(Vatican Radio) Hungary's interior minister says a police officer has been fired for abusing migrants, in the first such decision after repeated reports by human rights advocates about cases of ill-treatment.
Listen to the report by Stefan Bos:
Minister Sándor Pintér acknowledged that at least one police officer had been abusing migrants trying to enter Hungary on their way to more welcoming and prosperous Western nations.
He did not provide details of the dismissal. But until now, the government had said that investigations have not confirmed any instances of abuse by police despite several reports by groups like Doctors Without Borders and Human Rights Watch.
The dismissal of the policeman also came on the day that aid group Oxfam said in an new report that police and other security forces and authorities often mistreat migrants in Hungary and other countries in the region such as Serbia, Croatia en Macedonia
Minister Pinter made the announcement as he visited a newly expanded container camp on the border with Serbia, where all asylum-seekers older than 14 have to wait for a decision on their asylum requests.
The measure is part of new rules in place since March 21 meant to complement razor-wire fences Hungary built on the Serbian and Croatian borders to stop the flow of migrants.
Yet, Hungary's fiercely anti-migrant Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been criticized by the European Commission, the European Union/s executive.
And on Thursday EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker also criticized an education bill that critics say targets the Central European Union University founded by billionaire American philanthropist George Soros. It was pushed by lawmakers from Orbán's Fidesz party and his seen as a wider crackdown on liberal institutions that have questioned the refugee measures and other policies
Juncker explains that he does now like the push to close the Central European University, founded by George Soros. He also criticizes the Hungarian government's new National Consultation that has the motto "Let's Stop Brussels."
Juncker stressed that "after reading this biased questionnaire, I would like to better understand Mr. Orbán's intentions."
He added that criticism of EU headquarters ran counter to Orbán's reinforced support for the European Union at a summit in Rome two weeks ago.