By Jen Krausz | Friday, 21 Apr 2017 02:51 PM
Hungarian spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs strongly defended his government Friday in a blog post that accused The New York Times of biased and inaccurate reporting of its immigration policies.
The New York Times wrote on Tuesday that "unwelcoming" Hungary was putting migrants into "prison camps" that evoked "ugly and unavoidable echoes of rounding up Jews, Roma and others during World War II."
The camps were built to hold asylum seekers while their cases were decided, and some asylum seekers currently in Hungary before the camps were assembled might be relocated to the camps as well, the NYT reported.
What the NYT did not report, Kovacs said in his blog post, was that the detention facilities were not holding people by force—they were free to leave at any time as long as they did not enter Hungary or the EU’s Schengen Area, which Hungary is responsible for securing.
"That comparison [between the detention facilities and prison or concentration camps] is so wrong and so outright offensive it probably ranks among the most outrageous statements about Hungary that we’ve seen in the media in years," Kovacs wrote.
"If you need a reason why the migrants don’t have the freedom of movement in Europe, I’ll give you several: Stockholm, Berlin, Brussels and Paris," Kovacs continued. "Is that bigoted? No, tragically, the perpetrators of terrorist attacks have exploited Europe’s porous borders and lax asylum procedures, and they’ll try to do so again.
"We’ve reached a truly low point if I have to explain the difference [between Hungary’s camps and WWII concentration camps] to the New York Times," Kovacs said.