit Beschwerden gegen Nichteintretensverfügungen befasst, die eine Überstellung nach Ungarn beinhalten. Angesichts der bedeutenden Änderungen sowohl der rechtlichen als auch der tatsächlichen Umstände, die seit Sommer 2015 in Ungarn eingetreten sind, kommt das Gericht zum Schluss, dass die Beschwerden gutzuheissen und die Verfahren zur Ergänzung der Instruktion und zum Neuentscheid an das Staatssekretariat für Migration zurückzuweisen sind.

Ungarn war 2015 und anfangs 2016 mit einem bedeutenden Strom von Migranten konfrontiert und hat nach und nach Massnahmen getroffen, um die Zahl der Asylsuchenden auf seinem Staatsgebiet zu reduzieren. Die Errichtung eines Stacheldrahtzaunes an der ungarischen Grenze, die Schaffung von Unterkunftszentren in Transitzonen, der Einsatz der Armee zur Überwachung der Grenzen und die ab Juni 2015 durchgeführten Gesetzesänderungen haben den Zugang zum Asylverfahren zunehmend erschwert und die Aufnahmebedingungen für Asylsuchende verschlechtert.

Weiter erschwert wurden der Zugang zum Asylverfahren und die Aufnahme der Asylsuchenden in Ungarn insbesondere durch den ungarischen Rechtsakt T/13976 über „die Änderung mehrerer Gesetze zur Verschärfung des Asylverfahrens in der Überwachungszone der ungarischen Grenze“, der am 28. März 2017 rückwirkend in Kraft getreten ist. Gemäss diesen neuen Bestimmungen sollen Asylsuchende insbesondere entweder in geschlossenen Zentren in den Transitzonen der serbisch-ungarischen Grenze untergebracht oder in sogenannte „Prätransit“-Zonen in Serbien abgeschoben werden. Für Asylsuchende, die in Anwendung der Dublin-III-Verordnung nach Ungarn überstellt werden, ist nach wie vor völlig ungewiss, welches Regime gemäss dem erwähnten ungarischen Rechtsakt auf sie anwendbar sein wird.

Angesichts der zahlreichen Unsicherheiten, die diese neue Gesetzesänderung hinsichtlich des Verfahrenszugangs und der Aufnahmebedingungen mit sich gebracht hat, ist es dem Bundesverwaltungsgericht im derzeitigen Stand der Sache nicht möglich, die Fragen im Zusammenhang mit dem Vorliegen systemischer Schwachstellen im Sinne von Art. 3 Abs. 2 der Dublin-III-Verordnung und der tatsächlichen Gefahren („real risk“), denen Asylsuchende bei einer Überstellung nach Ungarn ausgesetzt sein können, abschliessend zu beurteilen. Folglich hebt es die angefochtene Verfügung auf und weist die Sache zu neuem Entscheid an das Staatssekretariat für Migration zurück. Es obliegt der erstinstanzlichen Behörde, alle Tatsachenelemente zusammenzutragen, die zur Beurteilung der wesentlichen Fragen erforderlich sind und es ist nicht die Aufgabe der Beschwerdeinstanz, komplexe ergänzende Abklärungen vorzunehmen. Das Bundesverwaltungsgericht würde sonst mit einem Sachentscheid seine Zuständigkeit überschreiten und die betroffene Partei um den gesetzlich vorgesehenen Instanzenzug bringen.

Das Urteil ist endgültig und kann nicht beim Bundesgericht angefochten werden.

Deutschland verlangt von Ungarn Garantien für Flüchtlinge

Die ungarische Regierung verschärft die Gesetze in der Flüchtlingskrise – und die Bundesregierung ist alarmiert. Können Asylsuchende noch nach Ungarn zurückgeschickt werden? Offenbar hat das Bundesinnenministerium (BMI) Zweifel, ob die ungarischen Behörden die EU-Regeln zur Unterbringung von Flüchtlingen und die EU-Standards für die Asylverfahren noch erfüllen. Laut einem Erlass des BMI vom 6. April schickt das Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) Schutzsuchende für ein EU-Asylverfahren nur noch in das östliche EU-Land zurück, sofern dortige Behörden dem BAMF die EU-Standards in jedem Einzelfall vorab garantieren.

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Stellungnahme des UNHCR: UNHCR urges suspension of transfers of asylum-seekers to Hungary under Dublin

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UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today called for a temporary suspension of all transfers of asylum-seekers to Hungary from other European States under the Dublin Regulation. The Dublin regulation is an EU instrument that determines which European State is responsible for examining an asylum seeker’s application.

“The situation for asylum-seekers in Hungary, which was already of deep concern to UNHCR, has only gotten worse since the new law introducing mandatory detention for asylum-seekers came into effect,” said Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“Given the worsening situation of asylum-seekers in Hungary, I urge States to suspend any Dublin transfer of asylum-seekers to this country until the Hungarian authorities bring their practices and policies in line with European and international law,” he added.

The High Commissioner said that he was “encouraged” by the decision taken by the European Commission to work with the Hungarian authorities with a view to bringing the new legislation and Hungary’s practice in line with EU law, but noted that “urgent measures are needed to improve access to asylum in Hungary.”

