MEPs grill Orbán and Timmermans on human rights in Hungary
GUE/NGL MEPs confronted Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, and European Commission Vice President, Frans Timmermans, over the restrictions on universities, the parliament, the media and NGOs during the European Parliament's debate this afternoon.
GUE/NGL President, Gabi Zimmer, addressed Orbán directly on human rights issues:
"What do you mean when you talk about your 'proud Hungarian people'? Do you mean all the people who live in Hungary, including different ethnic groups such as Roma and migrants, all the people who work in your country? And do they have the same rights, are they treated equally and not discriminated against? This is the key question I would like to ask you first."
"You have made a law that is directed solely against the Central European University. Is this about freedom of access to study and research, or is it about cheap political gains for you?
"If I am not mistaken, you personally received a grant from Soros to attend Oxford University. Therefore, I am surprised by your hypocritical approach to his university in your country.
"It's not only us here in the European Parliament who are criticising this; 80,000 of your own citizens have protested on the streets in Hungary. That’s why we are appealing to you to ensure that their rights are respected."
French MEP, Marie-Christine Vergiat, also addressed the Hungarian Prime Minister:
"Step by step, you are systematically trying to remove all the counter-balances to your power including the parliament, the media, the justice system, the education sector and NGOs."
"Your 'Let's stop Brussels' survey is like a joke and the restrictions you have placed on NGOs are inspired by the ones in Russia."
"Even more worrying is your treatment of refugees and migrants. We are left to wonder if the right to asylum still exists in Hungary when we see the systematic detention of asylum seekers including children, the electric fence along the Hungary-Serbia border, and even snipers along the borders!"
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75