Unfounded claims and a radical agenda: here’s how Human Rights Watch gets it wrong again

As in previous years, the latest edition of Human Rights Watch’s annual “World Report” ignores facts and makes wild, unsubstantiated claims about the state of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Hungary.

When I read the first sentence of the section dedicated to Hungary in this year’s edition of the Human Rights Watch’s “World Report,” I knew it would be more of the same from the Soros-funded universe. “The government continued its attacks on the rule of law and democratic institutions in 2021,” the report reads.

Sounds menacing. But what do they have to support the assertion? In short: nothing.

For starters, the self-proclaimed Hungary experts at HRW ring the alarm, once again, over what we call the Coronavirus Protection Act, a law introduced at the onset of the pandemic in 2020 that enables the Hungarian government to put in place measures to handle imminent health and economic-related threats by decree. The act did not push Hungary into “authoritarian disarray,” as suggested back then by one of those well-respected media outlets, nor was the intention to “rule indefinitely by decree by prolonging the emergency every six months.”

On the contrary, the law served the country well. It enabled the government to take swift action, closing borders, enacting movement restrictions, slowing the spread of the disease, and equipping our national healthcare system and healthcare providers with the equipment necessary to treat all those who required care.

But, of course, Human Rights Watch is not interested in any of that, as it does not support their Orbanophobic narrative.

Next up is one of my personal favorites, the topic of media freedom and the non-story about Klubrádió’s lost frequency. I could go on for pages about the “issue” (see my previous blog post here) but, in reality, it’s as simple as it gets. Due to Klubrádió’s repeated violation of broadcasting rules, its application for renewal was declined by Hungary’s media authority. The ruling was consequently upheld by the relevant court. Case closed.

Furthermore, how could it happen in a country where media freedom is supposedly being suppressed by the government, that the biggest commercial TV channel and several of the most popular online news portals, as well as a fair share of daily and weekly print papers, remain loudly critical of the incumbent prime minister and said government?

In issue after issue – from claims of wrongly refusing entry to illegal migrants, allegations of Roma segregation, charges of attacks on academic freedom – the report relies on distortions and unfounded arguments, often ignoring information that has already dismissed these criticisms, to prop up its findings.

One of the most telling examples, however, is when the report takes issue with Hungary’s stance on making sure that decisions regarding how to raise and educate children remain the sole right of parents. According to HRW, the fact that Hungary supports the idea of educating children (and here they quote our constitution) “in accordance with the values based on our homeland’s constitutional identity and Christian culture” is a negative thing and should be discouraged.

That should tell us everything we need to know about the legitimacy of this report. Human Rights Watch has no popular support for such radical views - inspired by the Soros-funded open society world - but it pretends to hold authority on issues of human rights. Many, many people in Hungary – in fact many citizens of Europe – would disagree.

Photo credit: Human Rights Watch