On February 25, 2019, the Hungarian Constitutional Court rejected the complaint, submitted by Amnesty International Hungary, that argued the newly introduced criminal provisions of the so called “Stop Soros” legislation are unconstitutional because they are unclear, violate freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, and criminalize individuals and civil society organizations that help refugees or migrants.
The Constitutional Court found Amnesty International’s complaint unfounded; however, it deemed it necessary to reinforce the interpretation of the provisions in conformity with the Fundamental Law of Hungary.
Whereas the Constitutional Court found the provision constitutional, it stipulated that the law cannot be applied to activities aimed at providing humanitarian aid as these activities are “generous acts to meet a constitutional obligation to help the poor and vulnerable.” At the same time, the authorities said that it is up to the courts to interpret which specific activities can be considered as humanitarian activities and therefore do not fall under the scope of the ban.
In its statement, Amnesty International Hungary said that by this decision the Constitutional Court turned its back on civil society organizations and that this law has no other purpose than threaten those with imprisonment who help the vulnerable and do not agree with the Government’s migration policy.
To read the Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s response to this decision, click here.