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Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Thu May 04, 2017 4:36 pm

Hungarian prosecutors indict 11 men in death of 71 migrants

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) 4 May 2017 — Eleven men have been indicted in the case of the deaths of 71 migrants who suffocated in the back of a refrigerated truck in 2015, Hungarian authorities said Thursday. Laszlo Nanasi, chief prosecutor of Bacs-Kiskun County, said the group includes men from Afghanistan, Bulgaria and Lebanon who allegedly smuggled some 1,200 people from the Hungary-Serbia border to Austria or Germany in 2015.

Migrants from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were among the victims found in the back of a refrigerated truck with Hungarian license plates abandoned in the emergency lane of the A4 highway near Parndorf, Austria, not far from the Hungarian border, on Aug. 27, 2015. The victims included 59 men, eight women and four children.

The migrants were locked into the truck the day before near Morahalom, Hungary, near the Serbian border, and likely died within three hours, while the vehicle was still in Hungary. Despite their pleas to open the truck doors, the smugglers were told by their boss to cross into Austria as soon as possible, Nanasi said in a statement.

Charges against the defendants include organized human smuggling and the torture of the smuggled persons. The four people accused of direct involvement in the deaths also face charges of homicide committed with particular cruelty.

Prosecutors are calling for life in prison for four defendants, with shorter terms at a maximum-security facility and expulsion from Hungary for the rest. The trial will be held at a court in central Hungary, where the smugglers began the trip which ended in the migrants' deaths.

Nine of the alleged smugglers are in custody, while prosecutors have filed a motion to try the other two defendants in absentia. The alleged 30-year-old Afghan leader of operation earned some 300,000 euros ($328,000) from the group's smuggling activities in 2015, Nanasi said. Among his alleged accomplices are Bulgarian drivers and a Bulgarian-Lebanese man who obtained the vehicles and the temporary license plates.

Just a day after the 71 deaths, the smugglers locked a group of 67 migrants into another closed truck near Morahalom, taking them to the Austrian town of Gols. While the condition of the migrants became life-threatening, they were able to kick open the doors of the truck and no one died. Two of the defendants are facing charges of life-threatening battery in the case.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Thu May 04, 2017 4:56 pm

Human traffickers are scum - no better than modern-day slave traders.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Sat May 06, 2017 10:28 am

Soros reported to Budapest prosecutor for meddling in Hungarian politics.

The Budapest prosecutor’s office turned down a report on Hungarian-born speculator and philanthropist George Soros, which accused him of plotting to overthrow Hungary’s government. The report was filed by István Tényi, who has a long history of filing similar politically-charged reports to the police.

Tényi cited in his report foreign minister Péter Szijjártó’s January interview for Kremlin propaganda TV Russia Today. Here Szijjártó insisted that Soros openly wanted the removal of Hungary’s present government, as he disapproves of their politics in general. Tényi’s main argument was that Hungary should start a legal procedure against Soros if he in fact wants to overthrow the government, but otherwise the political theatre that presents him as a universal bogeyman should stop. Tényi also cited utterances of an analyst of the pro-government Nézőpont Institute, former Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta, and pro-government “civil” group spokesman Zoltán Lomnici Jr. to have a stronger case.

Nevertheless, the prosecutor’s office rejected his report. They wrote that all the utterances Tényi had cited were only opinions, which did not include any specific fact or data on Soros’s alleged agenda. It also was not clear for the prosecution which organization funded by Soros Tényi suspected to be engaged in “subversive” activities.

The website said the ruling may put the government to a tight spot technically, as it can be concluded that their constant blaming of Soros is a mere communication bluff. They are very likely to continue and even intensify the same strategy though, as it can be seen from the latest “Stop Brussels” TV spot aired state media and other government-influenced channels.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Mon May 29, 2017 4:02 pm

Hungary signs accord with archbishop to support Iraqi clinic.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's government is donating 145 million forints ($525,000) to Saint Joseph's Clinic in Erbil, Iraq, which provides services for mainly Christian refugees living in the city.

An agreement on the donation, meant to cover the clinic's medical supplies for six months, was signed Monday by Hungarian Minister of Human Resources Zoltan Balog and Archbishop Bashar Warda, a Chaldean Catholic cleric in Erbil.

