Minority rights institute fails to represent Hungarians living in the territories torn away
1st December, the anniversary of the Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia) "national assembly" declaring Transylvania's separation from Hungary and "unification" with Romania is a good time to review the Hungarian government's attempts to protect the rights of Hungarians living beyond the border. Well, let us reveal in advance that these attempts are half-hearted at best.
The operation, or rather the lack of operation of the De Gasperi Institute for Minority Rights (KJI) was criticized by Jobbik's vice presidents Tamás Sneider and István Szávay. Considering the past two decades, today is probably the time when we most need an efficient institute like that. However, you can hardly find any reports if you browse the institute's website. Furthermore, several widely publicized cases are not even mentioned at all, including that of István Máriás, a "Temerin boy" whose request for conditional parole from incarceration was rejected; the civil rights protection efforts related to the fines imposed on products labelled "Sekler flavours"; or the self-adhesive stickers with the SIC sign (Terra Siculorum – Sekler Land) that were classified as advertising material. We could keep listing the endless examples: trampling upon identity-related rights with regard to the placement of the Sekler flag, the lack of bilingual street signs or bilingual administration even in towns with a Hungarian majority, the matter of the Albert Wass statue in Szováta, etc.
As laid out in Article D of the Fundamental Law of Hungary: "Bearing in mind that there is one single Hungarian nation that belongs together, Hungary shall bear responsibility for the fate of Hungarians living beyond its borders, shall facilitate the survival and development of their communities, shall support their efforts to preserve their Hungarian identity, the effective use of their individual and collective rights, the establishment of their community self-governments, and their prosperity in their native lands, and shall promote their cooperation with each other and with Hungary." It sounds so nice, if only it were so in reality, too! This is our opinion, and Hungarians living in the territories torn away may probably agree. The problem is that not only don't they turn to the Institute with confidence, they are not even aware of its existence, say Sneider and Szávay in their written question.
"What efforts have you been making in order to enable our compatriots living in the Carpathian basin to be informed of KJI's operation and to turn to KJI with confidence?
Have you invested any energy into the communication of successfully resolved cases in the local media, thus sending a message to Hungarians suffering a violation of their rights that it is worth turning to the Institute?
What have you been doing in order to ensure that cooperating partners be available for the public in the Carpathian Basin as much as possible?
How can we look into the Institute's accounting to see how much it utilized the available resources or whether there are any plans for a targeted appearance in, or at least some attention to events that clearly represent the togetherness of the Hungarian nation, including the camp of Hungarian Youth of Transylvania, the Sekler Island or the Hungarian Island in Slovakia?
These are the questions posed by Jobbik's MPs, noting the lack of proper representation in international civil rights forums as well as the fact that the violation of the rights of Hungarians living in the territories torn away are not discussed in the European media.
Based on a proposition jointly submitted by Tamás Gaudi-Nagy, a member of Jobbik's faction and Ferenc Kalmár (Christian Democrat MP), a sum of 50 million HUF was allocated in the Y2012 Budget Act for the legal aid of Hungarians living beyond the border. This measure gave rise to the establishment of the De Gasperi Institute for Minority Rights (KJI), which indicated, as its purpose, the protection of the rights of Hungarians living beyond the border.
Autonomy - the government's enthusiasm subsides
"Hungarians living in the Carpathian Basin are entitled to dual citizenship, they are entitled to community rights and they are entitled to autonomy as well. This is our position, which we will represent in the international political sphere," this statement was not made by Sneider and Szávay but Viktor Orbán back in May 2014, but governmental enthusiasm seems to have subsided since then.
In response to our question, the Jobbik MPs explained that KJI should be working on facilitating the rights of native Hungarian communities for self-governance, and conduct an efficient operation to support such efforts. However, the organization fails to fulfill its mission, theysimply turn down cases they consider politically sensitive. The brief summary of Semjén's response may as well be that he thinks everything's fine
In his response to the two MPs' question, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén tried a communication trick, i.e. to sell something as if it was good when it is not. Little did he know that the media would soon report the appearance of Romanian masked riot police at the concert of rock band Ismerős Arcok in Transylvania, or that somebody would be fired from his job, just because he spoke Hungarian.
We reported yesterday that the house of the Kézdivásárhely (Târgu Secuiesc/ Sekler-Neumarkt) president of Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement was searched and he was carried to Bucharest in a manner reminiscent of ancient dictatorships or American action movies. By now, the action movie has turned into an absurd tragicomedy, after it was revealed that the members of the movement are accused of "terrorism", based on the firecrackers and sparklers found on them.
Jobbik believes that KJI must soon change its approach, while the government must back the institute politically so that it could have the courage and the willingness to provide legal protection for Hungarians living in the territories torn away. The examples clearly show that there will be a demand for it.
Alfahír.hu - Jobbik.com