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TASZ, TI, Helsinki Committee unwelcome in Hungary

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ), Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Transparency International are among the NGOs that the current Hungarian government is aiming to curb, according to Szilárd Németh, a vice president and MP of the governing party Fidesz, online news portal index.hu reported citing an ATV interview with the politician.

According to Németh, interviewed on private television channel ATV, the aforementioned organizations are those that need to be restrained in Hungary because they “want to interfere in big politics without any kind of legitimate participation,” the online daily quoted the MP as saying.

Index.hu noted that the current government of Hungary is targeting civil organizations which operate lawfully but which have been vocal critics of the policies of the leading party. The portal also recalled that TASZ had defended present Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a court case in the second instance in 2007, when he was in opposition, after Orbán won the first-instance ruling and his opponent appealed.

Transparency International’s chief aim is to uncover corruption and bribery in the country. Fidesz, which has stated on numerous occasions its intention to step up the fight against corrupt practices, has itself been frequently accused recently of involvement in questionable deals, according to reports.

When in opposition, index.hu also noted, Fidesz criticized the then Socialist-led government for putting a fence up around Kossuth Square in front of the Parliament building, adopting the same position as the Helsinki Committee against the fence. However, the latter has recently been critical of Fidesz’s refugee policy in terms of human rights.