UNITED NATIONS, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency Monday called on European Union (EU) members to temporarily suspend returns of asylum-seekers to Hungary.
"The situation for asylum-seekers in Hungary, which was already of deep concern, has only got worse since the new law introducing mandatory detention for asylum-seekers came into effect," said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
The EU's Dublin Regulation, named after the Irish capital in which it was agreed more than 25 years ago, is an EU instrument that determines which European State is responsible for examining an asylum seeker's application.
"Given the worsening situation of asylum-seekers in Hungary, I urge States to suspend any Dublin transfer of asylum-seekers to this country until the Hungarian authorities bring their practices and policies in line with European and international law," he added.
The High Commissioner's Office (UNHCR) has repeatedly raised its concerns over the situation of refugees and asylum-seekers arriving to Hungary with the authorities and the EU, stressing that physical barriers and restrictive policies have resulted in effectively denying access to territory and asylum.
The agency also said it remained very concerned over "highly disturbing reports of serious incidents of ill-treatment and violence" against people crossing the border into Hungary, including by state agents.
Hungary's "emergency measures' under the amended law on asylum expand mandatory detention of asylum seekers and lead to the expulsion from the country of anyone who enters the country irregularly, in violation of the country's obligations under international law.
UNHCR reported that since it came into force on March 28, new asylum-seekers, including children, are detained in shipping containers surrounded by high razor fences at the border for the entire length of their asylum procedures.
Some 110 people, including four unaccompanied children and children with their families, are being held there currently.