Toward a police state?

It’s time to take a quick look at the amendments to existing laws on the army and the police that, in Viktor Orbán’s words, will start a new era in Hungary. The projected date of this new beginning is September 15–that is, if Fidesz-KDNP has its way and four-fifths of MPs present vote for the extended use of the army and the police in the border regions and elsewhere. The amendments, following the usual course in the Orbán era, were proposed by individual parliamentary members. Not surprisingly, they were the same nine Fidesz-KDNP MPs who were the framers of a message, in the form of a parliamentary resolution, to the “irresponsible” western politicians whom they blamed for the immigration crisis: Antal Rogán (Fidesz), Péter Harrach (KDNP), Gergely Gulyás (Fidesz), Bence Tuzson (Fidesz), Szilárd Németh (Fidesz), Sándor Font (Fidesz), Pál Völner (Fidesz), Erik Bánki (Fidesz), and József Attila Móring (KDNP).

These amendments, in the opinion of those legal scholars whom I consulted, “not only violate the principles of constitutionality but transgress new legal limits that may mean the elimination of constitutional boundaries.” At least this is the opinion of the highly respected think tank of legal scholars at the Eötvös Károly Institute.  These amendments introduce a new legal concept under the rubric of “special legal orders” which are specified in the Fundamental Law (constitution) of 2011. The introduction of this new concept, the government incorrectly maintains, does not require an amendment of the constitution itself.

According to the document, there are “common rules for the state of national crisis and the state of emergency” (Articles 48-49), which focus on external or internal military emergencies. Article 50 deals with the circumstances under which the army may be deployed–national disasters, for instance. Article 51 specifies a situation described as “the state of preventive defense,” which might occur if Hungary’s army has to be deployed as a result of her obligations as a NATO ally. Finally, Article 52 deals with a situation that arises as a result of an unexpected attack. These are the only defined cases in which the country’s armed forces can be deployed inside the country’s borders and/or certain laws can be suspended. The Orbán government is introducing a new reason for declaring a state of emergency, linked to the number of asylum seekers present in the country.

The amendment refers to a state of emergency induced by “massive immigration.” What does it mean by “massive immigration”? Answer: if more than 500 would-be immigrants ask to be considered for refugee status per month. In August that number was well over 1,000. Or, if more than a thousand transient migrants are in one of the transit zones. Finally, if disturbances break out in any of the camps. By these criteria Hungary has been in a state of emergency caused by massive immigration for quite some time.

A state of emergency can also be declared if the authorities deem that circumstances endanger the security of a given settlement. So, the situation that developed at the Keleti Station would have given the authorities ample cause to declare a state of emergency. By the way, if a state of emergency is declared, it can last for six months or even longer if the authorities consider it desirable.

police kerites

In a state of emergency the general regulations of legal order are suspended. In this case the MPs who submitted the amendments would give additional legal powers to the army and the police. For instance, a policeman would be able to enter private property without a warrant. An order from a superior officer would suffice to search for immigrants suspected of being lodged on the premises. And many more actions on the part of either the refugees or of “complicit” Hungarians would now be crimes. The military would also have new rights. It would participate in the defense and protection of the borders and in the handling of large masses of migrants. In carrying out these duties, a soldier “will have the right to fire at specific individuals.”

What the Eötvös Károly Institute is stressing is that while “the crisis situation caused by massive immigration” may resemble the situation addressed by other special legal orders, it is not itself specifically covered by the constitution. Therefore, these amendments are not constitutional. Jobbik’s proposal to amend the constitution was “at least more honest.” The Jobbik amendment would have added the concept of humanitarian catastrophe, which would have permitted the deployment of the army for the defense of the borders. Of course, the associates of the Eötvös Károly Institute find both ways of introducing a state of emergency and suspending the normal legal order equally abhorrent. So much so that they consider “anyone–be he a member of the government, member of parliament, president of the republic, member of the Constitutional Court, ombudsman, professional soldier, judge, policeman–anyone who does not try to prevent the introduction and exercise of a quasi-extraordinary legal order or the perfidious malignity of the use of weapons against the weaponless  is responsible for the consequences.”

