Rights expert calls out Hungary on refugees, NGOs, judiciary

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner says Hungary needs to urgently address human rights violations such as the detention of asylum-seekers and the intimidation of civic groups, as well as concerns about judicial independence.

In a report released Tuesday, Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic, who visited Hungary in February, also found Hungary “backsliding in gender equality,” with few women in politics and Hungary still unwilling to ratify the Istanbul Convention on combating and preventing violence against women.

In an extensive reply to the report, the Hungarian government rejected the criticism in every area, saying, for example, that it was “absolutely justified” in maintaining crisis measures related to mass immigration even though hardly any migrants reach Hungary now, because there are still many immigrants in nearby countries including Serbia and North Macedonia.

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