Hungary


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Hungary Human Rights

Background

The year was marked by political and economic upheaval that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány, whose cabinet was replaced by the interim government of Gordon Bajnai. Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom (Movement for a Better Hungary), known as Jobbik, an extreme right-wing political party with a strong anti-Roma and an increasingly anti-Semitic agenda, gained three seats at European Parliament elections in June.

In May, Hungary was elected a member of the UN Human Rights Council, and assumed its membership in June. The 20 billion euro emergency loan from international financial institutions and the EU imposed conditions on the government: it had to cut public sector wages, pensions, social benefits, and other government spending.

In July, the Budapest Court of Appeal issued a legally binding ruling banning Magyar Gárda, an organization linked to the political party Jobbik. The court ruled that Magyar Gárda's activities overstepped its rights as an association and curtailed liberties of the Roma. Later in July, Jobbik announced the relaunch of Magyar Gárda, and one of its newly elected members of the European Parliament wore a Magyar Gárda uniform to the first parliamentary session in Brussels. In December, the Supreme Court upheld the Budapest Court of Appeal ruling banning Magyar Gárda.

Counter-terror and security

In September, the Prime Minister announced that Hungary would accept one detainee from the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay, who would participate in an 18-month integration programme. A Palestinian detainee from Guantánamo Bay was transferred to Hungary on 1 December.

Racism

In February, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance expressed concerns about a sharp rise in racism in public discourse. It also reiterated from previous reports that Roma in Hungary continued to face discrimination in access to employment, education and housing. In October, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concerns about the rise of extremism, and appealed to all political party leaders to ensure that no xenophobic or anti-Roma statements be made in the 2010 parliamentary election campaign.

Violent attacks against Roma continued. The Hungarian National Bureau of Investigation, a police agency investigating serious crimes, strengthened a special task force to 120 officers to investigate a series of attacks against the Romani community.

In September, about 400 Romani women initiated legal proceedings against Oszkár Molnár, a Member of Parliament of the opposition Fidesz party and Mayor of Edelény, over his alleged defamatory remarks on Romani women. He was also widely criticized by NGOs, other politicians and the media for his anti-Semitic comments during a local TV interview in October.

Hungary Newsroom



May 19, 2020 • Press Release

Hungary’s decision to strip trans people of the right to legal gender recognition is “step back into the dark ages”

Everyone’s gender identity should be legally recognized and everyone must be allowed to change their legal name and gender markers on all official documents

April 20, 2020 • Press Release

Workshop for media to examine human rights and response to COVID-19 in Hungary and Russia

As part of a series of workshops exploring human rights concerns related to the COVID-19 response, Amnesty International USA will be holding a workshop titled “Europe At Risk: Human Rights …

April 16, 2020 • Report

Mass protests in Europe provide hope as rights and judicial independence eroded

People’s rights are being violated by governments in Europe and Central Asia, who are cracking down on protests and seeking to erode the independence of the judiciary to avoid accountability, …

March 30, 2020 • Press Release

Granting Government in Hungary Unlimited Powers Under New COVID-19 Law is Disturbing Development

Following the decision by the Hungarian parliament to pass a new law that will allow the government to rule by decree without meaningful oversight, and with no clear end date or periodic reviews under the state of emergency, David Vig, Amnesty International’s Hungary Director, said:

September 10, 2019 • Press Release

Amnesty Chief Urges Schools to Let Children Take Part in Climate Strikes

Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, has written a personal plea to more than 27,000 schools around the world today urging them to allow children to take part in the unprecedented wave of global climate strikes planned for September 20 and 27.

December 17, 2018 • Press Release

Hungary: Police must rein in unnecessary and excessive force used against protesters

The police must rein in unnecessary and excessive force, including the use of tear gas, against peaceful protesters, Amnesty International said today ahead of further demonstrations planned tonight in Budapest. …

October 15, 2018 • Press Release

Hungary: Amnesty launches legal challenge to shameful law on migration that targets civil society

Amnesty International will challenge in court the constitutionality of Hungary’s controversial law that criminalizes with up to one year in prison, individuals and organizations working on migration, the organization announced …

August 1, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty International staff targeted with malicious spyware

An Amnesty International staff member has been targeted by a sophisticated surveillance campaign, in what the organization suspects was a deliberate attempt to spy on its staff by a government …

June 20, 2018 • Press Release

Hungary: Draconian anti-NGO law will be resisted every step of the way

Following the passing in Hungary of a package of punitive laws, including one criminalizing lawful migration-related work by activists and NGOs, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Gauri van Gulik said: “It …

April 8, 2018 • Press Release

Hungary: “We will continue to resist the rollback of human rights”

In the wake of the apparent victory of President Orban’s party, Fidesz, in Hungary’s general election, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Gauri van Gulik said: “Whilst the climate may be …

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