Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2018, 12:53 GMT

World Report 2012 - European Union: Hungary

Publisher Human Rights Watch
Publication Date 22 January 2012
Cite as Human Rights Watch, World Report 2012 - European Union: Hungary, 22 January 2012, available at: [accessed 23 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

A widely criticized media law, which undermines freedom of expression entered into force on January 1, the day Hungary assumed the EU presidency. Amendments adopted in March left in place the most significant problems, including overly broad and vague restrictions on media reporting with violations punishable by large fines, and regulatory powers in the hands of government-appointed bodies.

A new constitution was adopted in April. Drafted by the ruling Fidesz party, it contains provisions that discriminate against women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people; and people with disabilities. In June the CoE's Venice Commission criticized the lack of consultation with civil society and recommended amendments. The constitution goes into effect in January 2012.

Migrants from third countries entering Hungary through Ukraine continued to be returned across the border despite evidence of ill-treatment in Ukraine, in some cases after their pleas to seek asylum in Hungary were allegedly ignored. Legislation adopted in December 2010 increased maximum immigration detention to twelve months, and permitted extended detention for asylum seekers.

Roma faced harassment and threats from vigilante groups in rural areas. In April the Hungarian Red Cross evacuated 277 Roma from a settlement after an anti-Roma vigilante group threatened to conduct "military" training nearby. Four men stood trial in March for killing six Roma and injuring ten others during attacks between July 2008 and August 2009. The verdict was pending at this writing.

During Hungary's Universal Periodic Review at the HRC in May, numerous countries recommended action against discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, and to improve minority rights, in particular of Roma, including by combating hate crimes.

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