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

Report published by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee on 20/06/2023 – accessible here.

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.