UNHCR has repeatedly raised its concerns over the situation of refugees and asylum-seekers arriving to Hungary with the authorities and the EU, stressing that physical barriers and restrictive policies have resulted in effectively denying access to territory and asylum.

Hungary’s “emergency measures” under the amended law on asylum expand mandatory detention of asylum seekers and lead to the expulsion from the country of anyone who enters the country irregularly, in violation of the country’s obligations under international law.

Since it came into force on 28 March, new asylum-seekers, including children, are detained in shipping containers surrounded by high razor fences at the border for the entire length of their asylum procedures. As of 7 April, there were 110 people, including four unaccompanied children and children with their families, held there.

“While acknowledging the authorities’ recent efforts to address police violence, we remain very concerned about highly disturbing reports of serious incidents of ill-treatment and violence against people crossing the border into Hungary, including by State agents,” Grandi said. “These unacceptable practices must be brought to an end and I urge the Hungarian authorities to further investigate any allegation of abuse and violence,” he added.

Back in December, UNHCR presented a series of proposals to the EU and Member States to improve the distribution of asylum claims among Member States. The High Commissioner also called for the European Union to adopt a simplified asylum system that would identify, register and process arrivals swiftly and efficiently. “This is key to ensure access to protection for those who need it and to restore public trust,” he said.

“It is important that asylum systems as well as reception conditions are further improved in many EU and candidates States. This will help reduce irregular onward movements and the increasing reliance on smugglers. It will also help to reduce current pressure at the Hungary’s southern border. Investing in the integration of asylum seekers and refugees must also be an integral part of the equation,” said Grandi.

VG Würzburg / Az.: W 2 17.50159 / Ungarn

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Mit Beschluss vom 23. Februar 2017 (W 2 S 16.50198) lehnte das Gericht den Antrag der Antragsteller auf Anordnung der aufschiebenden Wirkung ihrer Klage gegen den Bescheid des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge vom 7. Dezember 2016 ab. Auf den Inhalt des Beschlusses wird Bezug genommen.

Mit Schriftsatz ihres Bevollmächtigten vom 26- März 2017, bei Gericht eingegangen am selben Tag, begehren die Antragsteller die Abänderung des Beschlusses vom 23. Februar 2017.

Zur Begründung wurde auf das Vorliegen neuer Erkenntnismittel – den mit Datum vom 7. Februar 2017 veröffentlichen neuen aida-Bericht zu Ungarn sowie das Information update des Hungarian Helsinki Comittee vom 15. Februar 2017 – verwiesen sowie die vom ungarischen Parlament am 7. März 2017 beschlossene drastische Verschärfung der Asylgesetzgebung, wonach Flüchtlinge Asyl nur noch in sog. Transitzonen beantragen könnten, die sie für die Dauer des Verfahrens nicht verlassen dürften, sowie auf die Berufungszulassung des Bayerischen Verwaltungsgerichtshofs mit Beschluss vom 25. Januar 2017 im Verfahren 13a ZB 16.50076 wegen grundsätzlicher Bedeutung der Frage systemischer Mängel des Asylverfahrens und der Aufnahmebedingungen in Ungarn […].

Gemäß 5 80 Abs. 7 VwGO kann das Gericht der Hauptsache jederzeit, d.h. ohne Bindung an Fristen, von Amts wegen oder – wie hier – auf Antrag eines Beteiligten einen Beschluss über einen Antrag nach § 80 Abs. 5 VwGO wegen veränderter oder im ursprünglichen Verfahren ohne Verschulden nicht geltend gemachter Umstände ändern oder aufheben.

Eine Veränderung der Umstände im Sinne von § 80 Abs. 7 VwGO ergibt sich hier aus den vom ungarischen Parlament am 7. März 2017 beschlossenen und am 28. März 2017 in Kraft getretenen Verschärfungen der Asylregelungen, wonach Asylsuchende – auch unbegleitete Minderjährige ab 14 Jahren – während der gesamten Dauer ihres Asylverfahrens ausnahmslos in Transitzonen inhaftiert werden sollen. Seitens des Menschenrechtskommissars des Europarates und zahlreicher Menschenrechts-Nichtregierungsorganisationen wurden die Neuregelungen scharf kritisiert. Der UNHCR, dessen Stellungnahmen im Asylverfahren anerkanntermaßen besonderes Gewicht zukommt, zeigte sich in seiner Stellungnahme vom 7. März 2017 „zutiefst besorgt“ über die geplante Internierung von Schutzsuchenden. Mit Eilanordnung vom 27. März 2017 hat der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte zudem die Verlegung von acht unbegleiteten Minderjährigen und einer schwangeren Asylbewerberin in Transitzonen gestoppt.

Nach alledem bedarf es näherer Prüfung im Hauptsacheverfahren, ob die neuen gesetzlichen Regelungen im ungarischen Asylrecht europäischem und sonstigem internationalen Recht genügen und ob sie geeignet sind, systemische Mängel des ungarischen Asylsystems zu begründen.

