Wednesday, June 2, 2010



May 27, 2010,
CET news
Anti-Roma attacks continued in Hungary, says AI 2009 report
Violent attacks against Roma continued in Hungary last year, Amnesty International said in its latest global report on human rights published on Thursday morning.

The world's largest human rights organisation said that 2009 was marked by "political and economic upheaval" in Hungary that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany.

The document said that the "radical right-ring organisation" Magyar Garda (Hungarian Guard) staged a series of marches in towns with a Roma population in eastern Hungary.

The report notes that Jobbik, which it describes as "an extreme right-wing political party with a strong anti-Roma and an increasingly anti-Semitic agenda" gained three seats in the European parliamentary elections in June.

AI said that a Hungarian court banned Magyar Garda, an organisation linked to Jobbik, arguing that it overstepped its rights as an association and curtailed liberties of the Roma. In July, however, Jobbik announced the relaunch of the Guard and one of its newly elected MEPs wore the Guard's uniform in the first parliamentary session in Brussels.

In October the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern about the rise of extremism in Hungary, and appealed to all political party leaders to ensure that no xenophobic or anti-Roma statements be made in the 2010 parliamentary election campaign.

The report discusses in detail the fatal attacks against Roma people in Tatarszentgyorgy, Tiszalok and Kisleta.

AI notes that "about 400 Romani women initiated legal proceedings" against Oszkar Molnar, then an MP of the Fidesz party, over his allegedly defamatory remarks on Roma women. He was also widely criticised by NGOs, other politicians and the media for his anti-Semitic comments during a TV interview.

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