Warda said his archdiocese received 13,200 Christian families in August 2014 after they fled Mosul when the Islamic State group took control of the Iraqi city. "Some families will not be able to go back, because their houses have been destroyed completely or burned," Warda told The Associated Press. "They need some time before making their way back to these villages."

Warda, who will meet Tuesday with Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said the donation "will be a big help" for the clinic, which provides free medicines to 3,100 people with chronic diseases. The treatment of Christians in the Middle East was akin to "genocide, cleansing on a religious basis," Balog said at the signing ceremony. "The Christian quarter (of Erbil) practically turned into a refugee camp."

While Orban views the large number of Muslim migrants reaching Europe as a threat to the continent's Christian values and culture, last year the government set up a deputy secretariat within Balog's ministry to help persecuted Christians, especially in the Middle East.

In February, the agency said it gave 1 million euros ($1.1 million) each to Syria's Orthodox and Catholic churches to assist the return of refugees to their homelands.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Tue May 30, 2017 8:47 pm

Hungary seeks talks with New York state on Soros school.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Hungarian government said Tuesday it was seeking to engage with New York state about the status of Budapest-based Central European University, founded by billionaire George Soros.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent letters to Prime Minister Viktor Orban and President Janos Ader advocating for CEU, saying recent changes to Hungary's higher education law "attempts to close the university for no legitimate reason."

"CEU is an important collaboration between New York and Hungary," Cuomo said in the letters obtained by The Associated Press. "I hope that this important partnership will be allowed to continue with the guarantee of CEU's independence."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Tamas Menczer said the ministry was working with Cuomo's office to schedule a meeting about the university. CEU, founded in 1991, is accredited in New York state, but doesn't have a campus there, one of the new rules in the amended law. CEU issues diplomas accepted in Hungary and the U.S.

The legal amendments adopted in April also call for bilateral agreements between Hungary and the home countries of foreign universities operating in the country. In the case of the United States, Hungary is also seeking agreements with the schools' home states.

The changes could force CEU to move, although Rector Michael Ignatieff reiterated Tuesday that the school is determined to stay in Budapest. "We hope that in the course of the next few months, this absurd effort by the government to shut us down will be taken away," Ignatieff told reporters. "Budapest is our home, we're staying here and it's business as usual."

The U.S State Department, however, has said the U.S. "has no authority or intention" to negotiate about CEU or other American universities with a presence in Hungary. A Foreign Ministry official is expected to travel in about two weeks to Maryland to speak with officials there about McDaniel College, Menczer said. Established in 1867 as Western Maryland College, the college also has operated a campus in Hungary since 1993.

The conflict over CEU is part of a wider dispute between Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Soros, whose ideal of an "open society" is at odds with Orban's desire to turn Hungary into an "illiberal state."
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Tue May 30, 2017 10:06 pm

I find it ironic that anyone can believe Soros genuinely wants an 'open society', given his past record......

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:46 pm

Soros hits back at Hungary’s Orban, denounces ‘mafia state’.

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Investor George Soros hit back Thursday against Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban over the leader’s attempts to shut down a Budapest university which Soros founded after the fall of communism.

In a speech in Brussels, the Hungarian-American billionaire accused Orban of building a “mafia state” in Hungary. In doing so, he reached for a term that has gained currency among Orban’s critics, who see the prime minister as leading an increasingly authoritarian and corrupt political system in which he and those in his inner circle are growing richer, often with European Union funds.

Soros praised the Hungarians who have staged large street demonstrations in past months in defense of the Central European University, a graduate school which Soros founded in 1991 in order to strengthen rule of law across the region. Orban’s Fidesz party passed new legislation in April that threatens its continued existence in Budapest.

“I am full of admiration for the courageous way the Hungarian people have resisted the deception and corruption of the mafia state the Orban regime has established,” Soros told policymakers and economic leaders in a speech at the Brussels Economic Forum.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said Soros’ words reveal he “has his own political agenda.”

“Who exactly is George Soros and what does he have to do with Europe and its fate? Why should what he says carry any weight? The democratically elected representatives of the member states will decide,” Kovacs said.

