Press Release: Meeting of High Commissioner of Police and President of HCLU

On August 7th, 2007 Dr. Bencze József, Liutenant General High Comissioner of Hungarian National Police invited Balázs Dénes, President of the HCLU and his colleagues to a meeting at the National Police Headquarters. For results of this meeting, please read the below press release.

Press release of the meeting between High Commissioner of Police and HCLU President.

On August 7th, 2007 Dr. Bencze József, Liutenant General High Comissioner of Hungarian National Police and Dr. Balázs Dénes, President of the HCLU and his colleagues attended a personal meeting at the National Police Headquarters. The meeting was initiated by the High Commissioner of Police. During the meeting, HCLU issues relating to police operations were discussed.

The High Commissioner of Police stressed that the police intends to establish a fair relationship based on facts with all civil rights groups, including the HCLU. He has also taken this opportunity to inform of the findings of the investigation into the use of constraining tools by police during the mass demonstrations in the autumn of 2006. He has also informed of steps and measures police are taking in order to guarantee and respect human rights. As an example he mentioned the Identity Check Reference Book, which outlines the regulations on police practices and informs citizens of their rights. It also provides the possibility for re-examination of current identity check practices. The Police Ethics Codex and the High Commissioner’s order on tasks in the fight against corruption were issued.

President of the HCLU offered his assistance in the compilation of the mentioned Police Ethics Codex, but at the same time indicated that the HCLU finds it important that in each and every case police are to inform of the applied measures and state reasons for the need of the identity check with full respect of the law. Balázs Dénes also welcomed the issueing of the Police Ethics Codex and offered the police access to all professional material available to the HCLU related to the subject. Both parties agreed that in order to gain the trust of the public it is essential for police leaders to seperate themselves from actions of police officers convicted for crimes committed on duty and also to consider re-examination of the termination of duty in cases where coutrs have previously dismissed the suit. Regarding this issue, both parties agreed that the precondition of police vocation is a blemishless police force.

Regarding drug-problems the HCLU welcomed the attitude of police authorities of emphasizing measures against drug dealers and distributors as opposed to drug users.
Both parties also agreed that despite the media’s demand on news, police briefings should always be based on facts and should always respect the rights of personal data and personal rights. In this matter results can only be achieved by the law abiding attitudes and respect of personal rights by all persons involved and the associates of telecommunication networks.

During the discussion about the right to assembly, staff of the HCLU have brought attention to the precarious state of law enforcement and have also brought attention to the necessity of employing the contents of the verdicts returned by courts in such cases. The HCLU has stressed the obligation of the state to guarantee the right to assembly in such a way, that no other groups may disturb them. To achieve this, police must have a decided manner. It is also necessary to investigate the trouble-makers to determine whether - besides breach of peace and bodily harm - violation of the right to assembly or crimes against national, ethnic, racial or religious groups has been committed. The police and the HCLU have also agreed that a reference book on the right to assembly should also be compiled. It would serve as a guide for citizens on their rights and inform of regulations on police practices.

August 7th, 2007



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