A group of children raising slogans criticizing their "miserable" conditions at Tompa camp in Hungary. Photo courtesy of Haider Ali
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – As many as 250 Kurds, including children are being held at a refugee camp in Hungary, a Kurd in the camp told Rudaw, urging the international community to help them.
“On top of all our plights, we are about drown in water at the camp,” Bashar said. He sent Rudaw video footage of conditions in the camp in Tompa, near the Serbian border.
“We are asking the international community to help as we are imprisoned here and cannot and are not allowed to move anywhere.”
Bashar said there are other camps similar to where he is living “and our lives are terrible.” He said they have begun a hunger strike that they will continue until the situation is resolved.
Hungary has come under fire from human rights group after it passed a law that forces all refugees into detention camps. Rights groups say the law violates Hungary’s obligations under international and EU laws.
This new law, in practice “means that every asylum-seeker, including children, will be detained in shipping containers surrounded by high razor fence at the border for extended periods of time,” said Cecile Pouilly, spokesperson for the UN’s refugee agency, in March.
Commenting on the camp, a Kurdish journalist in Vienna, Austria told Rudaw, “the lives of these Kurds are miserable and I know those closely sheltered in the camp.”
Journalist Haider Ali said the Kurdish migrants in the camp “are from Iraq, Syria and among them are some Kurdish Yezidis.”
Ali explained the camp “was opened on March 15, 2017 for those migrants trying to reach European countries.”
Tompa camp consists of four sections, each containing 16 homes. Close to 500 asylum-seekers are being held in the camp.
“Eighty-five percent of the Kurds living in the camp are in bad conditions,” Ali claimed.
The video and pictures were taken on Wednesday.
A number of children are seen in the pictures holding various slogans asking for the improvement of their lives: Where is humanity? Help. Freedom. Where is justice?
In a recent interview with Rudaw, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó argued that rather than aiding asylum-seekers in Europe, they should be helped so they can “stay as close to their homes as it is possible in order to be able to return after a situation is solved, after the challenge is solved. How we should do it? We have to give very heavy financial support, not only to Turkey, but to Jordan, to Iraq, to the Kurdish region, to Lebanon to be able to host those people who had to leave their homes in order to keep them as close to their homes as possible.”