We managed to get inside the secret refugee hangar in Röszke

Author: 168ora.hu Original title:  Bejutottunk a titkos röszkei menekülthangárba
Publication: 168ora.hu , Photo:MTI-Zoltán Gergely KELEMEN Date: 13/09/2015

We managed to get inside the secret refugee hangar in Röszke

A journalist of 168 Óra (168 Hours, Hungarian news magazine – trans.) managed to get inside a base named Hangar Number 1 in Röszke. This is the location to which illegal border-crossers are transported from the collection point in Röszke. This is also the place where the Austrian video footage of police officers throwing food to refugees was recorded. Inside this building, refugees have been divided into groups by cordons. In one closed sector beds had two people lying on them, whereas in other parts of the building there were some empty beds to be seen. Our colleague was there to witness the border-crossers asking charity organizations for donations through the bars of the cordons.

A journalist of 168 Óra, András Pungor, managed to get into the Hangar Number 1 base while doing volunteer work in the area.

This is the place where illegal immigrants are transported from the collection point in Röszke. Members of the press are not allowed to enter the area. Recently the wife of an Austrian Green party politician made a secret recording about police officers throwing food among refugees.

At a desk set up on the yard a couple of meters away from the gate, two police officers with masks recorded the data of the illegal border-crossers arriving on buses. The new arrivals were then directed either into the blue building or to the tents pitched up in front of the building. The blue hangar may have been a base at some point for loading trucks or lorries. Its doors are like garage doors: they open upwards.

On the inside, the building had been divided into two parts by a corridor. This is where food is distributed. When our colleague was there, this took place in an orderly manner: the refugees had to queue up and police officers did not throw the sandwiches. This might be due to the fact that the commander of the Intervention Police has launched an investigation into the scandalous video footage.

Half of the building was not lit, according to our colleague, this portion of the building was almost completely empty.

Both sides of the hall were divided into sectors (A, B, etc.) separated by metal cordons. On the arrival of new refugees, the police officers pull over the cordons to let them into a given sector and then pull the cordons back behind them. The border-crossers are given metal beds to sleep on. In some sectors, two people lay in the same bed. The refugees hang blankets and clothes on the cordons.

When there were no police officers present in the hall, the refugees locked into the building drew the cordons away and walked along the narrow corridor or went outside, to one of the six mobile toilets set up right next to the entrance of the building. They could not walk any farther, however.

Donations of clothes and food were kept on the upper floor of the building, in offices opening onto a corridor. Biscuits, water and blankets were delivered from here to the inhabitants of the closed camp, who requested the donations through the bars of the cordons.

Based on what our colleague was able to see, the space in front of the hangar was split into sectors as well. Beyond the area separated by the cordons, there were military tents pitched up in a row. Apart from police officers, only employees of the Red Cross were allowed to have close contact with the refugees.

Our colleague overheard a warning to an employee of the Red Cross from the police about making sure that donations were distributed evenly. Recently a fight erupted among the refugees because somebody was not able to receive a share of the food or drink being distributed. The fight had to be stopped by the police officers.

(Further news about the events at the border near Röszke, the volunteers, and the hangar can be found in next week’s edition of 168 Óra.)

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