I must say that relatively few analyses have appeared on this frighting piece of legislation. As if all those journalists with law degrees don’t quite grasp the dangers lurking in these amendments–and there are far more dangers than I could cover here. Ildikó Lendvai, who has retired from active political life, though not herself a law school graduate, is keenly aware of the problem. She wrote two op/ed pieces in Népszava on the subject. In her latest, she points out that although these new pieces of legislation are allegedly about the refugees, Hungarian citizens are just as much victims of the state of emergency in the case of massive immigration as are those hapless asylum seekers. It is hard to imagine, she writes, that the people who put those amendments together would be so heartless as to consider rescuing a small child from under the barbed wire fence such a heinous crime that the person who gave assistance deserves a jail term of a minimum of two and a maximum of eight years. There must be some hidden reason behind it. Surely this law, says Lendvai, is also meant to frighten and subdue the citizens of Hungary.

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Member

Germans Welcoming a “State of Emergency”

NYTimes: “Germans Welcome Migrants After Long Journey Through Hungary and Austria”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/06/world/europe/migrant-crisis-austria-hungary-germany.htmlcomment image

Deakista
Guest

With the Iran nuclear deal accomplished, who will have the courage to send the bill for the refugee problems to the addresses of the Iranian leaders?

extor
Guest

Kill this shit-for-brains !!!

MAGYARKOZÓ

exTor
Guest
According to Ildikó Lendvai, Orbán’s further movement along the road to an illiberal democracy “is also meant to frighten and subdue the citizens of Hungary”, however the only ones who might be frightened are those few to the left of Fidesz, those who may become aware of the potential implications of these totalitarianist laws. As for subjugation of the Magyar citizenry, that (at this juncture) would hardly be necessary given that most people support Fidesz/Jobbik. Orbán is playing to his base and there would not be much concern amongst those in that base about these laws. That the laws proposed are police-statish is undeniable, the worst being the legalization of warrantless police/army searches of private residences. With respect to the second-last paragraph, the Eötvös Károly Institute notwithstanding, Orbán could try to push through constitutional amendments that are not applicable, because the constitution does not specifically deal with issues such as the current refugee situation. Orbán would then allow the ‘amendments’ to play out in court, if a constitutional challenge materializes, which might take years to decide. Viktor Orbán would get the use of a law for a while, or forever if the courts decide in his favor. This is a… Read more »
AL Ruwais
Guest

The names… Please insert into this article the names of those MP’s who propose it. It is not mere curiosity, in that case I would look it up on the net, but to documentfor the future who are responsible for this.

Guest

This is what happens when there aren’t adequate checks and balances built into to the political system. As we all know, these checks and balances have been systematically weakened and undermined under FIDESZ. The trend towards the unchecked, unfettered use of State power to control the citizenry will continue. The ancient truth of about the corrupting nature of power is being played out for all to see in Hungary.

My question is, a what point does the EU step in? I know that the preferred method of influence is dialogue and more dialogue and given Europe’s painful history, that is perfectly understandable. Perhaps behind the scenes the EU power brokers are working hard to constrain Hungary but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of this. It is all very depressing.

However seeing the efforts of ordinary Hungarians, especially the young, to help the refugees over recent days has been enormously gratifying. They have shown the best of Hungary while their government has shown the worst.

Webber
Guest

The end of the last sentence in the penultimate paragraph seems to be missing the word “is” between “weaponless” and “responsible.” I mean the part that reads: “against the weaponless responsible for the consequences.”

An
Guest

Maybe this was the whole point of trying to instigate antiimmigrant hysteria and treating the refugee situation in a way that increases tensions… it is. the perfect excuse for introducing draconian laws and restrict freedom in Hungary.

