Statement of the refugees who left Hungary

Posted on migszol.com

We, the refugees previously living in the Bicske Reception Centre (Hungary) decided to leave Hungary and apply for asylum in Germany. We decided to leave Hungary because all our attempts (listed below) to seek help to live a normal life as refugees in Hungary have failed.

We started to call the attention of the decision-makers to the hopeless perspectives of refugees’ integration in Hungary already in November 2012 by protesting two times in front of the Parliament and sending letters to the Ministry of Interior, the Office of Immigration and Nationality (OIN) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Interior answered that we could stay in Bicske camp until 31 March 2013, but our concerns were left unanswered and no fundamental change has been made to give us a real chance of integration in Hungary. In January 2012 we have turned to the UNHCR to seek support in our struggle. On 19 February 2013 we filed a complaint to the Commission of the European Union against Hungary. In our complaint, we listed numerous violations of EU-legislation, and we also protested on the same day in front of the House of the European Union in Budapest to raise awareness about our situation. The only result of the protest and the complaint was, that the meeting with the UNHCR scheduled for the next day was suddenly not approved by the OIN, the authority which did not let us have our personal meeting in the Bicske Reception Centre on 20 February.

Nearly four months after filing our complaint to the EU, we have still not been informed about the state of our complaint. Our meeting with the UNHCR finally took place on 5 March, 2013 in the Bicske Reception Centre. However, on 19 March, 2013, the Migrant Solidarity Group (MSG) wrote a letter to the OIN and the Ministry of Interior about the situation of the nearly 100 refugees who were supposed to leave the Bicske camp until 31 March 2013. In this letter we have listed the main problems of the housing opportunities of the refugees and also a number of suggestions how the refugees living in the Bicske camp could be provided with adequate housing after their time is finished in the Bicske camp. We did not get any answers to our questions, only two meetings had taken place with the representatives of the OIN. The first meeting took place on 20 March 2013, but due to the incompetency of the representatives of the OIN – the director of the Bicske camp and a case officer at the Integration Department of the OIN – another meeting with the OIN had to be organized. This next meeting took place a week later, on 27 March 2013. The meeting only contained merely empty promises on behalf of the OIN and the minutes of the notes have not even been sent to us, so we have no proof about what opinion the OIN has given. The only “solution” offered by the OIN to our housing problems were homeless shelters: On 28 March 2013, one day after the second meeting with the OIN, we were informed about the possibility of moving to homeless-shelters. Apart from the obvious fact that we can not integrate to Hungarian society from a homelessness-shelter, it turned out that the homeless shelters only had free capacity for not more than ten of us and even no places for children. However, the following week, we, together with members of the MSG, visited one of the homeless-shelters and we could see with our own eyes that these shelters could not be an adequate solution to our housing problems.

In the meantime, the staff of the OIN working in the Bicske camp has repeatedly threatened us that we will be evicted from the camp with police force and that our children will be taken away from us. The representatives of the OIN also informed the UNHCR about the same possibilities of eviction by the police force and the refugee families being torn apart. Before we left, no eviction from the Bicske camp has happened, but the circumstances and the services provided for us have severely changed for the worse. Since the 31 March 2013, those of us who do not have any time left in the camp are no longer provided with financial support, medical care, support from the social workers and/or support in finding a solution to our housing problems. In the meantime, the number of people who are staying in the Bicske camp increased in recent months from approximately 200 to 500.

Furthermore, the Hungarian parliament adopted a new law on the detention of asylum seekers. That’s why, on 2 June 2013, we refugees, together with asylum-seekers from the Bicske camp and members of the MSG-group have protested again in front of the Ministry of Interior. These regulations only lead to stigmatization and in the increasing hopelessness for our integration prospects in Hungary.

However, as a political protest, we decided to leave Hungary together and to go to Germany and apply for asylum there. The fact, that approximately 100 of us left Hungary will not change anything in Bicske. The new people who will be granted the refugee status by Hungary will face similar problems.

We saw no other choice than staying together and seek a common solution abroad. We have seen that the European rules on asylum are not working, there is no common treatment and care for asylum-seekers and refugees in Europe. We will not accept this system. Our political resistance is movement. We have to do that for our Children.

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