Soros, an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor from Hungary, has emerged as one of the global figures most hated by populists and nationalists. They denounce his support for liberal causes, including LGBT, women’s and refugee rights, and fault his financial speculation as a cause of the pain felt by many in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Soros’ admirers praise him for the many good causes he has supported and feel is being used as a scapegoat by authoritarian politicians, noting troubling parallels between the language used against him and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of the past.

In late April, Orban described Soros to the European Parliament as a “financial speculator ... who is now attacking Hungary.”

Soros decried how Orban “has made me the target of his unrelenting propaganda campaign.”

“He cast himself in the role of the defender of Hungarian sovereignty and me as a currency speculator who used his money to exert control over Hungary in order to profit from it,” Soros told his Brussels audience.

“This is the opposite of who I am. I am the proud founder of the Central European University that has, after 26 years, come to rank among the 50 best universities in the world in many of the social sciences.”
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:52 pm

Soros, an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor from Hungary

ARGHH!!!!!!!!!

As for accusing other people of being like the Mafia - the Mafia has more scruples than Soros does.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:31 am

Hungary hands over to Germany wanted neo-Nazi evading prison.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungarian police say they have handed over to German authorities a neo-Nazi who fled Germany to avoid a prison sentence for Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic incitement. Horst Mahler was detained in the western Hungarian city of Sopron on May 15 based on an international arrest warrant, and a Budapest court ordered his extradition to Germany last week.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Hungarian authorities have extradicted Mahler, 81, to the authorities of Germany where he was sentenced to ten years in jail for the denial of Holocaust in 2009. In 2015 he was set free due to health problems and was expected to return to jail early 2017 but he ran away and was finally caught by Hungarian police officers in Sopron, Western Hungary, on Monday, May 15.

Police said Thursday that Mahler was transferred into German custody at Budapest's Ferenc Liszt Airport. Mahler, 81, was a founding member of the left-wing Red Army Faction militant group. He later turned to the far right and has had numerous neo-Nazi-related convictions.

Mahler fled Germany after being allowed to leave prison two year ago due to serious illness. He was serving a 10-year sentence.

You can run but in this day and age of communication you can't hide.   LL
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:44 am

Orbán claims “Brussels” is “being ruled by Soros” once again.

Hungary “has never been anti-European” and its government represents “a true European position”, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told lawmakers. Orbán said that the European Union is a voluntary alliance of independent nations and does not equal Brussels. “Hungary is not and has never been anti-European. Quite the opposite, the government represents a true European position, protecting the current European treaty, including the original sharing of competences between the member states and Brussels. It is Brussels rather than Hungary that has changed its position,” he claimed. The prime minister accused Brussels of “openly siding with terrorists”, which he called “incomprehensible”.

Referring to a man convicted in Hungary for leading a group of migrants attacking Hungarian police along the southern border, Orbán said that “Ahmed H’s obviously absurd lies” are “more important for Brussels than the security of Hungarians”. Referring to US financier George Soros, Orbán called it “absurd” that a “financial speculator” sets the direction for Brussels and gets to say what Europe is supposed to do while European leaders “are bowing” to him.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:13 pm

EU warns 3 countries of legal action over refugee plan.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union warned the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland on Tuesday that they have 24 hours to start taking in refugees under an EU migrant sharing plan or face legal action. But the three countries immediately rebuffed the threat and appeared ready to go to court.

The European Commission said in a statement that it has repeatedly urged them to relocate refugees or at least pledge to do so under the legally-binding refugee plan agreed two years ago. But it said they have failed to take action "in breach of their legal obligations," and that it "has decided to launch infringement procedures."

The plan to share 160,000 refugees in overwhelmed Italy and Greece among other European countries over two years was endorsed in September 2015 by a qualified majority vote. It was seen as a major plank of the EU's migration policy, and was lauded as a pan-European show of solidarity in 2015 when more than a million people arrived in Europe seeking sanctuary or jobs.

But just three months before the September 2017 deadline, fewer than 21,000 people have been relocated. It's unlikely that even a quarter of the refugees originally foreseen under the plan will be moved by then.

The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia voted against the scheme. Hungary and Slovakia had previously launched their own legal action against it. EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have until Wednesday to change their minds.

"There is still time ahead. Let's hope that not only reason but also the European spirit will prevail," Avramopoulos told reporters, lamenting that the three "have not done anything for more than one year."

But Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said his country is not ready to change its view of the migrant sharing plan. Sobotka said in a statement that "the Czech Republic doesn't agree with the relocation system based on migrant quotas. And given the worsened security situation in Europe and also that the quota system is not functioning, it won't participate in it."

He said his government was ready to "defend our view at the EU level and at the relevant court institutions." The Czech Republic was supposed to accept some 2,600 refugees but so far has taken only 12, all of them from Greece.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski said "Poland is ready to defend its standpoint before the Court of Justice." He warned that the Commission's action "may deepen the divisions within the EU."

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said his government considers the infringement procedures to be "blackmail and un-European behavior." Speaking in parliament ahead of the warning, Szijjarto repeated the government position that even the European Commission cannot take away the member states' right to decide who it wants to let into their country.

The executive Commission is watchdog over the EU's treaties and enforces agreements made between the 28 member states. Avramopoulos praised Austria and Slovakia for recently pledging to do more. But as of June 9, Austria had still not relocated a single refugee. Slovakia had taken in 16.

Germany, France, the Netherlands and Finland have so far been the countries taking in the largest number of refugees — Germany received more than 5,600, France around 3,500. Rights group Amnesty International said it hopes the Commission action will spur others to do more.

Amnesty's European office director Iverna McGowan said the move "makes it clear that countries will not be allowed to get away with dragging their feet to avoid accepting refugees. Solidarity is the key to a fair and humane response to refugees in Europe."
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:47 pm

Utter madness, yet again, from the EU. This constant bullying is what is destroying it.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:19 am

Lázár: Hungary “won’t give in” to EC “pressure”.

The European Commission is using the infringement procedure it has launched against Hungary over the issue of migrant distribution quotas to pressurise Hungary to change its position, the government office chief said. “This is not an option,” János Lázár told a weekly press briefing. “Hungary has not taken in any migrants and it does not intend to in the future either,” Lázár said, adding that Hungary had already “done its part” in showing solidarity over the migrant crisis, arguing that Hungary’s border protection measures had stopped the flow of migrants towards Austria and Germany via the Balkans route. Hungary’s stance is to “stop migration rather than organise it”, Lázár said.

He said Brussels had applied double standards against Hungary by constantly punishing the country instead of recognising its efforts. “They want to redistribute 98,255 migrants among European countries on a mandatory basis. This fits the plans George Soros has dictated to EU leaders,” Lázár claimed. So far 20,000 people have been transferred from one country to another, which means that “the programme has not been implemented”, he said, and suggested that the majority of EU members were boycotting the decision.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:22 am

Good for Hungary and the other V4 nations. Merkel caused this = it's Germany's problem, not theirs.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:36 pm

Hungary rejects US criticism of law on foreign-funded NGOs.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's government said Tuesday that the United States is applying double standards in its criticism of a new law on civic groups that receive funds from foreign donors. A statement from the government spokesman's office said the U.S. State Department was being "misled" by a disinformation campaign appearing in international media and "strongly assisted by Soros organizations."

People gather to protest in Heroes Square in Budapest.

At the center of the dispute are some civic groups supported by Hungarian-American financier George Soros, such as the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights advocate which also provides legal aid to asylum-seekers, and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union.

"We would like everyone to see which organizations funded from abroad are seeking to influence Hungarian public life and migration policy in accordance with foreign interests," the Hungarian government said. "It is regrettable to see even the U.S. Department of State being misled on this issue."

Hungary again compared its legislation to the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which mainly has been applied to political lobbyists for foreign governments, not civic groups like those covered by the Hungarian law. The United States said such comparisons are "false."

Prime Minister Viktor Orban says some of the foreign-funded groups want to dismantle his radical anti-migrant policies. While supported by many Hungarians, those policies have led to disputes with the European Union and criticism from the United Nations' refugee agency.

Under the legislation approved by lawmakers from the governing parties and signed by President Janos Ader last week, groups getting more than around $26,000 a year from abroad have to register with the courts and identify themselves as being foreign-funded.

