The Punitive State: if you can’t solve it, ban it!
Whenever there’s public dissent or the government finds no solution to a social problem, governments of the Fidesz party resorts to prohibition or punishment. Harassment and discrimination of the homeless has been ongoing for long, but this new level of persecution of homelessness began at the time of the second Fidesz government and has continuously been on Fidesz’s agenda ever since. In summer 2018, the two third majority of the parliament banned homelessness in the whole country, making the lives of one of the most vulnerable social groups even harder. The Law on Petty Offences was modified along the seventh amendment to the Fundamental Law, which enters into force on 15th October 2018.
The Hungarian Government introduced a draft Bill (T/707.) on the right to assembly, to replace the current law which has been in effect since 1989. The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union is of the view that the entire Bill should have been withdrawn and the current Act III of 1989 on the Right to Assembly should be modified where necessary. Executive summaries and a longer version of the analysis below were sent to all MPs as well as political parties with parliamentary presence before the Bill reached committee stage and second reading in Parliament. However, the Parliament enacted the new law on the right to assembly on July 20th, 2018.
Over the past number of years, law enforcement and security forces have increasingly turned to the use of crowd-control weapons (CCWs) to respond to popular protests. Today, the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) release "Lethal in Disguise: The Health Consequences of Crowd-Control Weapons", a report documenting the health effects of these weapons.
In the face of the most serious migration crisis to hit Europe in the many years, the Hungarian government took legal and physical steps to stop refugees at the southern border: the Serbian section of the country’s border was sealed with barbed wire fences while arguably unconstitutional criminal sanctions were introduced. The new border control measures took effect on September 15, 2015. As a result, thousands of refugees were stopped at the Serbian side of the Röszke-Horgos border crossing point, where they were not provided with any relevant information, accommodation, medical treatment, and only faced a quite slow official border-crossing procedure.
On Tuesday, November 18th, a representative of the ACLU, CCLA, CELS, EIPR, HCLU, KHRC, LRC and Liberty, who are part of the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO), made a presentation at a public hearing on the right to protest organized by Brazil’s Federal Attorney General’s Office and Sao Paulo State’s prosecutors’ office. The purpose of the hearing was to exchange data, information, criticism and proposals related to exercising that right.