Niccolo
Guest
@An Orban sat down with Habony (who is being advised by Arthur J. Finkelstein) and thought about how to create a chaos out of the existing but hitherto domestically not too significant migration issue. They decided to create a bottleneck so that more Hungarian people would see the “dirty migrants” from up close. “Hey these people can’t even shit properly at Keleti station, and are smelly, that’s disgusting, we don’t need them”. No wonder that Sandor Pinter, the old school belügyes Minister of Interior decided to go on his well-earned annual vacation in the middle of the chaos. Everything’s under control, Orban assured him, as it doesn’t matter what’s happening as long as it’s chaotic, if more and more Hungarian people blame the refugees for not being able to travel to Győr or Sopron. And as an added bonus it’s a great way to introduce martial law: harbouring Jews (sorry, I wanted to say brown-skinned foreigners) is a felony now. (If you operate an Airbnb apartment be sure to check the visas of your customers.) In the middle of the night the TEK or the general police can break the door onto you if your neighbor denounces you. Just like… Read more »
bimbi
Guest
Sad it is that the connection between the state of confusion and callous disorder in Hungary coupled with claims of Hungary alone stepping up to defend Europe from the foreign hordes is all too plausible. If Mr. Orban wanted to see indecision and vacillation on the part of EU’s prime ministers to be used as a pretext for being “forced” to introduce draconian laws in the defense of the nation (laws whose legacy the unfortunate citizens of Hungary will now have to live with), then he got his wish. Indeed the situation continues. Now (Sunday evening) Austria and Germany are saying, “OK, that’s it; now we go back to the Dublin requirements” and this will allow Mr. Orban to sow further disorder by claiming that a) he is unable to cope with the stream of migrants and b) now above all we desperately need the provisions of the new law. It has been pointed out that the question of immigration and immigration control is not regulated by Brussels but is a currently a mish-mash that depends on the cooperation of individual states, most of whom seem to set their own rules, regulations and procedures, each different from the others. One… Read more »
Zorgas
Guest

So, it seems that the Orban government, with its campaign of hate and xenophobia, during which it provoked incidents that led to fears of a breakdown of law and order, has used this artificially created climate to pass emergency powers legislation. If deceiving people to board trains bound for camps smacked of the Holocaust, this cynical use of an artificially created crisis to give the government police state powers smacks of the Reichstag fire.

Guest

@Eva. Why did you put a question mark at the end of the title?

exTor
Guest

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/05/refugee-crisis-warm-welcome-for-people-bussed-from-budapest

HUNGARY / SHITHEAP / SZARHALOM / MAGYARORSZÁG

Hungary has earned itself a new reputation in the world. I had tears as I read the Guardian piece, above, the link to it posted earlier by Webber.

Cheering German crowds greet refugees after long trek from Budapest to Munich [Guardian article headline]

This debacle will take a long time for Hungary to live down. This shitstorm, this tempest in Budapest, may come to be the defining moment of Viktor Orbán’s tenure as the Prime Minister of Hungary, just as Watergate has come to symbolize Richard Nixon, the disgraced president of the United States of America.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Member
Eva, I try to be brief. Unfortunately, we do not know what leaders discuss behind closed doors. Based on public information my take is that Orban real aim in Brussels was to neutralize the EU institutions on his present (unilateral) legal steps. In fact, all of his previous actions were unilateral in nature, and do not have the seal of approval of any influential western politician. (Forget the Slovaks and the claustrophobic successors of Vaclav Klaus in CZ.) His latest communication turnabout is also striking. Now he tries to present himself as the “good guy” of the EU meticulously implementing all the requirements under Dublin and Schengen. Did the French or Angela the Savior (Merkel) warn him about the latter? They also started complaining about the lack of solidarity from other fellow EU members that in his case is a laughable argument. Clearly, nobody was in rush to help them! Any interest to do so? What I mean that we have a new situation here as far as OVi simply have to cooperate with, he must rely on solidarity of the outside word, whereas for the last four years his only goal was just to fend off external criticism for… Read more »
spectator
Guest

The first steps toward the ultimate goal – just got the link:

http://www.blikk.hu/blikk_aktualis/gyurcsany-szabalytalanul-atlepte-a-hatart-es-a-menekultekkel-setalt-2396607

The source is a paper with “questionable reputation” to put it mildly, but they crediting MTI for the images. I have no intention to register with the MTI, so I was unable to check.
However, as the title of the article: <b.“Gyurcsány irregularly crossed the border and walked with the refugees” indicates the formal PM has been sighted on the wrong side of the fence.
Even if he walked along the tracks, so there was no wire cutting involved, he’s facing misdemeanour charges, and allegedly resigned from immunity.

