Law Enforcement And Criminal Justice | Magyar Helsinki Bizottság
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People often feel vulnerable to law enforcement agencies. The HHC offers help in this inbalanced power relationship: we provide legal advice, legal representation, regularly monitor places of detention as well as make recommendations to improve people’s capacities to enforce their rights when they come into contact with the police and the prison service. Through our activities, closed institutions become more transparent and citizens’ vulnerability decreases.

In January, the Government unexpectedly announced that it intends to amend the system of compensations awarded to inmates for poor detention conditions. This may violate Hungary’s international obligations and points to the inadequacy of domestic policy, while the Government’s hostile rhetoric targeting detainees and their attorneys is unacceptable.

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Hungarian absurdity: Homeless people in handcuffs vs. human rights In Hungary, the practices established by the Police and the courts against homeless people seem to be humiliating and strongly discriminative. Since the criminalization of homelessness, which is and of itself is cruel, an affront to human dignity and seriously violating international human rights standards, procedural issues have been emerged.

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Within the framework of our EU project called ‘suspects in restrains – the importance of appearance: how suspects and accused persons are presented in the courtroom, in public and in the media (SIR)’, we carried out a research on how and to which extant the restraining measures, especially the use of handcuffs, can violate the presumption of innocence.

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The ProCam project funded by the European Commission’s Justice Programme is a multijurisdictional project on audiovisual recording of police interrogations of suspects, including minors and vulnerable persons. The overall objective of this multi-jurisdictional research is to assess whether audiovisual recording constitutes a simple and practical measure that can help create more transparency and accountability in pre-trial proceedings.

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The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) filed a complaint with the Hungarian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against the new criminal provision threatening with imprisonment those assisting asylum seekers. As for the so-called ‘special tax on immigration’ this law can only be challenged in Strasbourg, as the ruling majority deprived the Constitutional Court of its right to review tax laws years ago.

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