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(c) Pester Lloyd / 24 - 2014 NACHRICHTEN 12.06.2014


Gegen die Diffamierung von Bürgerrechtsgruppen: Internationale Solidarität mit der ungarischen Zivilgesellschaft

Die führende Bürgerrechtsgruppe TASZ hat eine internationale Solidaritätsaktion von über 60 NGO´s aus aller Welt initiiert, die gegen die jüngsten Attacken der ungarischen Regierung auf die Zivilgesellschaft, im Zusammenhang mit der Supsendierung der Mittel aus den Norwegen-Fonds gerichtet ist. Am 12. Juni treffen sich die Vertreter der ungarischen und der norwegischen Regierung in Brüssel für erste Sondierungen über den Streit, hier die Details dazu. Aus diesem Anlass soll in Brüssel eine Petition mit nachfolgendem Wortlaut übergeben werden (darunter die Liste der Unterzeichner):

Montagsdemo in Budapest gegen die Attacken der Regierung auf die Zivilgesellschaft. Bericht und Hintergründe.

"Since its re-election, the Hungarian government launched a campaign attacking the credibility of Hungarian NGOs and trying to gain controlling power over their funding distributed independently from the government. On June 12th, the Hungarian Government meets the representatives of Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein to discuss the European Economic Area / Norway Grants. While talks between the Norwegian and Hungarian officials is under way, a number of NGOs from around the world, from Kenya through Egypt to Slovakia are showing solidarity with Hungarian NGOs by publishing a joint statement at 9am in support of the Hungarian civil sector’s independence and calling upon politicians to refrain from pressuring NGOs.


The Norway Financial Mechanism (Norway Grants) is part of an agreement between the EU and Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein on funding projects in less-developed European economies. The Hungarian government launched its attack against the Norway Grants at the beginning of April, only a day after its massive re-election victory. The Norwegian NGO Fund is a small portion of the Norway Grants, and is distributed by a consortium of four Hungarian NGOs, which have previously administered the grants with great success. The accusation is that through the four foundations, Norway is trying to influence Hungarian politics. Norway firmly denied these accusations.

When the Norwegian government rejected the charges, the Hungarian government sent agents of the Government Control Office (KEHI) to audit the Fund's administering organizations. The government has led an escalating campaign accusing the four NGOs, which assisted Norway in disbursing the grants, of political meddling. It said KEHI would audit Okotars, the consortium leader NGO, but sent KEHI agents to two other partner organizations as well. The foundations were threatened with the suspension of their tax number if they refused to cooperate, which step would basically paralyze the NGO. The legal basis of the audit is disputed by the administering organizations of the consortium.

In the past years, NGOs, especially those critical of the government were subjected to defamatory attempts. On May 30, 2014, an article was published, which stated that the government blacklisted independent Hungarian civil organizations which have benefitted from the Norwegian NGO Fund based on their alleged political affiliation. In an emailed statement to Reuters on this day, the government said it had no intention of fighting individual NGOs, but it repeated the charges that the grants sought to exert political influence.

Civil organizations' opportunities for legal advocacy and the room to maneuver are becoming rarer, and media publications may be henceforward constrained to exercise self-censorship because regulations of the media law curtailing the freedom of speech and judicial practices would hold them back from publishing articles which criticize the government.

"We believe that a dynamic and independent civil society plays a fundamental role in a democratic society as one of the key checks and balances to governing power. As demonstrated by Putin’s Russia, the harassment could easily lead to the criminalization of NGOs and effectively hindering their work." - said Hungarian NGO's."


1. ALEG: Association for Gender Liberty and Equality (Romania)
2. American Civil Liberties Union (US)
3. Association for emancipation, solidarity and equality of women of RM – ESE (Macedonia)
4. ASTRA Federation for Women and Family Planning / ASTRA Secretariat (Poland/CEE-region)
5. Avocat à la Cour
6. Bill Walsh (human rights lawyer and participant of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable)
7. Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (Bulgaria)
1. Carpathian Foundation (Slovakia)
8. Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health (ASTRA)
9. Centre for Philanthropy
10. Centre Women and Modern World (Azerbaijan)
11. Centro Italiano Opere Femminili Salesiane - Formazione Professionale (Italy)
12. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
13. Ekopolis Foundation (Slovakia)
14. European Foundation Centre
15. European Schoolhead Association
16. European Women's Lobby
17. EWL: European Women’s Lobby
18. Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (Lithuania)
19. FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights / Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme)
20. GERT: Gender Education, Research and Technologies (Bulgaria)
21. Global Voices Online
22. GONG (Croatia)
23. Government Accountability Project (US)
24. HERA: Association for Health Education and Research (Macedonia)
25. Human Rights Monitoring Institute (Lithuania)
26. Human Rights Watch
27. ILGA Europe
28. Iniciatíva inakost' (Slovakia LGBT)
29. Irish Council for Civil Liberties
30. Kenya Human Rights Commission
31. Latvia's Association for Family Planning and Sexual Health (Latvia)
33. Liberty (UK)
34. Ljubljana Pride (Slovenia)
35. MEDEL (Magistrats européens pour la démocratie et les libertés)
36. (Poland) (közlemény linkelve)
37. Open Data Albania
38. Plataforma Portuguesa para os Direitos das Mulheres - PpDM (Portugal)
39. Poderopedia (Chile)
40. Prague Pride (Czech Republic)
41. Public Concern at work (UK)
42. Queer Leaders Forum (Slovakia LGBT)
43. Real People Real Vision (Georgia)
44. Society Without Violence (Armenia)
45. Sunlight Foundation (US)
46. The International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
47. Transparency International Croatia
48. Transparency International Finland
49. Transparency International Germany
50. Transparency International Greece
51. Transparency International Latvia
52. Transparency International Portugal
53. Transparency International Secretariat
54. Transparency International Slovenia
55. Transparency International UK
57. Union Women Center (Georgia)
58. VAWE Network: Women Against Violence Europe (közlemény linkelve)
60. Whistleblowing International Network
61. Women's Rights Center (Armenia)
62. Zagreb Pride (Croatia)


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