Hungarian Government and Parliament should respect European Court of Human Rights judgment

On Friday 20 April 2012, the Hungarian Minister of Justice and Public Administration, Mr. Tibor Navracsics submitted to Parliament a draft Parliamentary Resolution to not execute the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) taken in the case of Fratanolo v Hungary. The judgment, handed down by the Strasbourg-based court in November 2011, is the second such decision establishing that Hungary had violated the right to freedom of expression protected by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by criminalizing the wearing of the red star in public. Under the minister’s proposal, the penal provision should remain in effect and Hungary should not pay the just satisfaction awarded by the ECtHR.

In an unprecedented act in 20 years of Hungarian democracy, the proposed resolution, which is not legally binding in nature but carries serious political implications, calls on the Hungarian Parliament and Government to breach and disregard an international treaty signed by Hungary.

The undersigned non-governmental organizations call on the Minister of Justice and Public Administration to withdraw the proposal, which, if adopted by Parliament, would declare that Hungary is not willing to execute the ECtHR ruling. We call on all Members of Parliament to vote ‘No’ in case the proposal for a resolution is tabled.

No Member of Parliament or political party has been requested or authorized by voters to disregard Hungary’s obligations deriving from her membership in the Council of Europe. We hereby remind the Government and all Members of Parliament who believe in democratic values and are committed to Hungary’s membership in the European Union that the EU is just in the process of acceding to the European Convention on Human Rights, and the jurisprudence of the ECtHR also guides legal developments and practices in the EU. By breaching her obligations as a member of the Council of Europe, Hungary would open yet another front line in the on-going disputes with the EU, regarding an issue in which the Government’s position is clearly untenable. The responsibility for this shall lie with the author and supporters of the parliamentary resolution, while its consequences will have to be borne by all Hungarian citizens.

Budapest, 24 April, 2012.

Amnesty International Hungary

Hungarian LGBT Association

CivilMédia Nonprofit Ltd.

Mental Disability Advocacy Center

Eötvös Károly Public Policy Institute

Minority Rights Group Europe

Chance for Children Foundation

Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities

Fresh Idea Association

Partners Hungary Foundation

Idependent Trade Union of Police Officers

PATENT Legal Defence Association

Background Association for LMBT People

Romaversitas Foundation

Labrisz Lesbian Association

Szimpozion Association

Hungarian Helsinki Committee

Rainbow Mission Foundation

Hungarian Europe Society

Hungarian Civil Liberties Union

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