Hungary enacts new migration laws

Those breaching or damaging the country's 175km razor-wire fence along its border with Serbia can be detained, face criminal charges

Hungary has brought in tough new migrant laws which it says will "start a new era" in preventing the inflow of illegal immigrants.

Police can now detain anyone who tries to breach a razor-wire fence built on the border with Serbia.

The new Hungarian laws came into effect at midnight on Monday. From now on anyone who crosses the border illegally will face criminal charges, and 30 judges have been put on standby to try potential offenders.

The laws also make it a criminal offence - punishable by prison or deportation - to damage the newly-built four-metre fence along Hungary's 175km border with Serbia.

Hungary has become a key point on the journey north for thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

On Monday, EU ministers failed to agree unanimously on mandatory quotas to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers.

Instead, at the meeting in Brussels, a majority agreed "in principle" and negotiations will now take place ahead of another meeting in October.

 

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