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After many years of struggling to regain property of and to re-open a Hungarian school in Târgu Mureș/Marosvásárhely, confiscated by the communist regime from the Roman Catholic Church, the Romanian National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) accused director Zsolt József TAMÁSI (ethnic Hungarian) and chief inspector Ștefan SOMEȘAN of corruption for allegedly running the school without authorization – even though the Ministry of Education had previously found everything in order.

The case triggered a strong reaction in the Hungarian community and now the DNA is going after some of the parents who are fighting for the school, calling them to testify regarding this case. We believe that such persecution is unacceptable in any state which claims to be a democracy under the rule of law.

Several months after the prosecution re-opened the case, the teachers finally received their unpaid wages and a new interim director was named, but this is just one side of the coin. 140 pupils are still in despair because enrolment for the 2017/18 school year starts on the 27th February and the school has still not been re-authorized – thanks to the Prefect, who has recently attacked the new decision made by the local council. We believe that this is also an abuse of power lacking any kind of legal or moral justification.

Since the fall of the communist regime in 1989, the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR/RMDSZ) has been fighting for the restitution of properties which used to belong to the Hungarian community and its historical churches, as well as the re-establishment of Hungarian schools previously closed by the Romanian state during the 20th century. The fear of losing these recently regained rights and the unlawful accusations against its leaders is what outrages the Hungarian community of Romania once more, only a few years after the Székely Mikó High School was re-nationalized and taken away from its rightful owner, the Hungarian Reformed Church.

Hence, in the name of the Hungarian community and its historical churches, UDMR/RMDSZ urges the Romanian authorities to withdraw all unjust measures intended against all persons involved in this case, and restore the normal and uninterrupted administration of the school, since the current situation violates several rights guaranteed by the Constitution and international agreements ratified by Romania, especially the right to quality education in the mother tongue.

Source: Press release – The Mikó Imre Minority Rights Legal Services Assistance

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