Europe

European rights official denounces new Hungarian asylum law

Migrants gathered around the fire which they use for cooking and warmth inside a crumbling warehouse that has served as a make-shift shelter in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Migrants trying to reach the European Union from Serbia are worried because Hungary has imposed even tighter asylum rules for people fleeing war and poverty. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Migrants gathered around the fire which they use for cooking and warmth inside a crumbling warehouse that has served as a make-shift shelter in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Migrants trying to reach the European Union from Serbia are worried because Hungary has imposed even tighter asylum rules for people fleeing war and poverty. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

Europe's top human rights official says he is "deeply concerned" about a new law in Hungary allowing authorities to detain all asylum-seekers in closed border camps, including families with children and unaccompanied minors over 14 years old.

Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, said Wednesday that the measure planned to be implemented in the coming weeks would breach Hungary's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Muiznieks urged Hungary to "invest in effective, accessible alternatives to detention. In particular, Hungary should refrain from the detention of children."

The legislation adopted Tuesday by the governing Fidesz party and the far-right Jobbik party continues the severe anti-migrant policies instituted by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has said that "dreamy human rights gibberish" cannot override Hungarian laws.