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Barnes & Thornburg to lobby for Hungary in U.S.

The Hungarian government has hired U.S. law firm and lobbying group Barnes & Thornburg to represent its interests in Washington, according to a report by political news site politico.com.

Craig Burkhardt, a partner at the firm, will assist the Hungarian Embassy “with general government relations particularly directed to religious freedom and immigration issues,” according to a disclosure filing. “This assistance will include strategic planning and advice, meetings and presentations to United States government officials, and other related activities,” it added.

Hungary’s government has faced criticism for making it a crime to aid migrants who are in the country illegally and for cracking down on religious freedom. A recent U.S. State Department report noted that officials had “expressed concern about anti-Muslim rhetoric by government officials” in Hungary, as well as a criminal investigation of the Church of Scientology there.

The contract began on November 7 and runs through to January 21, 2019. It is worth USD 50,000 in total, politico.com reported.