Zoltán Somogyvári

Senior legal officer, Refugee programme

I have been working for the Hungarian Helsinki Committee since 2011. In the early years, as a legal advisor I answered letters from prisoners, wrote complaints against aggressive police officers, represented many people seeking asylum during their asylum process, and helped reunite refugee families.

Between 2016 and 2019, I coordinated the Lawyer’s Network of our Refugee Programme. At that time, as part of our excellent team, I was able to take part in our strategic refugee litigation work which, with the narrowing of domestic remedies, we conducted primarily before the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union.

During my first 8 years here, I have been already enthusiastically sharing my experiences through creative education and training tools. This became so important to me that since 2019, entrusting the legal assistance work to my colleagues, I have been working exclusively to make refugees in Hungary feel more at home by facilitating their participation in community affairs. Moreover, because of my own sense of feeling at home in Hungary, it is also important for me to strengthen my compatriots’ commitment to equality and human rights.

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