The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions had been invited by Budapest to visit the country this week. But the government denied them access to sites where migrants are being held.
In an email to the Agence France-Presse (AFP), committee member Setondji Roland Adjovi said Hungary was aware the experts intended to visit the Roszke and Tompa “transit zones”, two sites implicated in potentially illegal detentions.
Hungary was “fully on notice, through various means before and during the visit, that the Working Group considers (the two sites) as places of deprivation of liberty,” he added.
Adjovi said the committee habitually carries out both announced and unannounced visits during country missions.
Hungarian authorities were not informed about the timing of the visits to Roeske and Tompa, he added.
“The Working Group showed up at those two locations simultaneously (on November 14) and was not allowed to enter,” he said.
The experts then told the government they would not continue the mission.
“Unimpeded access to all places of deprivation of liberty including these transit zones must be guaranteed to independent international, regional and national organisations,” the experts said in a statement.
According to AFP, Hungary has had an increasingly tense relationship with UN human rights bodies since Viktor Orbán became the country’s prime minister.