HUNGARY: The Hungarian government must apologize to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (UPDATED)

(UPDATE – 15 Janaury 2020)

Read the text of apology in English here.

(Hungarian Helsinki Committee)

In its final decision the Metropolitan Regional Court of Budapest ruled in favour of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) in the lawsuit the NGO initiated in October 2017. The Hungarian government must publish an apology to the HHC for 30 days on the opening page of its website and pay a compensation of 2 million HUF.

In October 2017 the HHC sued the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister because it had published misleading statements about the organization in a ‘National Consultation’ questionnaire distributed to all households in Hungary. The HHC claimed that in Question 5 of the questionnaire the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister had violated the organization’s right to good reputation.

In a first instance decision the court had already ruled in favour of the HHC.

In its final ruling the Court found that the statements in Question 5 were false and misrepresented the human rights organization. The Court called on the government to issue an apology on its website for 30 days as this was proportionate to the harm caused by the government, as the questionnaire had been sent to 8 million people. The ruling also included that the government pay a compensation of HUF 2 million for damages.