Human Rights Watch: Constitutional changes “cosmetic”

History

US-based civil rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) heavily criticized the sitting government’s latest round of changes to the national constitution, labeling them “cosmetic” in a statement yesterday, which also urged European Union authorities to take action against “provisions that undermine the rule of law and weaken human rights protection.” 

Last week saw parliament passing another round of amendments, its fourth since the Fidesz-KDNP coalition came to power, but represented a milder version of previously submitted drafts, tweaking passages in the constitution covering election campaigning, official church status and the judiciary in response to EU and international criticism.

Despite these changes, however, HRW nevertheless noted “serious concerns” in that they “do little to address concerns set out by the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.”

HRW researcher Lydia Gall commented that “It is wishful thinking for the government to contend that its amendments will end the international debate about Hungary’s constitution.”

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