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Executive Summary for April 9th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a sweeping win for Orban in Hungary, a U.N. envoy warning against Rohingya returns, and an Afghan refugee on Manus being stabbed with a screwdriver.

Published on April 9, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Orban’s Migration Conspiracy Campaign Delivers Crushing Win

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, has won a decisive election victory after a campaign built on the specter of mass migration. Orban said the April 8 results were “an opportunity to defend Hungary.”

The ruling Fidesz party gained a super-majority of two-thirds, which it is expected to use to further centralize its control of the country.

Despite declining numbers of migrants transiting Hungary and tiny numbers of asylum seekers, Orban cast the election as a last-ditch defense of Hungary’s culture and identity.

Opposition hopes, roused by a promising by-election result after running a unity candidate against a Fidesz incumbent, proved to be a mirage. Provisional results show Orban’s party won 133 of Hungary’s 199 parliamentary seats.

Hungary’s complex electoral system means that final election results are expected by April 27.

“As the results stand, Fidesz performed much better than expected,” said Tamas Boros, codirector of the Policy Solutions think-tank. “There were no small victories for the opposition.”

Much of Orban’s successful campaign featured conspiracy theories involving the ex-pat Hungarian financier George Soros, the E.U. and the U.N., which center on the country being flooded with Muslim migrants.

Human rights NGOs are expected to be among the first targets of the invigorated government.

U.N. Says Myanmar Conditions Not Conducive to Rohingya Returns

The U.N. has said Myanmar is not ready for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees. Speaking after a six-day visit, the top U.N. official to visit the country this year said conditions were not conducive to return.

“From what I’ve seen and heard from people – no access to health services, concerns about protection, continued displacements – conditions are not conducive to return,” said Ursula Mueller, the U.N.’s assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

“I asked (Myanmar officials) to end the violence and that the return of the refugees from (Bangladeshi refugee camps in) Cox’s Bazar is to be on a voluntary, dignified way, when solutions are durable,” she told Reuters.

Mueller was allowed to visit affected areas in Rakhine state, where the Myanmar government has been accused of ethnic cleansing. She met de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi as well as military figures, including the ministers for borders and defense.

Myanmar and Bangladesh, which is hosting more than 1 million Rohingya refugees, agreed a returns deal in January.

Afghan Refugee on Manus Stabbed Repeatedly With a Screwdriver

An Afghan refugee on Manus Island has been stabbed repeatedly during a robbery. The refugee was assaulted with a screwdriver after refusing to give his phone to three men.

The Afghan is being held on Manus as part of Australia’s off-shoring of asylum seekers. Pictures posted online showed a young man covered in blood.

“This refugee was beaten up by someone in Lorengau town yesterday. This is what the Australian government is doing on Manus Island,” said Iranian refugee and activist Behrouz Boochani. “Keeping 600 men in a small town makes many problems.”

The 600 refugees and asylum seekers in the small township of Lorengau on Manus are all single men and there have been frequent tensions with locals.

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