Hungarian police launch probe of camp feeding video

2015-09-11 13:37

Budapest - Hungarian police said on Friday they had launched an investigation after an online video showed a crowd of migrants clamouring for food in a hangar at a reception centre as police in surgical masks throw out packs of sandwiches.

The description of the footage says it was taken at a refugee camp in Roszke on Hungary's southern border with Serbia, where thousands of migrants have been crossing into the European Union every day.

The video was posted on the YouTube channel of Austrian politician Alexander Spritzendorfer, and supposedly taken by his wife Michaela Spritzendorfer-Ehrenhauser.

In an e-mailed response to Reuters' questions, police said they had launched an "emergency enquiry" into the matter, describing it as a fact-finding investigation, without elaborating.

Government spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs said the footage showed a detention centre where people spend only a few hours in an "optimal case" but can also remain there for up to two days in a procedure sanctioned by the European Union.

"I can see policemen who have been performing their duties for months, trying to take care of 23 000 migrants arriving continuously day by day while there is no co-operation whatsoever on their part," Kovacs said in an emailed response.

"I can see they are trying to maintain order among those who are unable to line up for food," he said.

There have been growing signs this week of Hungary's inability to handle the flood of more than 170 000 people this year seeking sanctuary in Europe from war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

On Thursday alone, police captured a record 3 601 migrants on the border, according to data on the police website.

Refugees stranded at the border have waited days to be registered, while conditions at makeshift frontier camps are basic. Medical care for the crowds at Budapest's railway stations has been provided entirely by volunteers.

Spritzendorfer-Ehrenhauser, who works for the Austrian Catholic diocese of Sankt Poelten, told Reuters she took the footage while delivering sanitary supplies to the camp, which Reuters has not been able to enter, with the Hungarian Red Cross.

"It was around 20:00 and they were giving dinner to people," she said. "There were maybe 100 people trying to catch these plastic bags with sausages... They were not able to organise a camp and treat them like human beings."

While the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has praised the Hungarian police's handling of the crisis, police themselves have complained of being forced to work very long hours in impossible conditions.

"It is not easy at the border, it was tense at the railway station and there is no quick fix because people sometimes are angry, they are sometimes are aggressive, sometimes for good reason, sometimes for bad reason," UNHCR's Regional Refugee Coordinator Vincent Cochetel said on Tuesday.

Read more on:    hungary  |  migrants

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.