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.
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.
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.
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 today. The law, which came into effect earlier this year, is a threat to the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. “The Hungarian authorities’ …
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 hostile to its work. In early June 2018, an Amnesty International staff member received a suspicious WhatsApp message in Arabic. The text contained details about …
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 is a bitter irony that as the world marks World Refugee Day, the Hungarian Parliament voted today to introduce a law that targets organizations and …
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 hostile, we are steadfast in our resolve. We will resist the rollback of human rights in Hungary for, and with, all the people and groups …
A new bill which would penalize NGOs that support migration is a deeply disturbing and unjustified assault on civil society, said Amnesty International.
Responding to the Hungarian Parliament’s adoption of a set of amendments allowing for the automatic detention of all asylum seekers while their applications are processed, Gauri Van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe, said: “Plans to automatically detain some of the world’s most vulnerable people in shipping containers behind razor wire fences, sometimes for months on end, are beyond the pale. This new border detention package is just the latest in Hungary’s aggressive crackdown on refugees and migrants.”
The Hungarian government’s announcement that it will detain all asylum seekers in containers near the border is yet another disturbing move in a pattern of demonizing this already very vulnerable group, Amnesty International said today. The government will submit its proposal to Parliament which will then debate and vote on the measures within weeks. If …
Thousands of asylum-seekers – including unaccompanied children – are suffering violent abuse, illegal push backs and unlawful detention at the hands of Hungary’s authorities and a system blatantly designed to deter them, Amnesty International has revealed in a new report.
Amnesty International notes with concern the recent legal and policy developments in Hungary, which have further deteriorated the situation of refugees and asylum-seekers seeking protection in the country and have caused ongoing suffering to them.
The European Commission decision to launch a probe into systemic discrimination against Romani children in Hungary must help break generations of injustice in the country once and for all, said a coalition of human rights organizations today.