Direkt36 is a Budapest-based investigative journalism center that follows the Pro Publica model of in-depth research and partnership-based distribution to maximize readership. They interpret accountability broadly; they believe in the responsibility to show the public how decisions are made, and to show who really holds the power. András Pethő co-founded Direkt36 with Gergely Sáling and Balázs…
Joe Biden is favored to win the presidency in the upcoming U.S. elections. He has condemned the Hungarian prime minister and praised “freedom-loving Hungarians.” What would his presidency mean for pro-democracy activists in practice? We interviewed human rights leaders on the ground, who told us about their perceptions of U.S. foreign policy in Hungary, what changed during the Trump era, and what a good relationship with U.S. diplomacy means to them.
For a month now, hundreds of Hungarian students have occupied their campus and resist the government’s pressure to eliminate the autonomy of their university. Their fight attracted international attention and evoked support from broad ranges of society. In this article we try to put this story in the context and present you the challenges of resisting autocracy in a hybrid regime.
In June, the highest court in the European Union ruled that Hungary’s Foreign Agent Law requiring NGOs with foreign funding to self-identify and disclose their donors was unlawful. A few months later, a Hungarian public foundation operated by the government denied Power of Humanity Foundation, a human rights education NGO, EU funding over noncompliance with the same law. The NGO is asking the European Commission to investigate.
100 years ago, on 23 September 1920, the Hungarian parliament adopted the so-called Numerus Clausus Law, often dubbed the first racial, antisemitic law in Europe, long before the Nazi racial laws.
On 9th of September, exactly one month after the first protests started in Belarus against the unfair elections, the Belarusian community in Budapest organised a demonstration in front of the parliament to support those who fight against police brutality and autocracy in their country. Watch this short video report we produced at the event!
Hungary and Poland managed to delay a mechanism that would tie EU funding to rule-of-law conditions, but a future where the EU can penalize Hungary for antidemocratic behavior by withholding funding is closer than ever.
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This blog provides you English news updates, articles, and videos about rising authoritarian rule in Hungary.
WHY DO WE NEED IT NOW?
We live in an age when democracy is in decay and authoritarianism is rising. One of the first countries where the tide turned and the process of democratisation was reversed is Hungary. Since it came to power in 2010, the government of Viktor Orban has been slowly undermining the rule of law with its constant attacks against democratic institutions, independent press, and civil society.
According to the Nations in Transit report published by Freedom House in 2020, Hungary is no longer a democracy but a “hybrid regime”, having lost its status as a “semi-consolidated democracy”.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, the situation has further deteriorated. The government used the crisis as a pretence for a power-grab that has been unprecedented in the European Union: the Orban government can now govern by decree, without any constitutional checks or balances, for an unspecified time period. Armoured with its newly gained powers, the government is now launching further assaults against civil liberties and the rule of law.
Civil society and the remnants of the independent press make huge efforts to monitor and document these assaults, but they often remain invisible to those who do not speak Hungarian. This blog aims to fill this gap and provide an analytic insight into rising authoritarianism by presenting relevant cases for abuses of power, and giving voice to activists and communities under attack.