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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hungary's undemocratic "democrats"

Tomorrow in Szekesfehevar, the entire leadership of the
Hungarian Communist Workers Party (Munkaspart) will stand trial after a legal action by the Budapest City Court which ruled the proceedings of the party's 21st Congress in 2005 to be null and void. If found guilty, the leaders of the Munkaspart face two years in jail. Officially they are charged with "a libel made in public"- for claiming that the court's judgement was political and an unjustified interference in the internal democracy of their party. But the real reason the Munkaspart leaders are on trial (and the reason why the youth wing of the Czech Communist Party has also been banned) is because of their implacable opposition to their governments' aggressively neo-liberal agenda.

There will be those who say that the proscription of communist parties and the trial of their leaders is appropriate given the fact that opposition parties were not allowed under communism. But is this what the new 'democracy' so proudly proclaimed across the region in 1989 amounts too?

Hungary and the Czech Republic are members of the E.U.- an organisation which purports to be an association of rule of law democracies. But putting political leaders on trial and banning their parties is the work of dictatorships- not democracies. You don't have to be a communist to believe that the Munkaspart and the Czech Young Communists have every right to play an active role in their country's political life. The authorities in Hungary and the Czech Republic should be ashamed of themselves.

If like me you feel strongly about this blatantly political witch-hunt, then please take a few minutes to contact the Hungarian authorities to register your disgust. Keep the emails/letters courteous, but firm: Hungary has no right to label itself a democratic nation unless the trial of the Munkaspart leadership is cancelled immediately.
The contact details for the Hungarian Ambassador in London are below (I'll be posting contact details of how to contact the Hungarian government shortly)
And if you're around Eaton Place today, there is a demonstration outside the Hungarian Embassy. (nearest tube station is Victoria)

Her Excellency Borbola Csako,
Ambassador of the Republic of Hungary,
35 Eaton Place, SW1X 8BY, London
Tel: (00 44) 20-7201-3446
Fax: (00 44) 20-7823-1348

UPDATE: You really couldn't make this up. Yesterday, warmongering French President Nikolas Sarkozy, who is half-Hungarian, addressed the Hungarian Parliament saying that France and Hungary are "fraternal" and originating from a "mutual commitment to freedom"! Freedom? Gyurscany's Hungary? You must be having a laugh, Nick.

Above is a pic of the two new best pals.
What do you think Feri Boy is saying to Nick? "Hey, why don't you try putting the leadership of your left-wing opposition parties on trial. It's great fun!" Or perhaps: "Can we join in the attack on Iran too! We'd love to get involved in another illegal neo-con intervention!"


Anonymous said...

Neil: I am Hungarian and I can testify that things are worse now than they were in the 1980s, from the point of view of freedom of speech. No one dare criticise the US military alliance or the 'reform' programme. The television and radio is controlled by the government coalition. Anyone who opposes is labelled 'far-right extremist' or 'communist'. We have gone back to the way things were in the 1950s.

Andrew K said...

Anonymous, would your be MRS Clark (née Rakosi) perhaps?