The constitution guarantees legal means for citizens or organisations to express dissatisfaction with legal regulations but the law does not recognise civil disobedience, Justice Minister László Trócsányi said late on Wednesday.
The minister reacted to announcements by rights organisations Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee that they would refuse to fulfil the law on the transparency of organisations financed from abroad and they would not register as stipulated by the new law.
Under the act approved by parliament on Tuesday, NGOs will be required to register as foreign-backed groups once their foreign donations reach 7.2 million forints (EUR 23,400) a year. European Union funds will not count towards the threshold.
Trócsányi told public news channel M1 that everyone has the right to express their opinion or dissatisfaction in a rightful manner, for instance by submitting a constitutional complaint or turning to other forums. However, it is a fundamental expectation that the law must be respected by everyone.
Civil disobedience as a legal category is not recognised by law, he said.
In response to a question about a European Parliament position published on May 17 about Syrian citizen Ahmed H who has been sentenced by a Hungarian court to ten years in prison because of a terrorist act and illegal border crossing, Trócsányi said he was shocked because putting pressure on a court in an ongoing case is unacceptable. He added that in his capacity as justice minister, he never “dared” to comment on a non-final verdict.