Darüber hinaus hat der Bayerische Verwaltungsgerichtshof mit Beschluss vom 25. Januar 2017 im Verfahren 13a ZB 16.50076 die Berufung zur Klärung der Frage zugelassen, ob das Asylverfahren und die Aufnahmebedingungen in Ungarn systemische Mängel aufweisen, die im Rahmen der Verordnung (EU) Nr. 604/2013 des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates vom 26. Juli 2013 beachtlich sind.

EGMR / Az.: 47287/15 / Ungarn

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49. The Government were of the view that since the applicants had been free to leave the territory of the transit zone in the direction of Serbia, they in fact had not been deprived of their personal liberty. Article 5 of the Convention was therefore inapplicable.

52. It must be determined in the first place whether the placing of the applicants in the transit zone constituted a deprivation of liberty within the meaning of Article 5 of the Convention. The Court has already found that holding aliens in an international zone involves a restriction upon liberty which is not in every respect comparable to that obtained in detention centres. However, such confinement is acceptable only if it is accompanied by safeguards for the persons concerned and is not prolonged excessively. Otherwise, a mere restriction on liberty is turned into a deprivation of liberty (see Amuur v. France, 25 June 1996, § 43, Reports of Judgments and
Decisions 1996-III, and Riad and Idiab v. Belgium, nos. 29787/03 and 29810/03, § 68, 24 January 2008).

68. The motives underlying the applicants’ detention may well be those referred to by the Government in the context of Article 5 § 1 (f) of the Convention, that is to counter abuses of the asylum procedure. However, for the Court the fact remains that the applicants were deprived of their liberty without any formal decision of the authorities and solely by virtue of an elastically interpreted general provision of the law – a procedure which in the Court’s view falls short of the requirements enounced in the Court’s case-law. The conditions of Article 31/A of the Asylum Act were not met and no formal decision was taken; furthermore no special grounds for detention in the transit zone were provided for in Article 71/A. In this connection the Court would reiterate that it has considered the absence of any grounds given by the judicial authorities in their decisions authorising detention for a prolonged period of time, as in the present case to be incompatible with the principle of the protection from arbitrariness enshrined in Article 5 § 1 (see Stašaitis v. Lithuania, no. 47679/99, § 67, 21 March 2002; Nakhmanovich v. Russia, no. 55669/00, § 70, 2 March 2006; Belevitskiy v. Russia, no. 72967/01, § 91, 1 March 2007, and
Mooren v. Germany [GC], no 11364/03, § 79, 9 July 2009).

69. It follows that the applicants’ detention cannot be considered “lawful” for the purposes of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention. Consequently, there has been a violation of that provision.

75. The Court observes that the applicants’ detention consisted in a de facto measure, not supported by any decision specifically addressing the issue of deprivation of liberty (see paragraph 67 above). Moreover, the proceedings suggested by the Government concerned the applicants’ asylum applications rather than the question of personal liberty. In these circumstances, it is quite inconceivable how the applicants could have pursued any judicial review of their committal to, and detention in, the transit zone – which itself had not been ordered in any formal proceedings or taken the shape of a decision.

76. The Court therefore must conclude that the applicants did not have at their disposal any “proceedings by which the lawfulness of [their] detention [could have been] decided speedily by a court”.

77. It follows that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 4 of the Convention.

89. In view of the satisfactory material conditions and the relatively short time involved, the Court concludes that the treatment complained of did not reach the minimum level of severity necessary to constitute inhuman treatment within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention.

90. Having regard to the foregoing considerations, it finds that there has been no violation of Article 3 of the Convention.

100. The Court further observes that the Government have not indicated any remedies by which the applicants could have complained about the conditions in which they were held in the transit zone.

101. It follows that there has been a violation of Article 13 taken together with Article 3 of the Convention.

118. The Court observes that the applicants were removed from Hungary on the strength of the Government Decree listing Serbia as a safe third country and establishing a presumption in this respect. The individualised assessment of their situation with regard to any risk they ran if returned to Serbia took place in these legal circumstances. Indeed, it involved a reversal of the burden of proof to the applicants’ detriment including the burden to prove the real risk of inhuman and degrading treatment in a chain-refoulement situation to Serbia and then the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, eventually driving them to Greece. However, it is incumbent on the domestic authorities to carry out an assessment of that risk of their own motion when information about such a risk is ascertainable from a wide number of sources. Not only that the Hungarian authorities did not perform this assessment in the determination of the individual risks but they refused even to consider the merits of the information provided by the counsel, limiting their argument to the position of the Government Decree 191/2015.

125. Having regard to the above considerations, the Court finds that the applicants did not have the benefit of effective guarantees which would have protected them from exposure to a real risk of being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment in breach of Article 3 of the Convention. There has accordingly been a violation of that provision in this regard.

