Refugees fear the nationalist government of Orban that is known for discrimination
REFUGEES trapped in Hungary broke through police lines yesterday and began running down the train tracks towards Austria — as others packed up their belongings and began marching out of Budapest in the same direction.
EU rules state that asylum-seekers have to request asylum in the first member state in which they register, but there is widespread reluctance among those who have fled the Western-fuelled carnage in Syria to register in Hungary, where the nationalist government of Viktor Orban — known for its discrimination against Roma citizens and anti-immigrant rhetoric — is thought likely to dismiss applications arbitrarily.
The Orban regime has already built a razor-wire fence in a bid to shut refugees out and is also interning large numbers of them in camps.
Escaped inmates have alleged that those trapped in the camps sometimes go without food for days on end. Others report violent treatment at the hands of camp guards.
In Bicske, a town where one of the camps is located, hundreds of refugees occupied a train, many holding tickets to Berlin or Vienna.
The side of the locomotive was emblazoned with a message in white painted letters: “No camp, no Hungary — Freedom Train.”
Adnan Shanan, a 35-year-old from Latakia in Syria, said many on the train were unwell: “We have pregnant women, no food, no water.”
The numbers fleeing the war-torn Middle East continued to rise with the UN refugee agency reporting yesterday that 5,600 people had crossed from Greece to Macedonia in the last 24 hours — double the figure of just a week ago.
But Mr Orban denied that the refugees were fleeing warzones and blamed Germany for provoking mass immigration by trying to help them.
“If you are rich and attractive to others you also have to be strong because if not they will take away what you have worked for and you will be poor too,” he declared.
• German police said yesterday they were investigating a fire at an asylum-seekers’ refuge in Hesse.
Five people were injured in the blaze but whether it was arson — far-right groups have attacked several such refuges in the country — is still unclear.