Anybody heard yet that something similar has been initiated in Hungary against anybody else?

LwiiH
Guest
I’ve been thinking about why it is that my experiences with xenophobia and what the surveys have been saying and I still believe there is a strong disconnect. It leaves me wondering how the studies have been conducted. I, for one, do not like all of these refugees being here and if asked, I’d have to say so. Its not that I don’t dislike them being here, it’s just that I would prefer what I believe most of them would prefer, for them to be safe and comfy in their own homes in their own country with their families. I dislike the events that made it unsafe for them to remain in their own homes and that it was necessary for them to leave the country. You have to wonder, were the surveys constructed well enough to differentiate between true racism and xenophobia or would I be included in the % of racists in the country because I don’t want these people to be here. I don’t want to compare the agencies conducting the study to that joke of a study put out by the government just recently. However, I’ve seen plenty of well intentioned, professionally conducted bad surveys that… Read more »
Webber
Guest

Are you Hungarian? If you are, that would explain to me why there is a disconnect to you. If you are not Black in the American South or do not travel with Black people there, you might think racism isn’t a huge problem down there, because you won’t see or hear even half of what is going on.
I, personally, have witnessed quite a lot of xenophobia in Hungary (and Greece, incidentally). That personal experience should not be generalized, I know, but it fits perfectly with data.

tappanch
Guest

The EU would pay 500 euros a month to member states for each settled refugee.

This is exactly the average net salary in Hungary !

http://hvg.hu/vilag/20150906_A_Bizottsag_uj_javaslata_kiskaput_nyit_a

tappanch
Guest

CSU, CDU’s Bavarian sister party is against Merkel’s decision to accept an “unlimited” number of refugees.

http://hvg.hu/vilag/20150906_Merkelrol_sajat_szovetsegese_szedte_le_a

Member

WHILE HUNGARY’S CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS BEEN CLAIMING IT WOULD BE “ILLEGAL” TO HELP…

CNN: “Pope Francis implored Catholic institutions throughout Europe to show mercy to the flood of refugees arriving on their shores by offering them shelter.
“Every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe has to host a family, starting from my diocese of Rome,” Francis said at the end of his Angelus prayers in Rome on Sunday.”

Hungary is corrupt to the core, both materially and morally

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/06/europe/europe-migrant-crisis/

Member

Erdos is not there to serve the Pope or any higher authority but the Orban family and their interest. Pope Francis should call this corrupt minded soldier back!

Member

The Dictator’s Standard M.O.

It is by now patently obvious that the refugee “crisis” that Orban has artifically and systematically created had 3 goals:

(1) to divert attention from Orban’s many mounting corruption scandals,

(2) to re-assert and reinforce Orban’s populistic self-image as the nation’s protector against the invasion of the Turks and the exploitation by the EU and

(3) to provide a pretext for introducing police-state legislation for enhancing Orban’s dictatorial powers.

(The bonus of the new emergency right to break into the homes of people suspected of giving refuge to refugees (sic!) is that Orban will now at last gain the legal right to break into the home of his arch-enemy, the former prime-minister, Viktor Gyurcsany, whom he had ousted through dirty tricks and character assassination and who is now giving refuge to the refugees: perhaps Orban will even be able to do what he has so long tried, so far unsuccessfully, to do, which is to find a legal pretext for imprisoning Gyurcsany.)

This is the standard M.O. of psychopathic dictators, if they are not stopped by concerted resistance from normal, decent people.
comment image

Member

For the conspiracy theorists out there. Here is a more eloquent and experienced person than any of you to explain the conflict infant of the UN:
http://www.unrefugees.org/2015/04/angelina-jolies-speech-to-the-un-security-council/

Webber
Guest

Refugees don’t want to stay in Hungary. The Hungarian government says it does not want them to stay in Hungary. Germany and Austria are accepting all who cross their borders from Hungary. But still, even today, the Hungarian government is forcing refugees into camps in Hungary, against their will.

