Report to the Hungarian Government on the visit to Hungary carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 20 to 26 October 2017

The CPT is pleased to note that its delegation received no allegations of ill-treatment by staff in any of the establishments visited. However, a significant number of foreign nationals interviewed by the delegation alleged that they had been physically ill-treated by Hungarian police officers in the
context of their apprehension and return through the border fence towards Serbia (push-backs). A number of foreign nationals met by the delegation displayed recent traumatic injuries which, in the view of the delegation’s doctor, were consistent with their allegations of ill-treatment.

The CPT recalls that the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights entails the obligation not to send a person to a country where there are substantial grounds for believing that he/she would run a real
risk of being subjected to torture or ill-treatment (refoulement). The principle of non-refoulement applies not only in respect of return to the country of origin, but also to any other country to which removal is to be effected or any other country to which the person may subsequently be removed (“chain refoulement”). Consequently, it is essential that foreign nationals have effective access to an asylum procedure which involves an individual assessment of the risk of ill-treatment in the case of
a forcible removal, on the basis of an objective and independent analysis of the human rights situation in the countries concerned.

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