Hungary imprisons minors after Dublin II deportation

Interview with Fardin (17) in Zalaergerszeg detention prison, 26th of October 2010

The following interview was taken under difficult circumstances, on the phone of the prison. We had never seen each other before – it was a friend of a friend who brought us in contact. Fardin was not in a good mood – but he said that he wants to give testimony what happens in Hungary to the deported. He hopes that maybe, if the authorities knew what happens, they might stop the Dublin-system.
He says:

For me it’s to late now, but maybe all the others, they should not experience the same!”

Zalaergerszeg, 13th Oktober 2010

There are two conclusions:
• In Hungary the current policy is to detain refugees in general and for longer periods of time. Even if they apply for asylum they will be often detained until the first decision. And also all those, who get deported from other European countries, get imprisoned for often until the limit of six months. Hungary built 11 new detention facilities in the last months.
• In Zalaergerszeg there are obviously at least three minors imprisoned for a longer time, who have been deported to Hungary according to DublinII. We fear that these are not single cases and that in the other detention facilities you might also find minors.

Hello Fardin, can we speak in english?
Hello, ya sure. My name is Fardin.
Can you tell me where you are?
Ya, I’m in the Zalaegerszeg in the prison.
Why are you in prison?
I got deported from Finland, that’s why I am here now. It became something like 3 months and 20 days that I am in Hungary and all the time I am in prison. I am 17, I am born on 20th April 1993. When I arrived in Budapest after deportation, the Hungarian authorities told me I have to apply for asylum. They brought me for one month to deport-center in Budapest. When I arrived in Budapest I met a lawyer from Helsinki Committee. He told me he will help me to get out of prison. After one month I got interview and now I am waiting for answer, maybe I will get it in a few days. After the interview they transfered me here, to the prison in Zalaegerszeg near to the Slovenian border. Since 2 months and 20 days I am here. When I called Helsinki Committee again, they told me, I have to wait for the answer from migration board. And if I get positive I would be free from prison and if negative I should stay six months in the prison. I have two other friends here in prison, they are also minors. One of them, Farhad, he was also deported from Finland. And the other is Gul Agha, he got deported from England.
How is the situation in the prison and how are you there?
(He sounds really angry now.) May I know that who are you to ask this question? I ask you because everyone like you came to me and asked me questions and asked about my problems. But unfortunatly everyone just came and gave me hope, they didn’t do anything an now I don’t trust anybody.
Yes, I see you are angry and you are right to be angry, it’s a terrible situation! Okay, I will explain who I am. I’m part of a network called Welcome to Europe. We are in contact with a lot of people who have problems with Dublin-deportation. We want to stop this agreement. We don’t want somebody to get deported from any European country. That’s why we collect the stories and that’s why I am asking you. Your story is special because the Hungarian authorities say they don’t put the minors in prison. I can’t promise you much, I can just promise that we will publish your story and we will try to put pressure on the European governments to stop the deportations. But we are just ordinary people and we do not have the power. But what is happening to you, that they keep you in prison as a minor it is illegal.
Okay, now I understood and I can answer.
I know that it’s against the law. But it’s also Hungarian law that everybody who enter illegal in the country or who got deported from other countries, they have to live in prison for six months. Everybody knows this!
Now I want to tell you something about my situation. When I have been in Finland I have studied in school, I learned the finish language, what is really hard and I wanted to go later to unversity. Instead of university, I am now in prison. When they decided to deported me the Finish Migration Board made my life like hell. I start to forget everything, that I learned. Now what should I do with finish language here?
All the day we are kept inside the prison, I cannot even go out.
Later when I am out of the prison, I can answer you what is the situation here. Now we are talking on the phone of the prison and I cannot answer.
Thank you, Fardin and take care!
You are welcome, bye.