Video here – these poor people look really, really unhappy, and at least one of them has a bad cough:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/sep/06/refugees-escorted-hungarian-transit-camp-police-video

Incidentally, Hungarian authorities still refuse to let Amnesty International visit the refugee camps. I defy anyone – any supporter of the Hungarian government – to provide a rational reason why AI should not be allowed to check these camps and report on conditions in them.

Guest

Re: ‘whole I’m migration crisis an excuse’…

In lieu of what’s in VO’s head on the constitutional matters it sure looks it. I’ve always thought he is a gamesman when it comes to holding power. It would seem his move to the law and constitution in more possible threatening ways suggests he’s looked into a new horizon and sees new possibly stronger tactics are needed to hold power. Is he worried? I don’t know but if legal analysts think more ‘repression’ may be ahead for Hungary it says a lot on VO’s say continuum of rule on how he relates to the electorate. Where once there was a time for benevolence and basking in the light of great loyalty we could be seeing another scenario going through his head. Things as we know change!

And it it behooves Hungarian analysts to be sharp on this. We’ve seen what the lust for power can do to peoples and nations. If they are not careful ‘rendorseg’ could be on a course where it will be deemed a wickedness flowing through its society.

Nikko
Guest

I hope it’s clear that soon Bibi and Viktor will be best of friends. Hungary isn’t isolated: it has Russia and Israel.

Member
Renner Lajos
Guest

What a hypocrisy. You should be ashamed for putting this here. This is nothing else but an idiot cheese eater blabbering about something he has no idea. It shows how immature politicians in Switzerland are. And this is one of their leaders?

Al Ruwais
Guest

Do you think the Hungarian politicians are any better? Any proof of it? You say they have an idiot cheese eater, i say we have an idiot stadium builder soccer fan. Which spends more publlic money on his obsession?

Lajos Renner
Guest

I didn’t know this is a race who is worse. I am amused by the hatred the left can harbour against the other side and keep harping on issues rather than finding someone to reorganize and lead the side to beat the other. Here my friend you called into your war an outsider asshole to retaliate against the PM of Hungary for his patriotism which is an interference with another country. This cheese gobbler sticks his nose into the internal affairs of Hungary while he has no idea what the hell he is talking about. Just the blood thirsty leftist emotions. Wake up and either do something that lifts the left out of the mad that they sank after Öszöd, or keep licking your wound and mosey away.

Member

I should be ashamed. LOL The Hungarian churches should be ashamed for not helping, Viktor Orban should be ashamed that he is the first Hungarian PM who is not wanted in Switzerland. Also you should be ashamed for not reading getting acquainted with other news, as it is not only the Swiss but some Austrians have the same idea. You should be ashamed to call a Swiss “cheese eater” because he is disturbed by Orban, the sunflower seed spitter’s behaviour. You should be ashamed for not getting mad for your country gaining such reputation under the control of this madman, Orban. I think the world have mores respect for any Swiss politician than for Orban. Hungary is a great country and you support a man who is disgracing her. Shame on you to come here and spend your time here versus trying to restore the reputation of the country that your dear leader destroys!

Lajos Renner
Guest

Thank you, it was quite a lesson. If you allow me I would share a secret with you and the readers here. Ich war ein Flüchtling in der Schweiz. (I was a refugee in Switzerland) and I tell you that there is no country more hypocrite. As far as I concern this issue is unimportant and they can block Mr. Orban from entering their country.

Member

Agreed! 😉

Member
Renner Lajos
Guest

Thank you for the link. I read it and was amused. I knew this woman got her appointment not because of diplomatic experience rather for the financial donations her family provided to the election campaigns of the Obama-Clinton ticket. See for yourself here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleni_Tsakopoulos_Kounalakis

The article is very interesting. Never seen anything from the pen of a former ambassador. Clear testament to her level of intelligence. Now I start to understand how the USA got to such a low international respect level as she is, employing people as her. God Save America.