Stellungnahme des HHC: Hungary – Government’s New Asylum Bill on Collective Push-backs and Automatic Detention

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The most concerning changes include:

  • The grounds on which the Government may order a ‘state of crisis due to mass migration’ are extended to include vaguely defined requirements [Bill, Article 6].
  • The Government plans to extend the existing state of crisis by a further 6 months, it has announced, until 7 September 2017.
  • If any foreigner who has no right to stay in Hungary is apprehended anywhere in the country, s/he shall be “escorted” back by the police to the external side of the border fence along the southern border. Migrants affected by this push-back measure will not be given access to seek asylum or to challenge their removal from the country, an action that makes the otherwise prohibited collective expulsion the norm, and breaches the EU Returns Directive. No registration or individual documentation of persons “escorted” back across the fence is carried out, neither are their protection needs assessed [Bill, Article 7].
  • Asylum applications can only be submitted in person within the transit zones [Bill, Article 7]. This proposal is especially problematic and worrying as since 23 January 2017 the number of admitted asylum seekers to each of the now operational two transit zones along the Serbian border has been reduced to 5-5 persons per working day.
  • All those who are accomodated at open reception facilities or detained in asylum or immigration detention facilities at the time the bill enters into force will be transferred to the transit zones [Bill, Articles 3, 4 and 9].
  • All asylum-seekers, including all vulnerable persons and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children over 14 years of age, will be detained in the transit zones [Bill, Articles 4, 7 and 9]. The detention of unaccompanied minor children between the age of 14-18 years is clearly against the best interest of the child and breaches human rights and EU law.
  • The placement of asylum-seekers in the transit zones is “effectively detention”, as even the Government admits it in the reasoning of the Bill [General reasoning, para. 4]. However, no detention order would be issued and consequently no legal remedy would be available against the detention. The current maximum 28 days of stay in the transit zone would be eliminated, rendering the de facto detention of asylum seekers indefinite [Bill, Article 12].
  • The deadline to seek judicial review of inadmissibility decisions and rejections of asylum applications would be drastically shortened to 3 days, hindering the applicant’s ability to challenge these decisions in court [Bill, Article 7].
  • Judicial clerks, who are not appointed fully qualified judges, would also be involved in making court decisions in the asylum procedure [Bill, Article 6].
  • Personal interviews in the judicial review of asylum decisions could be carried out remotely via telecommunication devices [Bill, Article 6].
  • Asylum seekers in the transit zones would be obliged to cover the costs of their detention unless they are granted protection status [Bill, Article 3].

Neuer AIDA-Bericht zu Ungarn

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Zusammenfassung des Berichts:

In the O.M. v. Hungary judgment of 5 October 2016, the ECtHR found that detention was not assessed in a sufficiently individ ualised manner and that the authorities did not exercise particular care in order to avoid situations facing an asylum seeker on account of his sexual orientation, which risked reproducing the plight that forced him to flee. Further on, detention for the purpose of establishing the asylum seeker’s identity does not  fall under the scope of Article 5(1)(b) of ECHR, when asylum seeker makes reasonable efforts to clear his/her identity, because there is no legal  obligation for asylum seekers in Hungary to provide documentary evidence of their identity.

Integration support: As a result of legislative changes in April and June 2016, all forms of integration support were eliminated. Since the entry  into effect of Decrees 113/2016 and 62/2016 and the June 2016 amendment to the Asylum Act, beneficiaries of international protection are no longer  eligible to any state support such as housing support, additional assistance and others.

There is no specific code of conduct for interpreters in the context of asylum procedures. Many interpreters are not professionally trained on asylum issues. There is no quality assessment performed on their work, nor are there
any requirements in order to become an interpreter for
the IAO. The IAO is obliged to select the cheapest interpret from the list, even though his quality would not be the best.
For example, in the Vámosszabadi refugee camp, the HHC lawyer reported that in all his cases regarding Nigerian clients, none of the English interpreters understood fully what the clients said; the lawyer had to help the interpreter. The same happened at the court. There was another case, where the interpreter did not speak English well enough to be able to translate; for example, he did not know the word
„asylum“. In another case before the Budapest court, the interpreter was from Djibouti, and the client from Somalia did not understand her. The interpreter said the client was lying and the judge decided that there would be no interview.
In another case the client claimed that he converted to Christianity and the interpreter was Muslim. He did not know the expressions needed for the interview, not even in Farsi,
not to mention Hungarian; for example: disciples, Easter, Christmas and so on. The lawyer had to help him.
A decision must be communicated orally to the person seeking asylum in his or her mother tongue or in another language he or she understands. Together with this oral communication, the decision shall alsobe made available to the applicant in writing, but only in Hungarian. The HHC’s attorneys working at the transit zones and Kiskunhalas observe that most of decisions are not translated to the clients by interpreters. Instead the IAO uses case officers or even other clients to announce the main points of the decision. The justification for a decision reached is never explained to the asylum seeker.

