Hungary: Government Intensifies Smear Campaign Against Civil Society

Washington

In response to the Hungarian government’s nationwide television and billboard advertising campaign vilifying civil society organizations, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The government of Hungary has resorted to tactics reminiscent of the darkest days of dictatorship in its vilification of refugees, and civil society organizations that advocate an orderly, humane policy of immigration,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “The imagery and language used by Prime Minister Orban’s government is deeply offensive and indeed anti-Semitic, especially its targeting of the Open Society Foundations and its Hungarian-born founder, George Soros. His organization has sought to secure fundamental freedoms for all Hungarians, including minorities. The political views of its founder are not legitimate topics of concern of Hungary's government. The government’s demonization of refugees and of civil society should offend all who value basic human rights and open, democratic societies."

Hungary is rated Free in Freedom in the World 2017, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, Free in Freedom on the Net 2016, and receives a democracy score of 3.54, on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2017.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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