Member

Tell us about Orban’s intelligence… I just cannot wait to see how you will brighten our day. Tell us also how many of the Hungarian politicians get their positions from Orban? Do you read the news lately about how theatres, Casinos, high schools, tobacco shops, land, conservation areas are given away. You were mentioning hypocrisy before, so please teach us about the Orban kind of Hungarian way.

Lajos Renner
Guest

I am not a teacher and not a thought manipulator either. I just expressed my dissatisfaction regarding an undiplomatic article nothing else. In my view the leftist of the world are over stretching themselves to stick their nose into the internal affairs of Hungary. That’s all folks …

Member

Same here. I am not a teacher and not thought manipulator, but when someone calls other hypocrites while supporting others that are proven cheaters, and manipulators, it makes me wonder of the motivation or knowledge.

Lajos Renner
Guest
First of all what is “proven cheater”? second all politicians are manipulators, third both sides throws mad at each other without any (need for) proof. Having said that I challenge you to explain it to me how is that the Saudi king booked a hotel, redecorated it for the weekend in Washington but to the best of my knowledge did not open the borders for the members of his own religion and culture whilst the leftists of the world bombard Orban to let this invasion to take a toll on Hungary. And for that matter none of the muslim countries in the Middle East took any of these “refugees”. Why? Because they know better than we do. They know that by now Europe has been invaded by thousands of well trained ISIS terrorists. Only the dreamers in Brussels need to wake up yet. I wonder what if not hypocrisy drives the issues. Other than the deep rooted hatred of course. What I am surprised of thou that people in Hungary (and abroad of Hungarian descent) hate him so much that they loose their sense of security for the Country. Just think about it.
spectator
Guest
What am I missed so far..! Lajos, if anything was true of what you just wrote above, then Hungary already screwed royally – by the PM Orbán, that is. “They know that by now Europe has been invaded by thousands of well trained ISIS terrorists.” – So, according to you the whole charade with the fence and the Felcsútian cock(i)ness is all for wain..? Lajos, if Orbán will ever learn about it all too late, he may even stop going to soccer matches just as well, since those trained ISIS terrorists can be everywhere by now! And be honest, dear Lajos, who would fit more to their target list than Orbán, who with all the grace of a raging bull in a china shop bluntly told all the muslims ”Don’t came to Hungary!” Of course, the very talented and learned person as he is somehow missed the fact, that quite a large number of the wealthiest investors also happens to be muslims… Dear Lajos, you must forgive him, but really! There were much more important things to care, like ‘how to ignore the fact, that the only lowlife crowd who trashed the capital wasn’t those refugees, but similarly “very intelligent”… Read more »
Lajos Renner
Guest

Kedves Elvtársak. Ez már egy lerágott csont. Ha valaki tud valamiről amit Orbán Viktor az elmúlt 25 évben jól csinált irják meg nekem is, mert ezen a weblapon cask arról olvasok, hogy mit csinál rosszul. Köszönettel,

Guest

“the leftist of the world are over stretching themselves to stick their nose into the internal affairs of Hungary. ”
You’re really funny – let’s change this sentence a bit, as it might have been written by Kadar, Stalin or Mao:

“the capitalists of the world are over stretching themselves to stick their nose into the internal affairs of Hungary/China/USSR. ”

PS:
So Mrs Merkel and the other European leaders are leftists in your opinion?

Lajos Renner
Guest

As you see there is nothing new under the Sun, just the perception.

An
Guest

Hmm, she is blasting the EU for not doing enough…. how about the US?
http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-pressed-to-take-more-syrian-refugees-1441396786

Webber
Guest

One could respond by wondering how many of America’s ca. 11 m. illegal migrants from Latin America will be admitted to Europe? But that would be small-hearted. I expect nothing from Europe in this regard, even though Western Europe is rather prosperous, with some countries actually even more prosperous in per capita terms than the US. Anyway, Mexicans, Guatamalans, etc. are in the right place and at home on the American continent, and probably do not want to go to Europe.
It is possible that many of the refugees now entering the EU would not like to go to the US, since it is even farther from their homelands.
Anyway, I agree with you. Over the past decades the US has admitted people, including not a few Christians from the Mideast, as well as Iranians from the Shah’s Iran, but the United States could do more.

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