The following situations are applicable to Dublin returnees:
(a) Persons who had not previously applied in Hungary and persons whose applications are still pending are both treated as first-time asylum applicants.
(b) For persons whose applications are considered to have been tacitly withdrawn (i.e. they left Hungary and moved on to another EU Member State) and the asylum procedure had been terminated, the asylum procedure may be continued if the person requests such a continuation within 9 months of the withdrawal of the original application. Where that time-limit has expired, the person is considered to be a subsequent applicant (see section on Subsequent Applications). However, imposing a deadline in order for the procedure to be continued is contrary to the Dublin III Regulation, as the second paragraph of Article 18(2) states that when the Member State responsible had discontinued the examination of an application following its withdrawal by the applicant before a decision on the substance has been taken at first instance, that Member State shall ensure that the applicant is entitled to request that the examination of his or her application be completed or to lodge a new application for international protection, which shall not be treated as a subsequent application as provided for in the recast Asylum Procedures Directive. This is also recalled in Article 28(3) of the Recast Asylum Procedures Directive, which explicitly provides that the aforementioned 9-month rule on withdrawn applications “shall be without prejudice to [the Dublin III Regulation].”
(c) Persons who withdraw their application in writing cannot request the continuation of their asylum procedure upon  return to  Hungary; therefore they will have to submit a subsequent application and present new facts or circumstances (see section on Subsequent Applications). This is also
not in line with above-described second paragraph of Article 18(2) of the Dublin III Regulation, which should be applied also in cases of explicit  withdrawal in writing and not only in cases of tacit  withdrawal. This is problematic in the view of recent practices in Hungary when detained asylum seekers withdraw their applications in order to be released from asylum detention. By imposing detention on asylum seekers returned under the Dublin  III  Regulation, in practice the IAO promotes the option of withdrawal amongst them. This practice can be interpreted as a disciplinary use of detention against those who lodge an asylum claim in Hungary.
(d) The asylum procedure would also not continue, when the returned foreigner had previously received a negative decision and did not seek judicial review. This is problematic when the IAO issued a decision in someone’s absence. The asylum  seeker who is later returned under the Dublin procedure to Hungary will have to submit a subsequent application and present new facts and evidence in support of the application (see section on Subsequent  Applications). According to Article 18(2) of the Dublin III Regulation, the responsible Member State that takes back the applicant whose applicat
ion has been rejected only at the first instance shall ensure that the applicant has or has had the opportunity to seek an effective remedy against  the rejection. According to the IAO, the applicant only has a right to request a judicial review in case the decision has not yet become legally binding. Since a decision rejecting the application becomes binding once the deadline for seeking judicial review has passed without such a request  being submitted, the HHC believes that the Hungarian practice is in breach of the Dublin III Regulation because in such cases Dublin returnee applicants are not afforded an opportunity to seek judicial review after their return to Hungary.
Especially problematic will be the case of returned asylum seekers who have crossed Serbia before arriving in Hungary. In case they will have to submit a subsequent application, their application will be likely declared inadmissible based on an application of the “safe third country” notion, without the possibility for these persons to be heard beforehand. Since  there is no effective remedy against the unlawful decision of the IAO, such transfers to Hungary are exposing applicants to a real risk of chain deportation  to  Serbia, which may trigger a practice of indirect refoulement.

Since the enactment of legislative amendments to the Asylum Act in 2015 and ensuing practice, administrative authorities and courts in at least 15 countries have ruled against Dublin transfers to Hungary. At least 6 countries (Czech  Republic, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, United Kingdom) have suspended transfers to Hungary as a matter of policy.

The fact is that since 15 September 2015, Serbia is not taking back third-country nationals under the readmission agreement except for those who hold valid travel/identity documents and are exempted from Serbian visa requirements. Therefore actual returns to Serbia are not possible. Between January and November 2016, only 182 irregular migrants were officially returned to Serbia. Neither the refusal of the asylum applications in the transit zones, nor the “legalised” push-backs since 5 July 2016 result in such official readmissions. Among the readmitted persons, there were 84 Serbian, 35 Kosovar and 27 Albanian citizens. None of the returnees were Syrian, Afghan, Iraqi or Somali citizens. Despite this fact, the IAO still issues inadmissiblity decisions based on safe third country grounds.

Where the safe third country fails to take back the applicant, the refugee authority shall withdraw its decision and continue the procedure. This provision is not respected in practice. Even though it is clear that Serbia will not accept back asylum seekers from  Hungary, the IAO does not automaticaly withdraw the inadmissiblity decision, but the person needs to apply for asylum again. According to the HHC’s experience asylum seekers have to go through the admissibility assessment for two or even three times and only after submitting the third or fourth asylum application would their case not be declared inadmissible. This results in extremely lenghty procedures which leave people in great depair. Sometimes asylum seekers  would be even detained after receiving a final rejection based on Serbia being a safe third country, despite the fact that deportations to Serbia are not taking place.

A  request  for  judicial review against the IAO decision declaring an application inadmissible has no suspensive effect, except for judicial review regarding inadmissible applications  based on safe third country grounds. The court may not alter the decision of the refugee authority; it shall annul any administrative decision found to be against the law, with the exception of the breach of a procedural rule not affecting the merits of the case, and it shall oblige the refugee authority to conduct a new procedure.

