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3 September 2015

Why are refugees throwing themselves on train tracks in Hungary?

Hungarian authorities have stopped a train carrying refugees from Budapest. 

By Stephanie Boland

Hungarian police have stopped a train full of refugees bound for the Austrian border. Other passangers were taken off to board a replacement train, while police attempted to have the refugees disembark at the Hungarian town of Bickse, where there is a migrant detention centre.

The Gulf Today reports that some of those on board were banging on the windows chanting “no camp, no camp”, referring to the detention centre.

More than 2,000 migrants have been waiting outside Budapest’s main station to board trains to Germany and Austria, although few intercity trains are running. Viktor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, has said that the crisis is a “German problem” and that Europe has a moral imperative not to encourage refugees. Speaking in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Orban has talked of defending Europe’s “Christian values” against a “flood” from overseas.

ITV’s Europe Editor, James Mates, has followed the train in Hungary and is posting updates via Twitter. He reports that it initially left Budapest station with most of those on board assuming it would continue to Austria:

The train was then stopped in Bickse, around 30 miles outside Budapest, where riot police were there to meet it.

As the refugees realised that they weren’t going to get to Austria, they began to protest, and were corralled by riot police:

Ultimately, the police were unable to force the refugees to go to the camp, and had to let them reboard the train.

The train is now waiting in the station. Police are now handing out bottled water, but it’s unclear what will happen next.

Follow James Mates on Twitter here.

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