As the European continent grapples with a war-fueled refugee crisis, thousands of asylum-seekers remained stranded at Budapest’s main international railway station on Wednesday after Hungarian authorities prevented them from leaving for Germany and other countries in western Europe.
According to news reports, refugees who had expected to board trains at Keleti station to Austria and Germany found Hungarian police officers barring their way, citing EU rules.
The BBC explains:
But on Tuesday, Hungary backtracked, closing the station to refugees and migrants.
In turn, several hundred staged an impromptu demonstration, waving train tickets and shouting “Freedom! Freedom!” and “Germany! Germany!”—the country so many refugees are hoping to reach.
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“Please, we are human too,” said a sign in German held up by a young boy in a smaller group which protested into the evening.
Speaking to the continent’s burgeoning refugee crisis, the New York Times added: “The scenes of confusion and despair at Keleti and the acrimonious exchanges underline the challenges facing Europe as tens of thousands of migrants, buffeted by civil war and conflict in the Middle East and Syria, try to make the perilous journey. Once in Europe, they face a patchwork of policies across a 28-member bloc that is ill equipped to deal with the surge.”
But as CNN reported of the scene in Budapest:
“We have been here five days,” one Syrian refugee at Keleti station told CNN on Tuesday. “No food, no sleep—no place to sleep, no anything.”
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