Putinist characteristics of Hungarian government in action

Attempts to control the funding of NGOs. Attempts to label NGOs that criticize the government as serving the interest of other political parties. Origo.hu, largest online news portal publishes evidence on misuse of public funds by a prominent Fidesz politican. The politician, Janos Lazar places the editor-in-chief and Origo.hu under pressure. The editor-in-chief was displaced yesterday.

Norwegian NGO Fund, which is only a small portion of the Norwegian Civil Grant, supports NGOs in several European countries, including Hungary. The Fund is operated by a consortium of four foundations in Hungary (Ökotárs Foundation, Autonomia Foundation, DemNet - Foundation for Development of Democratic Rights, Carpathian Foundation). High profile Fidesz politician and Minister János Lázár opened a debate about the distribution of the Fund’s money being impartial; according to him, foundations in the consortium are linked to left-wing green party LMP. Norway strictly declined the allegations and publicly ensured its satisfaction with the management of the Fund in Hungary. Last Friday, the government made public the list of recipients it considered problematic for "leftist political ties", such as the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union or the investigative journalism portal atlatszo.hu. Yesterday governmental inspectors visited offices of the foundations managing the grants, while the government said their tax number can be legally suspended if they refuse to submit to governmental examination.

Last night news came to light that editor-in-chief of leading online newspaper Origo.hu, Gergő Sáling's contract was terminated. Journalists of the site supported the allegation that it happened because of recent articles unveiling possible misuse of public funds. Namely, Origo.hu after winning a freedom of information lawsuit revealed the details of a trip during which Mr. Lazar spent 2 M HUF (~9000 USD) on accommodation. The management of Origo.hu refuses the allegations.

Both the fight on the NGOs and the repression of online media, the last ground of free speech in Hungary resembles of Putin’s Russia and the aspiration to silent the last critical voices.

Megosztás

Kapcsolódó hírek

Constitutional Court filing by NGOs

Read our constitutional complaint in which we articulate that according to our position, the regulatory concept of the entire Act LXXVI of 2017 on the Transparency of Organisations Receiving Foreign Funds is contrary to the Fundamental Law and therefore we primarily request the nullification of the entire Act.

An open letter for president Juncker

Representatives of civil society organizations and communities which share an interest in achieving a concerted response to HIV/AIDS, Tubercolosis, and viral Hepatitis in Europe wrote an open letter for President Jean- Claude Juncker.

Governmental attacks against Hungarian NGOs discussed at OSCE human rights meeting

Hungarian NGOs and international organisations voiced concerns about the Hungarian government’s fierce crackdown on NGOs at the international human rights event of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Warsaw.