Alexandra Béni | Jan 17, 2019 | 1
UN: ’Shameful reprisals’ on human rights activists in Hungary
As Index.hu writes, 38 countries, including Hungary, are on the list of the latest report by the United Nations, for intimidation against those contributing to the work of the UN in the field of human rights.
The ninth annual report of the United Nations included 38 “shameful” countries that committed crimes against human rights organizations or organizations that cooperate with the UN relating to human rights. As the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized, addressing issues of intimidation against those actively contributing to the field of human rights has been and remains one of the main priorities of the organization.
The 38 countries on the list include 19 new cases from countries that have not yet been on the list and 19 ongoing cases. Hungary is in the group of the 19 new cases on the list of despicable reprisals against human rights activists.
“The world owes it to those brave people standing up for human rights who have responded to requests to provide information to and engage with the United Nations, to ensure their right to participate is respected,” Guterres declared.
The UN Secretary-General highlighted that the punishment of those individuals and groups who cooperate with the UN is a “shameful practice” which must be addressed.
As the report claims, the trend by governments to punish human rights activists for cooperation with international human rights organizations such as the UN is frequent and disturbing.
🆕 UN report: People across the world continue to face reprisals for cooperating with the UN on #HumanRights. This “shameful practice” deters others from engaging with the @UN and results in “self-censorship in all regions”.
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) September 12, 2018
In the case of Hungary, the report refers to specific cases in which the Hungarian government acted against human rights activists or organizations focusing on human rights. On the one hand, these cases were related to the Budapest-based NGO, Validity, mainly aiming at advancing international disability rights.
On the other hand, as the report claims, two other NGOs, namely, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International Hungary have been targeted due to their actions related to advocating for migrants’ and refugees’ rights.
Although the claims reported on the Hungarian government are severe enough, there are countries which have performed even more serious acts of intimidation and reprisals against groups of individuals that cooperated with the UN in terms of human rights.
Let us hope we will not make it onto the list next year.
Recently, the Secretary General of the European University Association wrote about Hungarian politics in the Guardian. We have previously shared that foreign papers see worrying tendencies in the Hungarian political life, including The Guardian’s concerns about the breach in Hungarian media freedom and the OSCE’s critical analyses about the elections in April.
Featured image: ISHR International Service for Human Rights