Hundreds of migrants have left a Hungarian train station and set off on foot saying they plan to walk to Austria.
After a stand-off with Hungarian authorities culminated in allowing refugees to board a train to Austria, the police then stopped the train outside of the capital in an attempt to force off migrants to a refugee camp in the area.
As refugees were held up at the train station, conditions quickly worsened. Refugees told Al Jazeera they saw garbage cans overflow, were exposed to extreme, fluctuating temperatures and experienced a lack of running water.
“We said we wanted to go further, to Austria and Germany and other places where we are welcome. We don’t want to stay in Hungary. Why stay here when they treat us not like humans? When they want to put us into camps? This is not freedom,” Hamid, a refugee from Damascus, told reporters.
The harsh conditions, inhumane treatment and abrupt halt of their journey have caused refugees to make the desperate, drastic decision to walk instead of waiting.
A powerful image shows a desperate father throwing himself and his family onto train tracks in protest of Hungarian police forcing the family to be taken away to a refugee camp.
As Europe’s refugee crisis escalates, dramatic scenes continue to unfold that encapsulate the desperation and anguish refugees experience in risking their lives in hopes for a better life.
In a two-day standoff with police, Hungarian authorities refused to allow migrants to board trains to Germany but finally allowed them to board a train to Austria only to halt the passage at Bicske, a town just outside Budapest. Wearing protective helmets and carrying truncheons, the police demanded refugees make their way to a migrant holding camp in the town.
Hundreds of refugees refused to get off the train when it was stopped causing a harrowing scene of chaos. Many chanted, “No camp! No camp!” in protest.
Overcome by emotion, one man lost control and pushed his wife and child down onto the train tracks in protest. It took a dozen riot police to pull the crying refugee away from his family.
The train was eventually cleared leaving frustrated migrants sitting at the station asking for water.
The standoff has reigned as a symbol of the intensity of the Europe’s refugee crisis — the most severe since the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s.
The scenes of protest emphasize the desperation felt by the refugees and European countries’ inadequate and inhumane treatment that is only exacerbating the crisis further.