The PJ Tatler

No More Mr. Nice Guy: 'Migrants' Now Face Jail in Hungary

'Migrants' Keep Out

‘Migrants’ Keep Out

Since the “migrant” crisis of last summer, Hungary has taken several serious measures to cut down on Syrians and others tramping through the territory on the way to the promised land, Germany. Now they’re starting to kick in:

The chaos and confusion of Europe’s migration crisis is perhaps best reflected here in Hungary, where treatment of migrants is drastically different depending on which border they cross, and how. Hungarian troops are building a second fence along the border with Croatia, but that frontier is not yet closed — and some 6,000 migrants arrive there daily. Migrants who enter Hungary from Croatia are the lucky ones: They get free train rides across the country and then cross into Austria on foot in less than a day.

It’s an entirely different story on the Serbian frontier, where migrants are immediately arrested. Within a few days, most are put on trial at a special tribunal in the southern Hungarian city of Szeged. Each morning, groups of migrants climb out of police vans and trudge into the courthouse, under guard. Instead of evaluating their asylum claims, Hungary puts these migrants on criminal trial, under a law that took effect last month making it illegal to breach Hungary’s border fences. Migrants can be punished with up to three years in prison.

Testimony about who the refugees are and what they’re fleeing back home in the Middle East or Africa is often ruled irrelevant. Only evidence about the Hungarian border fence is admissible in court.

Good to see someone finally standing up for the rule of law. Which in today’s upside-down world, however, means that the rest of Europe considers Hungarians the bad guys.