Hungary has announced that it intends to split up refugee families who are found to have ‘illegally’ crossed its borders. This coincides with a declaration of a state of emergency for two of its southern counties. Under the new arrangements any child who is found without documents will be taken from their parents and placed in “children’s institutions”. The parents will then be put in one of two detention centres – called “transit zones” – to await trial on charges of illegally crossing the border. If they are found guilty they can be imprisoned for up to three years and on release face deportation.
- Slovenia has offered to be a ‘corridor’ for refugees heading north from Croatia; it also used tear gas against a group of refugees trying to cross the border.
- Croatia has reportedly blocked its borders with Serbia. Altogether there are about 13,000 refugees in Croatia, some of whom are, according to Channel 4 News, being bussed back to the Hungarian border (over 20 buses used). Croatian authorities say they do not have the facilities to register all the refugees but are trying to get as many northwards via Slovenia as possible. However, other reports say that Croatia are not sending refugees to Slovenia and that those refugees already in Croatia should register for asylum. Meanwhile a reported 1,500 refugees are being held in a reception centre near Zagreb, awaiting trains or buses to taken them to the Slovenia border (and the corridor?).
- There are unconfirmed reports that Hungary may be bussing hundreds of refugees from Croatia to the Austrian border.
- Altogether, there is confusion and uncertainty.
The above image is shocking enough. What it doesn’t show is what is really happening – see two images below – and the scores of riot police bearing down on the refugees, including children. Half close your eyes and with a change of uniforms this could be Nazi Germany, 1940. Yes, the Hungarian authorities do not intend to kill the refugees, merely to gas them, injure them and lock them up and provide more torment by placing their children into frightening institutions.
This is the new face of fascism in middle Europe: staunchly Christian, authoritarian, brutal.
On Monday, Hungarian riot police also beat up Serbian journalists, as well as Hungarian journalists, trying to photograph and video the attacks on the refugees.
And from Greece: “We find it difficult to witness… what the UN secretary-general characterizes as the ‘unacceptable’ conduct of Hungary’s forces of order against the refugees, including infants, who are living through the drama and misery of war,” ministry spokesperson Konstantinos Koutras said in a statement, adding that the use of violence and armed patrols and “the driving of innocent victims of war into Balkan minefields” are not “appropriate” behavior for an EU member-state.
Altogether round 7,437 refugees entered Hungary over the last few days. They are now trapped and many could be held in Hungary’s notorious detention camps.
In view of the confusion generally, some refugees are now attempting to head northwards from Serbia/Macedonia/Greece via Bulgaria. Others are even prepared to attempt another perilous sea journey and cross the Adriatic via ‘people smugglers’ to Italy.