Hungarian Government and Parliament should respect European Court of Human Rights judgment
On 20 April 2012, Hungarian Minister of Justice and Public Administration, Mr. Tibor Navracsics submitted to Parliament a draft Parliamentary Resolution not to execute the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) taken in the case of Fratanolo v Hungary.
The judgment, handed down by the Strasbourg-based court in November 2011, is the second such decision establishing that Hungary had violated the right to freedom of expression protected by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by criminalizing the wearing of the red star in public. Under the minister’s proposal, the penal provision should remain in effect and Hungary should not pay the just satisfaction awarded by the ECtHR.
In an unprecedented act in 20 years of Hungarian democracy, the proposed resolution, which is not legally binding in nature but carries serious political implications, calls on the Hungarian Parliament and Government to breach and disregard an international treaty signed by Hungary.
The undersigned non-governmental organizations call on the Minister of Justice and Public Administration to withdraw the proposal, which, if adopted by Parliament, would declare that Hungary is not willing to execute the ECtHR ruling. We call on all Members of Parliament to vote ‘No’ in case the proposal for a resolution is tabled.
No Member of Parliament or political party has been requested or authorized by voters to disregard Hungary’s obligations deriving from her membership in the Council of Europe. We hereby remind the Government and all Members of Parliament who believe in democratic values and are committed to Hungary’s membership in the European Union that the EU is just in the process of acceding to the European Convention on Human Rights, and the jurisprudence of the ECtHR also guides legal developments and practices in the EU. By breaching her obligations as a member of the Council of Europe, Hungary would open yet another front line in the on-going disputes with the EU, regarding an issue in which the Government’s position is clearly untenable. The responsibility for this shall lie with the author and supporters of the parliamentary resolution, while its consequences will have to be borne by all Hungarian citizens.
Budapest, 24 April 2012
Amnesty International Hungary
Hungarian LGBT Association
CivilMédia Nonprofit Ltd
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union
Mental Disability Advocacy Center
Eötvös Károly Public Policy Institute
Minority Rights Group Europe
Chance for Children Foundation
Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities
Fresh Ideas Association
PATENT Legal Defence Association
Idependent Trade Union of Police Officers
Hatter Association for Gays
Labrisz Lesbian Association
Hungarian Europe Society
Rainbow Mission Foundation
Hungarian Helsinki Committee
Partners Hungary Foundation