GENEVA (15 November 2018) - UN human rights experts have taken the unprecedented step of suspending an official visit to Hungary after they were denied access to the Röszke and Tompa “transit zones” at the border with Serbia where migrants and asylum seekers, including children, are deprived of their liberty.
This is a summary legal analysis of the Hungarian law, Section 253 of Act XLI of 2018, which, as of August 25, 2018, imposes a special tax on migration-related activities and financing. This analysis is produced by the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and focuses on the law’s violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the OSCE/ODIHR and Venice Commission Guidelines on Freedom of Association.
GENEVA (9 November 2018) - A delegation of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will visit Hungary from 12 to 16 November 2018 to follow up on its 2013 recommendations*, while continuing its engagement with the Government on addressing issues of deprivation of liberty in the country.
During the mission, human rights experts Ms. Elina Steinerte (Latvia) and Mr. Sètondji Roland Adjovi (Benin), will also assess the steps taken to achieve compliance with the recommendations made by the expert group in the past five years.
In response to measures imposed by the Hungarian government that attempt to crack down on civil society individuals or organisations that purportedly “promote illegal migration”, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) and the Open Society Foundation (OSF) have both announced that they are filing cases against the Hungarian government at the European Court of Human Rights.
In good news for the rule of the law in Europe, this week the European Parliament acted against Hungary for its multiple breaches of European values, with its Resolution on the report prepared by MEP Judith Sargentini. Despite uncertainty in the run-up to the vote, in the end it was decisive: 448 for the motion (65%), 197 against (28%), and 28 abstentions (7%). Sargentini, whose report was thorough and well-substantiated, received a standing ovation.
GENEVA (11 September 2018) – UN human rights experts have expressed serious concerns about tough new measures in Hungary to stop migrants and refugees from entering the country, as well as the increased number of threats cast against civil society actors.
On 1 July 2018, a new law – called “Stop Soros” by the Government and “starve and strangle” by civil society – was adopted, imposing further restrictions on the right to seek asylum, rendering it practically impossible for asylum seekers to submit asylum claims and regularise their migratory status in Hungary.
The Hungarian authorities have given up the practice of denying food to asylum seekers whose claims are considered inadmissible. A statement from the ECRE member the Hungarian Helsinki Committee is welcoming the change of practice but underlines that without legislative changes, asylum seekers can still be deprived of food any time.
(Budapest) – Hungarian authorities have stopped food distribution since early August 2018 to some rejected asylum seekers held in transit zones on the Hungarian-Serbian border, Human Rights Watch said today. They should immediately ensure that all asylum seekers in custody are provided sufficient and appropriate food in line with the government’s legal obligations.
by Nóra Köves
The Hungarian Government has voted on new legislation and a seventh amendment to the country’s Fundamental Law that would further deteriorate refugee people's rights and justify the imprisonment of NGO workers and attorneys who attempt to help them. The new legislation is just another step on the road to becoming an authoritarian regime and silencing the most critical voices as well as strengthening the governing parties' successful "freedom fight" against their allegedly biggest enemies, the immigrants.
GENEVA (21 June 2018) –UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has condemned the decision by the Hungarian Parliament to pass legislation that criminalizes individuals and groups deemed to be supporting asylum-seekers, refugees and undocumented migrants.
“The make-up of migrants and the migration routes they are choosing have both changed”, Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister György Bakondi highlighted on Hungarian M1 television’s Wednesday evening current affairs program.
During the “peak” in 2015 a significant number of migrants set out for Europe because of the conflict in Syria. The vast majority of people are now arriving from Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, there are very few Syrians, Mr. Bakondi said.
(Budapest) – A revised draft bill published by the Hungarian government on May 29, 2018, would criminalize efforts to help migrants and asylum seekers and curb their access to protection, Human Rights Watch said today.
Responding to a package of punitive laws tabled in Parliament today that will criminalize migration-related work by activists and NGOs, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Gauri van Gulik said:
“In their desperate drive to make Hungary the most hostile territory for asylum seekers and refugees in Europe, the Hungarian government has taken their attempt to enshrine intolerance, xenophobia and racism in law to a new level.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling on the Government of Hungary to withdraw a package of laws set to be introduced in the Hungarian Parliament that would significantly restrict the ability of NGOs and individuals to support asylum-seekers and refugees. UNHCR is seriously concerned that these proposals, if passed, would deprive people who are forced to flee their homes of critical aid and services, and further inflame tense public discourse and rising xenophobic attitudes.
The new Hungarian parliament which will first assemble on 8 May is set to vote on draconian and regressive legislation which could arbitrarily restrict fundamental rights and freedoms of civil society. The proposed laws would further undermine and stigmatise organisations working to defend the human rights of migrants and refugees.
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 who fight for everybody’s rights and freedoms.
On 19 and 20 March, the United Nations Human Rights Committee will review Hungary’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This public statement sets out Amnesty International's concerns with regard to Hungary's systematic violations of the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers and severe restrictions on the right to freedom of association.
“Last week, the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó, said it was "slanderous" and "unacceptable" of me to call his Prime Minister a racist. He claimed I had "accused Hungary of being comparable to the worst dictatorships of the last century" and demanded I resign.