In practice, asylum seekers may face obstacles to lodging a request for judicial review against inadmissibility decisions for the following reasons:
– The 7-day deadline for applying for judicial review appears to be too short for an applicant to be able to benefit from qualified and professional legal assistance, and does not appear to satisfy the requirements of Article 13 ECHR on the right to an effective remedy. Without a functioning and professional legal aid system available for asylum seekers, the vast majority of them have no access to legal assistance when they receive a negative decision from the IAO. Many asylum seekers may fail to understand the reasons for the rejection, especially in case of complicated legal arguments, such as the safe third country concept, and also lack awareness about their right to turn to court. The excessively short deadline makes it difficult for the asylum seeker to exercise her or his right to an effective remedy.
– The  procedure is in Hungarian and the decision on inadmissibility is only translated once i.e. upon its communication to the applicant, in his or her mother tongue or in a language that the applicant may reasonably understand. This prevents the asylum seeker from having a copy of his or her own decision in a language he or she understands so that later he or she could recall the specific reasons why the claim was found inadmissible. The judge has to take a decision in 8 days on a judicial review request. The 8-day deadline for the judge to deliver a decision is insufficient for “a full and ex nunc examination of both facts and points of law” as prescribed by EU law. Five or six working days are not enough for a judge to obtain crucial evidence (such as digested and translated country information, or a medical/psychological expert opinion) or to arrange a personal hearing with a suitable interpreter.
– The lack of an automatic suspensive effect on removal measures is in violation of the principle established in the consistent case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, according to which this is an indispensable condition for a remedy to be considered effective in removal cases. While rules under EU asylum law are more permissive in this respect and allow for  the lack of an automatic suspensive effect in case of inadmissibility decisions and accelerated procedures, the lack of an automatic suspensive effect may still raise compatibility  issues with the EU Charter of Fundamental  Rights. The lack of an automatic suspensive effect is in clear violation of EU law with regard to standard procedures, as the Asylum Procedures Directive allows for this option only in certain specific (for example accelerated) procedures. In all cases where the suspensive effect is not automatic, it is difficult to imagine how an asylum seeker will be able to submit a request for the suspension of her/his removal as she/he is typically without professional legal assistance and subject to an unreasonably short deadline to lodge the request. To make it even worse for asylum seekers, the rules allowing for a request to grant a suspensive effect to be submitted are not found in the Asylum Act itself, but they emanate from general rules concerning civil court procedures. The amended Asylum Act lacks any additional safeguards for applicants in need of
special procedural guarantees with regard to the automatic suspensive effect, although this is clearly required by EU law.
– Finally, asylum  seekers often lack  basic skills and do not  understand the decision and the procedure to effectively represent their own case before the court, which only carries out a non-litigious procedure based on the  files of the case and where an oral hearing is rather exceptional. Applicants are not informed that they have to specifically request a hearing in their appeal. The  unreasonably short  time limit and the lack of a personal hearing may reduce the judicial review to a mere formality, in which the judge has no other  information than the documents provided by the IAO.

The European Commission launched an infringement  procedure against Hungary for the violation of asylum-related EU law in December 2015, after a record fast preparatory process. Regarding the asylum  procedure, the Commission is concerned that there is no possibility to refer to new facts and circumstances in the context of appeals and that Hungary is not automatically suspending decisions in case of appeals, effectively forcing applicants to leave their territory before the time limit for lodging an appeal expires, or before an appeal has been heard. Further on, the Commission is also concerned as to the fact that, under the new Hungarian law dealing with the judicial review of decisions rejecting an asylum application, a personal hearing of the applicants is optional. Judicial decisions taken by court secretaries (a sub-judicial level) lacking judicial independence also seem to be in breach of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive and Article 47 of the Charter. The infringement procedure is still not closed.

A subsequent application is considered as an application following a final termination or rejection decision on the former application. New circumstances or facts have to be submitted  in order for a subsequent application to be admissible. For persons whose applications are considered to have been tacitly withdrawn (i.e. they left Hungary and moved on to another EU
Member State) and the asylum procedure had been terminated, the asylum procedure may be continued if the person requests such a continuation within 9 months of the withdrawal of the original application. Where that time-limit has expired, the person is considered to be a subsequent applicant. Persons who withdraw their application in writing cannot request the continuation of their asylum procedure upon return to Hungary; therefore they will have to submit a subsequent application and present new facts or circumstances.

According  to  the  HHC, detention of asylum seekers in Hungary often does not comply with the requirements of ECHR. Asylum seekers in detention in Hungary receive a humanitarian permit while they are in detention, which means that they are explicitly authorised to stay in Hungary during the asylum procedure. Since this is the case, their detention cannot fall under  the Article 5(1)(f) of the Convention, because their detention does not pursue the two purposes mentioned in this provision, namely detention for the purpose of deportation and detention in order to prevent unauthorised entry. Further on, detention for the purpose of establishing their identity also cannot fall under Article 5(1)(b) of the Convention since, under current legislation in Hungary, there is no obligation for asylum seekers to provide documentary evidence of their identity. Therefore detention for the purpose of establishing their identity is unlawful, when asylum seekers make reasonable efforts to clear their identity. All the above is reflected in the O.M. v. Hungary judgment of the ECtHR that became final on 5 October 2016. The judgment also finds that detention was not assessed in a sufficiently individualised manner and that in case of the applicant, who belonged to a vulnerable  group, the authorities did not exercise particular care in order to avoid situations which may reproduce the plight that forced him to flee.

