The government is playing an inhumane Catch 22 with the refugees

Author: András JÁMBOR Original title:  Embertelen 22-es csapdáját játszik a kormány a menekültekkel
Publication: Date: 15:27 15/09/2015

The government is playing an inhumane Catch 22 with the refugees

“Is Orr crazy?”
“He sure is,” Doc Daneeka said.
“Can you ground him?”
“I sure can. But first he has to ask me to. That’s part of the rule.”
“Then why doesn’t he ask you to?”
“Because he’s crazy,” Doc Daneeka said. “He has to be crazy to keep flying combat missions after all the close calls he’s had. Sure, I can ground Orr. But first he has to ask me to.”
“That’s all he has to do to be grounded?”
“That’s all. Let him ask me.”
“And then you can ground him?” Yossarian asked.
“No, then I can’t ground him.”
“You mean there’s a catch?”
“Sure there’s a catch,” Doc Daneeka replied. “Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy. . . .”

Joseph Heller: Catch 22, Chapter 5 

What the Hungarian Government is doing now, with the introduction of the new ‘emergency’ legislation is inhumane as well as legally absurd. It has created a situation in which it blocks the transit of refugees through the country. The government had the opportunity at the recent summit of EU internal ministers to accept an offer, where 54,000 asylum applications would be taken from Hungary, almost completely lifting the burden on the country. Orban and his government decided against this. They choose to “fight” against the refugees.

Instead of accepting a solution urged by the majority of EU member states, the government is choosing a Hungarian solution – or rather, a Fidesz solution. (The current governing party of Hungary – trans. )

Those coming from Serbia and filing an asylum request claim are asked whether they have already submitted a claim in Serbia. If the answer is yes, they are sent back to complete the procedure there. Those answering with a no have their applications rejected after a couple of hours of paperwork, on that basis that Serbia is a safe country. Serbia was declared a safe country by the Hungarian government in the law. Of course, you can appeal at the court in Szeged (the nearest city to the border – trans.) However, the refugees are not actually admitted inside Hungary, so they can not get to Szeged to the hearing, even if they can indeed appeal, neither can they stay in the country for the period of their appeal procedure. Additionally the Hungarian government is using the opportunity to ban all rejected applicants from the Schengen zone for one year. Just like my literature teacher who hated my entire class and deducted the maximum penalty points from everyone’s A levels for spelling and formal appearance.

So the refugees come to the transit zones, in line with the regulations. They are unsuspecting that the government will then commit all possible appalling proceedings against them that are they are able to.

The refugees are standing at the Hungarian border where the system in place is only able to process a few people a time. At the two designated transit-points there are two containers large enough to accommodate three or four people. New people are only let in when someone has finished. In the meantime, hundreds of other refugees are waiting in the fields. ( Minute by minute reports from the border here a Hungarian link within the publisher’s site – trans. )

The Hungarian government forgot to provide for those waiting to comply with the asylum procedures. What a coincidence, as the they similarly forgot to inform Serbia about the new arrangements, throwing away 10 years of hard-work put into building a friendship between the two countries.

Of course, in order to get to Austria these people can go towards Croatia, where in many places there are still fields of landmines on the Croatian-Serbian border. Or they can cross the Dinaric Mountains or the Alps. So in addition to the existing problems, we have also been able to incite a bit of a Serbian-Croatian border-dispute.

Can anyone call this anything but cruelty? You can despise the refugees, you can hate them, but they will still remain human beings. And you do not treat human beings like this, you do not screw with them this much.

What most baffles me in this whole thing is (apart from the fact that now we have a legislative base for Fidesz to treat any human being, including Hungarians like this) that Hungary could chose to do something else. She could ask for more help, and even outside the quota-system there would be the chance to ease the burden on us, and to treat these people humanely – at zero cost to us.

But Viktor Orban has a vision. He wants to be a ‘European level politician’, and to achieve this no conflict or suffering of people is too dear for him. He rather opts for cruelty, albeit meaningless, if this is what serves his political ambitions. And us: we are sitting here slowly and nicely accepting the Catch 22.


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