amnesty international
Photo: Facebook – Amnesty international

Budapest, January 17 (MTI) – Several European Union members, including Hungary, have passed counter-terrorism measures which curb fundamental human rights and freedoms, Amnesty International said in its latest report published on Tuesday.

Several countries have adopted legislation “which will make it easier to declare a formal state of emergency or grant special powers to security and intelligence services often with little or no judicial oversight,” the rights organisation said.

The 6th amendment of the Hungarian constitution “provides for sweeping executive powers in the event of a declared emergency, including the banning of public assemblies, severe restrictions on freedom of movement and the freezing of assets,” the document said, adding that the amendment’s “vaguely defined provisions grant powers to suspend laws and fast-track new ones and deploy the army with live firearms to quell disturbances”.

The report scrutinised 14 EU members, finding that under recently passed laws people could be prosecuted for acts “that have extremely tenuous links to actual criminal behaviour”.

Referring to a Hungarian court ruling sentencing a Syrian man to 10 years imprisonment for “acts of terror”, the report said that those activities “consisted of throwing stones and speaking to a crowd through a megaphone during clashes with border police.”

“In reality he had travelled to help his elderly parents on their journey fleeing Syria to Europe. Whilst he admitted stone throwing, footage shows that he had also been trying to calm the crowd,” the report added.

Source: MTI/Amnesty International

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