End intimidation of Hungary’s civil society

End intimidation of Hungary’s civil society

Seventeen Transparency International national chapters across Europe came together this week to increase the pressure on the Hungarian government in an effort to stop its intimidation of civil society.

In actions that are stifling the voice of civil society, the Government Control Office (KEHI) of Hungary inspected three non-governmental organisations that administer the civil society funding programme of the European Economic Area and Norway Grants. The government has also compiled lists of grant recipients, all organisations working on anti-corruption, human rights, gender equality and freedom of speech, as well as of members of the selection panels.

Image of protestor
A protestor cancels his subscription
with Magyar Telekom, owner of the
news portal where the Editor-in-Chief
was fired after breaking a series of
corruption scandals – allegedly
under government pressure

Chapters from the global anti-corruption coalition have told Ambassadors to Hungary and their own foreign ministries that they must send a clear and unequivocal message to the leadership in Budapest that every government, irrespective of political affiliation, should uphold the rights of citizens in a democracy to freely monitor and evaluate public institutions as well as office-holders.

Transparency International chapters from Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom sent letters to senior officials across Europe that said: “Civil liberties and fundamental human rights, an autonomous civil society and independent media serve as the bedrock of democratic values and a free society. Hungary, together with all other countries, has the responsibility to make sure that these values are protected and can freely flourish.” 

The Norwegian government has also rejected accusations that Norway has interfered in the internal politics of Hungary. It says it only supports projects with goals in accordance with the objectives of the NGO programme of the EEA and Norway Grants and opens its call for funding to all organisations irrespective of the political leaning.

Transparency International is the global anti-corruption movement with more than 100 chapters around the world. All its member organisations, including Transparency International Hungary, are non-partisan.

Image of Protests
Thousands took to the streets in Budapest last week,
protesting the recent oppressive measures of the government

Editor's note: This feature was amended on 18 June to remove a link to the core text of the letter, as national chapters customised the letter for their own contexts.

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

Former vice-president on trial: a watershed moment for Portugal and Angola

Manuel Vicente is the former head of the all-powerful Angolan state oil company Sonangol and was, until a few months ago, the vice-president of Angola. Now he is the main target of a high-profile corruption case in Lisbon.

The theme for the 18th edition of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) is announced

Building on the priorities set out in the Panama Declaration, the 18th IACC in Denmark from 22 to 24 October 2018 will move the pledge of acting together now to concrete action.

A new home for our corruption research

Transparency International is excited to announce the launch of the Knowledge Hub, a dedicated online space for our research.

Pardon me? Presidential clemency and impunity for grand corruption

Recent events in Brazil and Peru have shone a spotlight on the issue of presidential pardons in cases of grand corruption. Read more to find out the best practices that legislators can use to ensure that pardons are not abused for political purposes.

Stopping Dirty Money: the Global Effective-O-Meter

As of December 2017, global effectiveness at stopping money laundering stands at 32% effectiveness.

Corruption in the USA: The difference a year makes

A new survey by Transparency International shows that the US government has a long way to go to win back citizens’ trust.

Anti-Corruption Day 2017: Empowering citizens’ fight against corruption

The 9 December, is Anti-corruption Day. A key part of Transparency International’s work is to help people hold their governments to account. Have a look at what we've been doing around the world!

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world