The use of tear gas and water cannon on people trying to break through a fence is criticised as “misguided and short-sighted”.
Hungary is facing international outcry over the treatment of migrants after clashes broke out on its border with Serbia.
Police fired tear gas after hundreds of migrants broke through a razor wire fence with reports of two people being seriously injured and hundreds needing treatment.
Sky News witnessed a pregnant woman being stretchered from the scene and footage later emerged of distressed and injured children who had been in the line of fire when police used tear gas and water cannon.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said: “Men, women and children fleeing war and persecution deserve real support, including asylum.
“I ask those standing in the way of the rights of refugees to stand in their shoes. People facing barrel bombs and brutality in their country will continue to seek life in another. “I was shocked to see how these refugees and migrants were treated. It’s not acceptable.” International Rescue Committee President David Miliband said the scenes showed “a dark side of the European character”.
“Obviously, anyone with an ounce of morality feels appalled by what’s happening in parts of Europe today (Wednesday). “Obviously we haven’t yet got the details of the events, but the attempt to pretend there’s an answer to the global refugee crisis, and the Syrian refugee crisis in particular, by building walls seems to me to be misguided and short-sighted.
“And when it’s combined with bully-boy tactics then it’s obviously appalling.”
Former Hungarian foreign minister Geza Jeszenszky defended the tactics in an interview with Sky News, saying “similar would be shown by the British police… it is a kind of riot”.
Serbian minister Aleksandar Vulin hit back, saying: “This is being thrown across the border line, which no state has the right to do and because of that I protest in the strongest terms.” Sky News’ Colin Brazier described the scene at the Roszke-Horgos border crossing as clashes broke out around him.
“It’s very fractious,” he said. “There are young men who are really angry. It’s a determined hard core of maybe a score – and behind them children and mothers.
“The imagery of this is being beamed around the world – people are going to look at this in other European capitals and be concerned.” (Sky News)