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Visit Puts Orban Government’s Cruel Migration Policies Under Spotlight

On September 12, Budapest will welcome the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, a Pope whose message constantly called for welcoming migrants and refugees. But Hungary’s treatment of people seeking protection is a far cry from Pope Francis’…
Pope Francis unveils the sculpture on the theme of refugees and migration ' Angels Unawares ' by Canadian sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz, on Migrant and Refugee World Day, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019.
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Congress Ousts Dozens of Judges

(Washington DC) – Two laws passed by El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly on August 31, 2021, threaten judicial independence by allowing authorities to dismiss all judges and prosecutors who are 60 years old or older, Human Rights Watch said today.…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele delivers his annual address to the nation before Congress, in San Salvador, El Salvador, Tuesday, June 1.
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Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
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Reporting Not Matched by Action to Protect Democratic Institutions

The launch of the European Commission’s latest report on the state of rule of law in the European Union should be a milestone. It contains dozens of pages of analysis for each EU country on threats to democratic institutions, covering judicial…
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders delivers the opening statements during a plenary session on the Commissions 2020 Rule of law report at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on June 23, 2021. 
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The Tuesday (22 June) European Council meeting on Hungary and Poland is a chance for the EU to show that it is finally taking EU values seriously. For too long, Ursula von der Leyen's European Commission has offered few signs of prioritising…
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Concerted Action Needed to Counter Rule of Law Threats in Poland and Hungary

(Brussels) – European Union affairs ministers should put the governments of Hungary and Poland on notice that there is no place for attacks on the rule of law in the EU and step up scrutiny of their human rights-abusive policies, Amnesty International…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
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Equating Pedophilia with Sexual and Gender Diversity is False, Discriminatory, Stigmatizing

Hungary’s parliament adopted a bill today which effectively bans discussion of sexual and gender diversity in schools, media, advertising, and other public spaces, slapping those who violate it with administrative sanctions that could include fines.…
Thousands protest the anti-LGBT law in Budapest, Hungary, June 14, 2021. 
News

Latest Attack on Diversity Could Affect Health Care, Education

(Berlin) – Hungary’s parliament should reject a bill that would prohibit discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation, and violates Hungary’s international legal obligations, Human Rights Watch said today. The law targets content “promoting”…
People march with a giant rainbow flag from the parliament building in Budapest during the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade on July 6, 2019.
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June 10, 2021   H.E. Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón President of the Government of Spain La Moncloa Aven Madrid, 28071 Spain   Dear President Sánchez, I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch in advance of…
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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Mark Istanbul Convention’s 10th Anniversary with Action

(Berlin) – Council of Europe member states should reinforce efforts to combat violence against women by swiftly ratifying and carrying out a landmark regional convention on women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released…
People gathered in Istanbul in March 2021 to protest Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, a treaty designed to safeguard women from gender-based violence. 
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Government Should End Harassment of Independent Groups

Despite a chorus of international criticism, the Hungarian government has been in no hurry to act on a June 2020 EU Court decision that states a 2017 law forcing civil society organizations receiving more than 20.000 EUR per year in foreign funds to…
People protest in Heroes’ square against a new law that would undermine Central European University, a liberal graduate school of social sciences founded by U.S. financier George Soros in Budapest, Hungary, April 12, 2017.
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In December, an intensive care doctor was quoted in Hungarian media saying that many of the Covid-19 patient deaths are in fact the result of other infections they picked up during their treatment for the disease in Hungarian public hospitals. That…
Prime Minister Orban in early April visiting the Budapest Korányi Institute of Pulmonology  - a clinic with specific responsibility for Covid-19 patients. In the background are some indications of disrepair including tiles falling off the wall and an “out of order” sign on the elevator.
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Nobody should be fooled by bromides like the one that Salvadoran Vice President Félix Ulloa offered this week on television. Ulloa said the government was trying to “promote” free speech in a context of “an avalanche of negative campaigns aimed…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks to his supporters in San Salvador, El Salvador, on February 20, 2020.
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Law Banning Gender Change Still Rife with Discrimination

Transgender and intersex people in Hungary recently won a small victory amid rampant discrimination when the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that a legal ban on changing gender, introduced last year, does not apply retroactively. The ruling…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, center right, speaks during a plenary session in the House of Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, Monday, March 23, 2020.
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Fidesz Departure from European Parliament Group Highlights Party’s Failure to Act

The decision yesterday by Hungary’s ruling party Fidesz to quit the main conservative group in the EU parliament may seem like a decisive step in the power struggle within the European People’s Party (EPP). Yet the truth is it leaves the question…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban takes part in a European People Party (EPP) summit in St Julian's, Malta, March 30, 2017.
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Shutdown of Independent Radio Station Should Trigger EU Action

A Hungarian court this week forced the embattled independent radio station Klubradio off air, likely for good. The court upheld a September decision by the country’s media regulator to revoke Klubradio’s license for alleged breaches of the country’s…
Klubradio's director and CEO Andras Arato, right, talks to colleague Milhaly Hardy in the studio of Klubradio in Budapest, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.
News

Governments Should Include Sex Workers in Public Health and Financial Support Responses

Norwegian police have arrested sex workers over accusations that they violated quarantine restrictions. Although not accused of any crime, the workers, from other European countries, face detention and expulsion from Norway. Media reports suggest some…
People demonstrate in support of sex workers, April 14, 2018.