Hungary’s parliament has passed a new law authorizing the army’s use of non-lethal weapons for self-defense against refugees at its border.
The army can now shoot at refugees with rubber bullets and tear gas grenades in self-defense and to defend other soldiers.
Hungary’s defense minister, István Simicskó said that, “this law meets all constitutional requirements,” but opposition parties firmly disagree calling the law an unnecessary act likely to stir tensions.
Helsinki co-chair Marta Pardavi said, “Hungary is not in war, Hungary is not at war with refugees. There is not armed conflict neither at the Hungarian border nor in country, but nevertheless the army will have the powers to prevent the escalation, of for example riots at the border by using firearms, and will also be allowed to cause bodily injuries that are not fatal”.
The Hungarian government on the same day of the vote took out a full page ad in a Lebanese newspaper warning people that entering the country illegally is a crime punishable by imprisonment.