In Békéscsaba and Nyírbátor, when escorted from the facility to court for hearings, or on other outings (such as to visit a hospital, bank or post office), detained asylum seekers are handcuffed and escorted on leashes, which are normally used for the accused in criminal proceedings.

Recognised refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection can stay in the reception centre for 30 days more after their recognition.

NGOs and social workers have reported extreme difficulties for refugees moving out of reception centres and integrating into local communities in practice. Accommodation free of charge
is provided exclusively by civil society organisations and churches. They run homes mostly in Budapest yet the number of places provided is not sufficient. As a result of the lack of places, many of the beneficiaries of international protection are forced to rent apartments or to become homeless. Due to the lack of apartments on the market, the rental fees are too high to be affordable for beneficiaries who have just been granted status. In addition to these difficulties, landlords prefer to let their apartments to Hungarian rather than foreign citizens.

CPT-Report on the visit to Hungary from 21 to 27 October 2015

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The recommendations contained in this report are as always made in a constructive spirit and the CPT looks forward to pursuing its dialogue with the Hungarian authorities in order to improve the situation of foreign nationals deprived of their liberty in Hungary.

The majority of detained foreign nationals interviewed by the delegation stated that they had been treated correctly by police/prison officers and/or armed guards. That said, a considerable number of foreign nationals claimed that they had been subjected to physical ill-treatment by police officers. These allegations concerned mainly slaps and punches to the face or abdomen, as well as baton blows, at the moment of apprehension (even when the persons concerned were allegedly not resisting apprehension or after they had been brought under control), during transfer to a police  establishment and/or during subsequent police questioning. It is of particular concern that some of these allegations were made by foreign nationals who claimed to be unaccompanied minors. In addition, a few allegations were received of physical ill-treatment by police officers and/or armed guards working in immigration or asylum detention facilities. Moreover, some allegations were received of verbal abuse and disrespectful behaviour on the part of police officers and armed guards (such as swearing, mocking and spitting at foreign nationals); these allegations concerned all stages of deprivation of liberty.

Particular reference should be made to an incident which occurred at the Nagyfa Prison Unit on 23 October 2015, the first day of the delegation’s visit to the establishment. During the weeks preceding the visit there had apparently been a tense atmosphere, accompanied by an increasing number of instances of self-harming, suicide attempts, destruction of property and hunger-strikes. These tensions escalated on 23 October when a large number of foreign nationals staged a protest by damaging the premises and equipment of the detention unit. At the same time, several of the foreign nationals barricaded themselves in two rooms and threatened to harm themselves or commit suicide if the staff attempted to enter. At the request of the prison management, two special police intervention forces (MEKTO and Bevete’si Osztaly) were called in. The officers remained outside in black riot gear, in buses parked directly in front of the detention unit, in full view of many of the immigration detainees, during the afternoon and early evening. In the late evening, after the delegation had left the establishment, the special intervention forces entered the detention unit. When returning to the establishment the next day, the delegation was informed that, following the police intervention the night before, 29 foreign nationals involved in the protest had been transferred to various other establishments, including several police detention facilities in
Szeged. Approximately two-thirds of them had first been taken to the Detention Facility of Csongrád County Police Headquarters and then to the Detention Facility of the Border Police in Szeged (Moscow street), while the others had immediately been transferred to other places of detention and the airport (for immediate deportation). The delegation was also shown closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of the intervention, which covered certain parts of the Unit and of the outside courtyard. However, the delegation was informed that some of the CCTV cameras were not functioning properly at the time of the intervention and it also became clear that they did not cover the entire premises of the prison unit. One of the ‘blind spots’ was the area where foreign nationals entered the special police buses to be transferred to other police establishments. Subsequently, the delegation went to various police establishments in order to interview those foreign nationals who had been involved in the above-mentioned incident or had witnessed the intervention of the special police forces. In interviews carried out separately, many of the foreign nationals concerned made consistent and detailed allegations of physical ill-treatment by the special police forces. The alleged ill-treatment took the form of violently pushing the heads and faces of inmates against a wall and punching them in the abdomen and face, as well as directing baton blows to the head while the persons concerned were handcuffed behind their backs. Several allegations were also received of excessively tight handcuffing and of persons being lifted by the handcuffs from the ground. The ill-treatment allegedly took place in the yard of the facility, in areas not covered by the CCTV. In addition, many of the foreign nationals who had been transferred after the incident to various police stations (in particular, in Szeged) claimed that they had been ill-treated by local police officers upon arrival at the police establishment (for example, violently pushed against the wall and/or punched in the abdomen and kidneys). It should be noted in this context that some of the foreign nationals interviewed by the delegation displayed injuries which were consistent with the allegations of ill-treatment/excessive use of force made, such as a lacerated wound on the head, pain on palpation of the abdomen and the back of the head and parallel linear-shaped bruises on both wrists.

