Hungary grants army and police new powers against refugees and migrants

Hungary grants army and police new powers against refugees and migrants

The Hungarian Parliament has given approval to the army and police to use sweeping new powers, in order to keep refugees out of the country.

The new legislation, passed with a two-thirds majority, allows the army to take part in border controls, to restrict personal liberties and to use “coercive weapons designed to cause bodily harm, although in a non-lethal way, unless it cannot be avoided”.

“Similar to the police, the use of non-lethal firearms, rubber bullets, pyrotechnics, tear gas grenades, and net guns can be used,” the legislation stipulates.

The country’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has told parliament his country has been forced to act.

“Our borders are in danger, our way of life built on respect for the law, Hungary and the whole of Europe is in danger,” he said.

“Europe hasn’t just left its doors open but has sent open invitation … Europe is rich but weak, this is the worst combination, Europe needs to be stronger to defend its borders.”

It comes as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has urged European leaders overnight, to ensure refugees and migrants are treated properly.

UK and France hold talks on refugees

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron today, to discuss migrants and EU reforms.

President Hollande and Mr Cameron will discuss the refugee crisis as well as potential changes to Britain’s European Union membership terms, before Britain holds a referendum on whether to leave the EU.

It comes as Britain’s Conservative government has promised a vote on EU membership by the end of 2017.

Mr Cameron has indicated he will join the campaign to stay in the EU, if he can renegotiate the relationship.

Image: AFP

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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