'If we have asylum card, why we have no freedom?'
Since Friday, 9th of August 2013, refugees at Nyírbátor detention center in the north east of Hungary are on hunger strike.
According to the statement of a refugee detained at Nyírbátor, approximately 100 people - almost all of the refugees presently imprisoned at Nyírbátor, including people from Pakistan, Algeria, Nigeria and Kosovo - are participating in the strike.
On the one hand, the refugees imprisoned at Nyírbátor are protesting against their terrible living conditions: They are complaining about very bad, spoiled food - sometimes with little animals inside! - and water, about the lack of sports facilities etc. In general, the refugees demand their freedom, their immediate release from the detention center. Those people who are right now at Nyírbátor have been detained there since up to more than 1 month although most of them have already received their asylum cards from the authorities. The big question which is creating a lot of anger among the refugees: "If we have asylum card, why we have no freedom?"
The refugees reported that even police people and guards of the detention center do not understand why the people still have to stay in detention with asylum cards. The refugees are suspecting the boss of the detention center of carrying out arbitrary measures against them. Refugees also reported that guards of the detention center offered them to buy some better food, a football etc. for them if they give them some money for this - which is indeed a very strange offer for the refugees, as no one, under these conditions, really has money.
According to a refugee's statement, the majority of the people detained at Nyírbátor have been arrested directly after crossing the border to Hungary. People are asking themselves why they have been brought to the closed prison camp at Nyírbátor, while some of their friends could go to an open camp. A smaller group of people detained at Nyírbátor are people who have been deported from Austria to Hungary based on "Dublin II" finger prints rule, the latter are mostly Nigerians and also some Pakistanis.
One of the people detained at Nyírbátor is a Pakistani activist from Vienna refugee protest movement who was recently deported as one of 8 Vienna refugee activists.
The refugees at Nyírbátor are saying that with the hunger strike, the situation is becoming more and more critical for them every day. Social workers tried to convince them to stop the strike, promising them better food and water, but they refused, because they need a real solution, in fact their freedom. The prison guards are careful at the moment - it seems they are afraid that the refugees on strike might cut their own bodies and start bigger trouble in case that anyone of them gets punished by the guards.
The refugees at Nyírbátor urgently need active solidarity, as well as local and international attention and media publicity for their desperate stituation! They demand solidarity groups, human rights organisations and representatives of the UN to visit them at Nyírbátor and do something to support them.
Freedom for the refugees imprisoned at Nyírbátor!
Shut down Nyírbátor and all detention centers!
Immediate stop all Dublin II - deporations to Hungary!
Stop deportation and detention of migrants and refugees - freedom of movement, fight fortress Europe!