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Civic Nation Unity in Deversity

Application of Legislation, Criminal Cases, Court Rulings

Application of Legislation, Criminal Cases, Court Rulings

Unfortunately, Hungary does not record violent hate crime statistics. Police, prosecution and judiciary are reluctant to recognise racism as an aggravating circumstance in a crime and the Criminal Code does not contain corresponding provisions. There is also no information about the ethnic composition of victims of such crime. One of the main problems is the fact that Hungarian police are not trained in identifying the nature of hate crime; there are no regulations for police procedures in such cases.

On July 3, 2015 Minority Rights Group published a report on minorities and indigenous peoples of the world. MRG notes that police does not “really” effectively investigate crimes where the victims were Roma. The report indicates that refugees, immigrants, Jews, Muslims and Roma are the most vulnerable groups when it comes to hate crime. A general problem is that victims often have nowhere to turn to. Furthermore, Hungarian legislation against hate crime often punishes minorities rather than protects it.

A lot of hate crime remains unreported due to victims fearing xenophobia on the part of the police. Victims do not receive psychological or legal help. Hungary has serious deficiencies in law enforcement, when it comes to hate crime. This includes the classification of hate crime as domestic violence, the high latency of hate crime due to victims’ distrust towards the police and law enforcement’s reluctance to initiate such proceedings. There is also lack of statistics that would allow judging the extent of such crime. However, the situation is developing in the positive direction.

On January 16, Budapest city court ruled that local police has been persecuting LGBT during the 2012 gay pride event. On September 18, this decision was upheld in the Court of Appeal. In February, Debrecen Court of Appeal sentenced a man to life in prison for murdering a homosexual.

On July 2, Pest District Court sentenced a man to 2 years suspended term for Holocaust denial and denial of the crimes of the communist regime.

On October 18, Budapest Court of Appeal made a final decision to ban the Hungarian Association of Self-Defence for a Better Hungary. The court ruled the organisation illegal after its crimes against the Roma people spanning four years, 2008 – 2012. Fiscal and financial claims against the liquidated organisation must be satisfied before May 16, 2015, when it will be removed from the register.

Nevertheless, there have been some court verdicts that can be considered as condoning xenophobia. On March 24, Gyula prosecutor's office rejected the claim on the prohibition of a xenophobic organisation “Association for a Better Tomorrow”.

On June 19, the court rejected a claim of the historian Tomas Kraus made to the director of the Veritas Research Institute of History Sandor Sakali, who referred to the findings of T. Kraus and said during an interview with ATV that the deportation of Jews from Kamianets-Podilskyi in August of 1941 should be seen by historians as a fact of migration.

Migration legislation is generally complied with, while it should be noted that the modernisation of the Citizenship Law in 2010 has resulted in a sharp increase in new citizens, mainly due to ethnic Hungarians.

By the end of 2014, 670 000 people received citizenship. 66% of new Hungarian citizens were from Trainsylvania, 17% - Vojvodina, 14% - Transcarpathia. On the other hand, around 500 thousand Hungarians immigrated to Western Europe.

In 2013, Hungary experienced a sharp increase in immigration from developing countries. Between January and August 2013, Hungary received 15 000 applications for asylum. In 2014, this number somewhat declined (4 846 people in Q1 and Q2 of 2014 compared to 11 607 over the same period in 2013). This resulted in huge deficits in Hungary’s migration system.

Refugees in Hungary do not receive free legal assistance during their applications; it is currently financed by the EU. Asylum seeker centres are lacking in translators and medical staff.

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