Justice

Interactions with the police and courts are commonplace. A police officer can check your identity in the street, and can fine you for speeding or for not having a bell on your bicycle. You can also come into contact with the police as a victim of a crime; for example if you have been attacked because of your skin colour, religion, ethnicity, political convictions, or because someone simply did not like who you were holding hands with in the street.

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In such a situation, it is your right to have the authorities explain your rights and what is happening to you in an easily understandable manner. You have a right to legal representation and to fair treatment by the police when they take your statement.

Prison conditions reveal a lot about a society. In a democratic European country, a person must never be tortured or held in inhuman conditions regardless of the crime they may have committed. Hundreds of people are currently detained in Hungarian prisons for simple misdemeanours, like being unable to pay a fine. Many people must sit in detention for months before it turns out that they did not commit any crime. One of the stated goals of incarceration is deterrence and crime prevention, but it is equally important to ensure that those being released from prison are able to reintegrate into society upon release, by finding a job and dignified subsistence. However, years spent in overcrowded and depressing prison conditions often produce the opposite effect. This is why we have worked for decades to ensure fair, rule-abiding law enforcement, fair criminal proceedings and humane prison conditions.

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