UN watchdog urges Hungary to halt hate speech, protect refugees

Human Rights Committee concerned over "prevalence of hate crimes and hate speech... targeting minorities, notably, Roma, Muslim, migrants and refugees."

By REUTERS
April 5, 2018 14:34
2 minute read.
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during Hungary's National Day celebrations in Budapest

Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during Hungary's National Day celebrations in Budapest. (photo credit: MARKO DJURICA / REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

GENEVA - A U.N. rights watchdog called on Hungary on Thursday to crack down on hate speech by politicians against minorities including Roma and Muslims, and repeal a law allowing police to expel irregular migrants without giving them a chance to seek asylum.

It urged the nationalist government to reject draft laws known as the "Stop-Soros Package" that would empower the interior minister to ban non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that support migration and pose a "national security risk".

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The bill is part of an anti-immigration push by Prime Minister Viktor Orban that has set its sights on a campaign by Hungarian-born financier and philanthropist George Soros to bolster liberal and open-border values in eastern Europe.

The U.N. Human Rights Committee voiced concern at "the prevalence (in Hungary) of hate crimes and about hate speech in political discourse, the media and on the Internet targeting minorities, notably, Roma, Muslim, migrants and refugees, including in the context of government-sponsored campaigns".

The panel issued its findings and recommendations after its independent experts reviewed Hungary's record on upholding civil and political rights. The findings were issued three days ahead of Hungary's general election.

Orban, seeking a third consecutive term in Sunday's vote, has conveyed a strong anti-migration message.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto defended Hungary's policies, telling the U.N. panel last month: "First and foremost, it is a firm conviction of the government that the Hungarian people have the right to live a life in security, without fear of terrorist atrocities."



In 2015, the central European country had a "sad experience" when some 400,000 migrants passed through on their way to western Europe, "ignoring all rules", Szijjarto said.

The U.N. panel decried a Hungarian law adopted a year ago that allows for automatically removing all asylum applicants to transit zones for indefinite confinement.

This was in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty ratified by Budapest.

People should be allowed freedom of movement while their asylum claims are examined on a case-by case basis to see whether they are refugees fleeing war or persecution, the rights committee said in its report.

The panel added that Hungary should "repeal the push-back law" of June 2016 that enables police to summarily expel anyone crossing the border irregularly.

"Individuals subjected to this measure have very limited opportunity to submit an asylum application or right to appeal."

Related Content

Police officers stand at a cordon after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminste
August 15, 2018
Man arrested after suspected UK parliament attack

By REUTERS