Refugee crisis: Hundreds protest in Budapest as Hungarian officials block international trains for second day

Thousands of people are camped out at Keleti station

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of refugees are protesting at the main international train station in the Hungarian capital, as officials stopped them from passing over the border into other EU countries for a second day.

The asylum seekers, who have been barred from boarding international trains at Keleti station in Budeapest since Tuesday, waved train tickets and chanted “freedom, freedom”, BBC News reported.

Scores of police officers responded by pushing back the crowd at the station, where an estimated 3,000-strong-group is camped outside.

Images from Keleti showed a young boy holding up a sign reading “SOS help me”, while parents attempted to occupy their children with toys and colouring books on make-shift beds.

Meanwhile on Hungarian trains, officers from the nation’s police force were joined by their counterparts from Austria, Germany and Slovakia in searching for refugees.

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Children of Syrian refugees play at a makeshift camp in an underground station near the Keleti train station in Budapest (Reuters)

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Refugees are pictured by their sparse belongings at Keleti (Image: Reuters)

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Elsewhere, on the Hungarian border with Serbia, police officers former protective circles around refugees at a train track which has been used as an entrance point into country, as some 300 right-wring nationalists from the Jobbik party held a protest and hurled abuse.

Aniko Cserep, 57, a Hungarian protester told reporters: “I am a mother, I am Hungarian, this is Hungary, and they have to go home."

In an unprecedented move symbolic of the chaotic nature of the crisis, police officers permitted more than 50 people who had followed the rail track into the country to run free into a field, rather than start the process of claiming asylum.

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Families arrive to Hungary walking between railways while crossing the Serbian border near Roszke village, southern Hungary, on September 2, 2015 as participants of nationalist right-wing party Jobbik's (Image: AFP)

Hundreds of others waited on the Serb side of the border until the protesters dispersed to scale the rail line. 

As desperate people fleeing war, poverty and oppressive regimes have fled through Hungary towards Western Europe, the government has responded by deploying thousands of extra police and erecting a controversial razor wire fence.

 

Zoltan Kovacs, a spokesman for the Hungarian government, said on Wednesday: “We have to reinstate law and order at the borders of the European Union, including the border with Serbia.”

"Without re-establishing law and order, it will be impossible to handle the influx of migrants."

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Men protest outside Keleti station (Image: Reuters)

Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, will take a "clear and obvious message" to a meeting Thursday with EU chiefs in Brussels about refugees, Kovacs said.

As more than 332,000 refugees have entered the European Union this year, leaders have scrapped over how to deal with the situation.

Frontline nations including Greece, Italy and Hungary have pleaded for more help, while Germany has called on other EU nations to follow its lead after it received 800,000 asylum seekers this year.

Additional reporting by AP

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