Amnesty International: STRANDED HOPE HUNGARY’S SUSTAINED ATTACK ON THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS

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Zusammenfassung des Berichts:

Fences, teargas, and draconian legislation: over the last year the Hungarian authorities have baulked at little in their determination to keep refugees and migrants out of the country. The government’s programme of militarization, criminalization and isolation – that it touts as “Schengen 2.0” – has ushered in a set of measures which have resulted in violent push-backs at the border with Serbia, unlawful detentions inside the country and dire living conditions for those waiting at the border. While the Hungarian government has spent millions of Euros on a xenophobic advertising campaign, refugees are left to languish.

The Hungarian government’s anti-refugee campaign will reach a new nadir on 2 October 2016 when Hungarians will be asked to vote on the mandatory relocation of asylum-seekers in Hungary. But the real questions are bigger; is Hungary prepared to accept refugees at all? Is it prepared to work within the framework of EU rules to find shared solutions to an EU-wide challenge? The government’s intentional blurring of the lines between seeking asylum and other forms of migration goes hand in hand with its labelling refugees and migrants as “illegal” and as threats to national security. The toxic rhetoric of the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, calling asylum-seekers “poison”, has trickled down to the level of local government and often permeates the context in which police and local asylum centres operate.

Hungary has erected a series of legal and physical barriers around the country to keep refugees and migrants out. It has constructed a border fence at its southern border with Serbia and Croatia, and criminalized irregular entry across it. Within a year, close to three thousand refugees and migrants were penalized. Thousands of people have also been denied entry or returned forcibly to Serbia since the law was changed in July 2016 to allow the immediate return of those caught at the border fence or up to 8 km inside Hungarian territory.

The Hungarian government has not been content to isolate itself behind its fences. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has, instead, invested considerable energy into convincing EU colleagues of the merits of “Schengen 2.0”. He has even found some support. This briefing documents some of the pernicious consequences of Hungary’s current policies and gives a taste of what awaits refugees seeking sanctuary in Europe if other countries seek to replicate them. This briefing documents the plight of refugees and migrants as they wait in dire conditions to enter the country; as they get pushed back to Serbia, sometimes violently and without access to any procedure; as they are routinely detained in centres where they are “treated like animals” and as they make their way through an asylum procedure designed to reject them.

The only way to enter Hungary regularly and apply for asylum is through its “transit zones”, a set of metal containers set up at the border following the completion of the border fence. Only 30 people are admitted to the “transit zones” each day; others languish in substandard conditions in makeshift camps at the border area, or in overcrowded centres across Serbia waiting for their turn to arrive to enter Hungary, based on an “entering plan” submitted by asylum-seekers themselves. Hungary fails to ensure that those who can’t be admitted to the asylum procedure immediately receive humane treatment, including access to sanitation, medical care and adequate accommodation conditions.

With such heavy restrictions on regular entry to the country, many choose to cross the border irregularly after months of waiting. They are stopped and returned immediately, without any consideration of their needs for protection or particular vulnerabilities. Refugees and migrants told Amnesty International about excessive use of force, including beatings, kicking and chasing back with dogs and unlawful returns (or “push backs”) to Serbia. Inside the “transit zone” containers, authorities unlawfully detain without ground most men traveling without family for up to four weeks. Most of them have their asylum applications declared inadmissible on the grounds that they came through Serbia, a “safe third country”, where they should have applied for asylum.

As Serbia does not formally take them back and does not provide access to a fair and individualized asylum process, those pushed back out of the containers have little other option than to attempt a different route to the EU. Those who do get into the country risk a multitude of further rights violations. The detention of asylum-seekers has become routine. In early August, over half of the twelve hundred asylum-seekers residing in Hungary were in asylum detention. Despite repeated requests, Amnesty International was not allowed to visit the asylum detention centres to document the conditions asylum-seekers were kept in. However, the organization has interviewed several former detainees in the Körmend tent camp and in Austria, who reported beatings and threats of violence by the police and security guards inside the detention centre. They also spoke of the frustration and trauma among the asylum-seekers locked up without having committed a crime. Amnesty International interviewed several asylum-seekers who harmed themselves in desperation.

Families and vulnerable persons are taken from “transit zones” to open reception centres inside the country where they face a different set of challenges. They languish in conditions which are often unsuitable for long-term accommodation, and where information on and assistance with asylum applications are lacking and support to access essential services is minimal. These centres barely provide education, activities for children and healthcare. The lack of translators and a lengthy, complex asylum process create often insurmountable obstacles to their asylum cases.

Hungary is, on multiple counts, in flagrant breach of international human rights and refugee law and EU directives on asylum procedures, reception conditions, and the Dublin regulation. The Hungarian authorities continue to intentionally undermine any agreement that could protect the rights of refugees and migrants to safely and legally arrive in the European Union, be treated with dignity, and have a fair and individual opportunity to make their cases heard. This briefing makes the case for the European Commission to take the infringement proceedings it has started against Hungary further and hold Hungary accountable and bring the country’s migration and asylum policies in line with EU and international law obligations.