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The ’Stop Soros’ bill in Parliament

May 31st, 2018

As the government tables its bill against organisations whose activists stand accused of promoting illegal immigration, commentators suggest that the harshest previsions aired earlier this year are missing from the bill.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee argues that this version is actually worse than the original, as it threatens lawyers and activists with imprisonment, rather than registering and taxing them. UNHCR has called on the government to withdraw the draft bill. 

On Válasz, András Zsupán interprets the bill as reflecting concessions to the concerns voiced by international organisations, including the European People’s Party. As a result, he writes, the bill does not provide grounds for expelling NGOs funded by George Soros. Meanwhile according to press reports, the People’s Party officials also asked the Hungarian government to take into account the opinion of the Venice Committee, a group of legal experts commissioned by the Council of Europe. That request has apparently not been heeded, Zsuppán writes.

In Népszava, Gábor Czene quotes a human rights activist who says that the bill is the third version of a future law and in many respects is totally different from the previous two. It doesn’t require NGOs supporting migrants to register with the authorities as such, nor does it envisage imposing a 25 per cent tax on their foreign funding.

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