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Jun 26, 2020

Read Tristan Azbej’s open letter to Human Right Watch

"I still have faith that one day the dignity of these communities will be worth as much in your eyes…"

The following is an open letter written by Tristan Azbej, state secretary in charge of the Hungarian Government’s humanitarian aid program, to Hugh Williamson, director of the Europe and Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch.

Dear Mr. Hugh Williamson,

I write to you as the state secretary in charge of the Hungarian Government’s humanitarian aid program and as vice-president of the Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) following the publication of your allegations accusing my country of lacking solidarity. In your letter addressed to the European Union Member States’ ministers in charge of EU affairs you accuse Hungary of targeting “independent groups” that support migrants’ rights and for “criminalizing legitimate humanitarian activities”. Au contraire, the truth is that the Hungarian Government supports the lawful and transparent work of civil society organizations. This notwithstanding, supporting organized mass migratory movements into Hungary as well as encouragement of the abuse of national asylum regulations are in breach of the Hungarian Constitution, hence we cannot and certainly will not compromise with organizations pursuing such unlawful objectives.

You have undertaken to persuade Member State governments to support a political initiative, whose aim is none other than to weaken and circumvent democratically mandated, strong national governments based on subjective, politically driven interpretations of the rule of law. This intention, drawn from the playbook of George Soros, shuns the right of thousand-year-old European nations to determine their own fate.

Mr. Williamson, you demand tolerance and respect for human rights from Hungary but conceal the facts which disprove your false allegations. Hungary is working in the interest of all EU citizens to alleviate Europe of the growing migratory pressure. As a sign of our solidarity Hungary has mobilized significant resources to aid persecuted Christians and other religious minorities through its Hungary Helps Program. In recent years tens of thousands of families living in crisis regions were able to return to their homelands thanks to our support. The Hungarian Government was the first in the world to elevate to government level the protection of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, Africa and South-Asia, breaking through the barriers of political correctness erected around this alarming global phenomenon and which restrict free speech. Instead of complicit silence and empty talk Hungary has decided to stand up to the mass-scale violations of human rights and human dignity. Acts rather than words prove that we cherish freedom, dialogue between religions and nations, understanding, reconciliation, and respect.

In the spirit of mutual respect we, Hungarians, are open for dialogue, as we have been throughout our long history. But we must categorically refute the kind of political witch hunt, disguised as human rights advocacy, and the insult to the Hungarian people which you have displayed in your letter.

Although you and the organization you lead have to this day not concerned yourselves with the global affront to the human rights of hundreds of millions of Christians, as well as the several thousand martyrs killed for their faith each year, I still have faith that the day will come when the dignity of these communities, as well as that of the autochthonous Hungarian communities beyond our borders, will be worth as much in your eyes as that of migrants and other groups. For we believe that the lives and rights of Christians, Hungarians, Europeans deserve as much protection and advocacy as those of anyone else.

Budapest, June 25, 2020

Tristan Azbej

State Secretary