77 university professors from 28 countries of various continents expressed their solidarity with the Hungarian Helsinki Committee calling for the immediate halting of envisaged measures to starve and strangle independent civil society in Hungary.
The declaration comes amid ongoing attacks against civil society organizations in Hungary and in relation to the Hungarian Parliament’s expected vote on the LEXNGO 2108 in May. The bill, if accepted in its current form would have a devastating impact on both Hungarian civil society and on all those who can only rely on support from NGOs. As a measure unprecedented in democratic societies, it would allow the government to simply ban the activities of organizations assisting refugees and migrants in a fast and arbitrary process.
The statement was signed by 77 outstanding professors and academics from 28 countries of Europe, the Americas and Australia. The solidarity call emphasizes: “The Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) is an outstanding human rights organization, well known and respected for its professionalism around the world, not only by civil society, but by academia, state authorities and the judiciary as well. We all personally know and highly respect their work. States should be proud of such NGOs, instead of aiming to silence them”.
It goes on to say: “Strong and independent civil society organisations are as indispensable for democracy and the rule of law as strong and independent universities. If NGOs such as the Hungarian Helsinki Committee are threatened, democracy is threatened.”
The professors call their governments and universities “to express their vivid discontent with Hungary’s legislation aiming at annihilating independent civil society and actively demonstrate their solidarity with the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the entire threatened Hungarian civil sector.”
The statement concludes with an appeal to the European Union to “prove to the world its credibility as a guardian and global promoter of fundamental rights, and immediately take action to prevent this flagrant human rights violation from happening on its own territory.”