The Hungarian government has kicked off the new year with a fresh wave of attacks against three of the country's most prominent civil society organizations. One of them is us, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. One governing party official named the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union as one of the main enemies of the Hungarian government. The vice president of the ruling Fidesz party, called Szilard Nemeth, said that "these organizations should be discouraged by all means and, I think, swept out from here."
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"Transparency is already one of our main organisational principles; our financial reports are available online for anyone. However, it is clear from these statements, that the main aim is not increasing transparency but eliminating independent NGOs. The HCLU will not be steered away from its true mission, and we will continue to defend the rights of our clients," Stefania Kapronczay, HCLU's executive director, said.
This latest attack against civil society is the second wave, the first coming in 2014, when government authorities spoke and acted against the grantees of the EEA and Norway Grants.
Now, the government is publicly shaming the so-called "Soros empire," or grantees of the Open Society Foundations, as The Guardian wrote.
Following Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election, populist politicians in Central and Eastern Europe see a window of opportunity to act against civil society and pass more restrictions against independent human rights NGOs. Do not let this happen, save democracy and take action now and donate us!