Some affected groups have announced a boycott of the new rules, saying their financial records are already public. The State Department said Monday it was "concerned" by the legislation. "By portraying groups supported with foreign funding as acting against the interests of Hungarian society, this legislation would weaken the ability of Hungarians to organize and address concerns in a legitimate and democratic manner," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:53 pm

"By portraying groups supported with foreign funding as acting against the interests of Hungarian society, this legislation would weaken the ability of Hungarians to organize and address concerns in a legitimate and democratic manner," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Who the HELL does she think she's kidding? It's long past time Washington cleaned up its own backyard and stopped meddling in other countries' internal affairs.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:09 am

Four face murder charges in Hungary migrant death truck trial.

By Krisztina Than | KECSKEMET, Hungary

Four men went on trial in Hungary on Wednesday charged with murdering 71 refugees found suffocated to death in the back of a lorry at the height of Europe's migrant crisis in 2015.

The one Afghan and three Bulgarian defendants walked into the court room packed with journalists and onlookers, accompanied by police wearing full face masks.

The refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan - 59 men, eight women and four children - were found crammed into the small, unventilated vehicle, abandoned on the side of a motorway in Hungary's neighbour, Austria.

Their deaths shocked Europe as it struggled to cope with the biggest influx of migrants since World War Two.

"The 71 victims due to the small space, inability to move, a lack of air and overheating ... died shortly after they set off on the journey. Before their death they continuously banged on the walls of the lorry and shouted," the court said in a statement posted on its website before the hearing.

It was the worst incident seen on the overland route across the Balkans, where hundreds of thousands of people were making their way from the Middle East, Africa and southern Asia up to the richer countries of western Europe.

The trial is taking place in Hungary as authorities say that is where the refugees died, at the beginning of their trip into Austria.

The four defendants are also charged with trafficking other migrants over several months alongside seven other men. Only six of those, all Bulgarians, appeared in court in the Hungarian city of Kecskemet. Authorities said one is still on the run.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:49 pm

Hungary: Opposition says hurt by law on political billboards.

A political billboard of the far-right Jobbik Party in Budapest Hungary that reads: “Jobbik: On the people’s side. You work, they steal - that is why salaries are low.” The poster shows Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, and Lorinc Meszaros, one of Hungary’s richest people who has attributed his wealth in part to his friendship with Orban. Hungarian government lawmakers passed legislation on Friday which the opposition claims will limit their billboard campaigns.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Lawmakers from Hungary's governing parties have approved legislation on political advertising which opposition parties say will limit their billboard campaigns. The new rules approved Friday ban billboard owners from giving discounts to most political parties, subject to heavy fines. The government says the aim of the law is to fight illegal party financing.

The law is seen aimed mainly at the far-right Jobbik party whose current, widespread billboard campaign says Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his allies are stealing while other Hungarians have to work for their money.

The billboards are in spaces rented from Lajos Simicska, a businessman and former head of Hungary's tax office who accumulated his fortune mostly through state construction projects while he was close ally of Orban. They had a falling out in early 2015.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:22 pm

Amnesty International won't comply with Hungary NGO law.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Amnesty International has joined a boycott of new, mandatory reporting rules for foreign-funded civic groups in Hungary, the group said Tuesday. According to the government, the law that went into effect Tuesday is meant to increase transparency, but critics see it as an effort to stifle political dissent.

"Amnesty International has every intention of challenging Hungary's repressive new NGO law in the courts ... and no intention of complying with it until all these avenues have been exhausted," Amnesty International Hungary director Julia Ivan said.

Civic groups receiving more than around $26,200 a year from abroad have to register with the courts within 15 days and include in most of their online and printed publications that they are foreign-funded.

The law passed earlier this month reflects the conflict between Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Hungarian-American financier George Soros, whose ideal of an "open society" is at odds with Orban's desire to turn Hungary into an "illiberal state."

Soros' Open Society Foundations support some of the non-governmental organizations affected by the law, such as the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights advocate, and corruption watchdog Transparency International.

The government sees those groups as "foreign agents" working against Hungarian interests, especially by supporting the rights of asylum-seekers. Hungary has imposed strict measures to try to keep migrants out.

Orban reiterated his criticism of Soros on Tuesday, describing the wealthy philanthropist as "a speculator operating an extensive mafia network who endangers Europe's peace and future." The Helsinki Committee and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union say their financial situations are already "fully transparent." They have announced boycotts and legal appeals of the law.
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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

Post  bb1 on Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:28 pm

I am afraid that Amnesty is another organisation that has lost its way over recent years.

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Re: Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU - Part 2

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