Five Years and Counting: Government Attacks against Civil Society 2018-2023

Five years ago, on World Refugee Day, the Hungarian Parliament passed the infamous “Stop Soros” law, criminalizing assistance provided for asylum seekers and stigmatizing independent NGOs. Taking stock of the past five years, our new paper puts the attacks faced by Hungarian NGOs in the context of an illiberal transition.

On 20 June 2018 on World Refugee Day, the adoption of the “Stop Soros” legislation threatened those who provide assistance to asylum-seekers with criminal sanctions, including potential imprisonment. The passing of the law gave concrete expression to the government’s propaganda stigmatizing independent civil actors as servants of foreign interests as well as enemies of the national community and created a direct existential threat to independent civil society. 

Despite five years of constant intimidation, smear campaigns and legal and administrative threats, Hungarian human rights defending NGOs are still standing with an unwavering determination to help those in need amid a political system which is built on the rule of the mighty and the complete ideological domination of the political majority.

Our new paper provides an overview of the attacks that Hungarian NGOs have been facing during the past five years in the course of Hungary’s illiberal transition.

➡️ Download the paper from here.




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Hungarian Helsinki Committee