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Put pig heads on border fences to deter Muslim refugees, Hungarian MEP suggests

Just 146 of 177,135 asylum applications to Hungary were approved last year

Siobhan Fenton
Health and Social Affairs correspondent
Monday 22 August 2016 09:06 BST

An MEP has proposed putting pigs' heads on Hungary’s border fences to deter refugees trying to enter the country.

The country’s right-wing government has been criticised internationally following its perceived harsh attitude towards refugees. As part of measures to block refugees seeking to enter the country, Hungary erected a vast border fence in the hopes of stopping movement into their borders.

It recently emerged security forces have begun making scarecrows in crude attempts to deter refugees trying to enter. In response to criticism over the tactic, Hungarian MEP for the Christian Democratic European Peoples’ Party Gyorgy Schopflin tweeted: “Human images are haram… pig’s head would deter more effectively.” The Twitter account is listed on the official website of the European parliament as Mr Schopflin’s account.

The MEP’s suggestion prompted anger online.

Andrew Stroehlein from Human Rights Watch said: “Your words are disgusting. I would expect that from anonymous neo-Nazi trolls but you’re an MEP. Act like one.”

In return, Mr Schopflin said criticisms of him were “beginning to resemble hate speech” and refused to apologise.

Hugary has been criticised for appearing to hold unduly harsh attitudes towards refugees and for failing to take its fair shair of asylum seekers along with European neighbours. Local politicians have cited concerns that to do so would cost too much financially and compromise Hungary's Christian culture.

Hungary jails 10 migrants

Of 177,135 asylum applicants to Hungary in 2015, just 146 were approved, according to government statistics.

In March of last year, the Hungarian government declared a state of emergency in the country due to Europe’s refugee crisis and deployed an additional 1,500 security personnel to the country’s Serbian frontier in a bid to deny refugees entry.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has defended the country’s stance on refugees, citing his desire “to keep Europe Christian” and announcing: “We are experiencing the end of a spiritual-intellectual era. The era of liberalism. [This] provides the opportunity for the national-Christian thinking to regain its dominance not only in Hungary, but in the whole of Europe.”

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