Budapest, September 29 (MTI) – Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó on Thursday slammed Nils Muiznieks, the human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe, for his recent criticism of Hungary’s refugee policies.
In an article published in the online version of The New York Times on Wednesday, Muiznieks said that at the recent European Union summit in Bratislava, Hungary was among the countries “most hostile to the European Union proposals on migration”. Muiznieks added that despite criticism of his policies, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had “shrugged off this criticism and pushed ahead with an agenda that can be described only as institutionalized xenophobia.”
Szijjártó reacted to the article saying that the rights commissioner’s “ignorance and hatred of Hungary is astounding”. It is clear that “there is reality and then there is what Nils Muiznieks says” and the two are not even close, Szijjártó said.
The minister said that “with his astonishing lies” Muiznieks was criticising a country which observes all international regulations. He said it was clear that “Muiznieks and his allies are calling for the violation of international laws and national borders, which would lead to chaos and anarchy.”
Muiznieks also said in his article that the “protection of refugees has always been an integral part of the human rights project” both in Europe and across the world and it was this that had “inspired an international solidarity movement” that helped about 200,000 Hungarian refugees in 1956.
Szijjártó said that by “drawing a parallel” between the “aggressive migration wave” facing Europe right now and the hundreds of thousands of Hungarians who had fled the country as refugees in 1956, Muiznieks “desecrated the memories” of the victims of the anti-Soviet revolution and the refugees. He said that the Hungarian refugees of 1956 waited patiently in Austria for countries to take them in and respected the laws of their eventual host countries.