According to Minister of State Pál Völner form the Ministry of Justice, the European Convention human Rights needs reforming, but no drastic steps need to be taken because Hungary and several other member states have issues with the decision of the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Speaking to reporters on 28 March in Budapest, Mr. Völner stressed: We have the right to protect our borders and screen organisations that are involved in the “migrant business”.

Mr. Völner was replying to a question from reporters on whether Hungary was planning to exit the Convention after the decision by the European Court of Human Rights reprimanding Hungary’s procedure with regard to two refugees from Bangladesh received heavy criticism. The Minster of State replied to the question after reporting to Parliament’s Justice Committee on the implementation of the Court’s 2016 ruling.

“The Court issues some rulings that are contradictory and difficult to explain, but these must be remedied through negotiation”, he said. With relation to the concrete case mentioned, the noted that the ruling is based on false facts, and accordingly Hungary will be appealing the ruling at the so-called Grand Chamber.

“The Helsinki Committee ‘recruited’ two supposed Bangladeshi migrants, who are illiterate, and who set off for Strasbourg to complain about the legal border barrier introduce according to the Hungarian legal system, with relation to which they were awarded damages and legal expenses, costing the taxpayer millions of forints”, he explained.

Mr. Völner said he hoped the Grand Chamber would take into account the fact that Hungary has a commitment to protect the borders of the European Union in accordance with the Schengen Agreement, and that these people were not in fact under detention, because they were free to leave the transit zone at any time and return to the safe third country from which they arrived in Hungary”, adding that the Court took into account reports in which the Helsinki Committee itself acted as expert while the organisation was representing one of the parties in the case. This would be totally inconceivable in Hungary, or within the legal system of any other nation state.

“We have the right to defend our borders and screen organisations that are involved in the ‘migrant business’, no matter who supports them, including George Soros”, he declared.

The Minster of State also referred to several contradictory ruling by the Strasbourg court before the parliamentary committee, citing as an example the fact that in a case concerning the discontinuation of benefits for pensioners who take on employment it handled social benefits as a right to property, while in the case of a Hungarian from Carpathian Ruthenia who was stripped of his Hungarian nationality, and who as a result had also had his pension discontinued, it did not regard it as such.

He also reported on the fact that in 2016 the majority of cases involved overcrowding in prisons, but that this problem was expected to be handled in a suitable manner by August. Among other important cases, he mentioned the case involving the introduction of 98 percent tax on severance allowances, which has already been reduced.

According to the information provided by the Ministry, almost 9 thousand Hungarian petitions were put before the Court last year, which awarded over 1 billion forints in damages.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)