Ferenc Kőszeg, founder of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ, Hungarian liberal political party between 1988-2013) and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, said in an interview with Partizán that it is not necessary by definition to use the strictness of criminal law in cases of sexual relations between adults and children. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee called Kőszeg’s statements unacceptable. The founder of the organization reacted to the Helsinki Committee’s distancing – reports Index.
The organization wrote that
Ferenc Kőszeg’s answers are in direct contradiction with the values of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, our everyday work on behalf of the vulnerable and our internal rules”.
FactThe Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC; Hungarian: Magyar Helsinki Bizottság) is a non-governmental human rights organization founded in 1989 and based in Budapest, Hungary. The HHC is a member of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles. The HHC defines itself as monitoring the respect for human rights protected by international human rights instruments, to inform the public about human rights violations and to provide victims of human rights abuse with free legal assistance. It is also linked with the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and is a member organization of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).
Despite the fact that Ferenc Kőszeg was one of the founders and even the president of the organization, “he has not represented the Hungarian Helsinki Committee for almost 20 years and does not speak on behalf of the organization”, the Committee recalled.
Ferenc Kőszeg has resigned as founding president.
The founder of SZDSZ wrote that he did not wish to have any personal meeting following the publication of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s statement.
“On my retirement, the founding chairman of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee awarded me an honorary title for my activities. After the publication of the declaration, I no longer claim this title. I hereby resign my title of founding chairman. I will continue to remember my work in the Hungarian Helsinki Committee with a good heart and will cherish the memory of the friendships I have built up during my work in the Committee”, his announcement said.
According to Ferenc Kőszeg, “the Orbán government’s child protection measures serve the purposes of a hate campaign against sexual difference, just as the incitement against migration was intended to evade Hungary’s obligation to protect refugees under international treaties”.
Kőszeg considers the Helsinki Committee’s statement of disassociation an unfortunate gesture, “the spirit and style of which has always been alien to the organization”.
“What I said in my interview with Partizán can be disputed and criticized, but no one should think that my opinion expresses the position of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, as I have not participated in the work of the Committee for 16 years. I cannot see the statement in any other way than as a humble and, moreover, superfluous bowing before the Fidesz spirit. There are harsher terms in our language for such gestures, but I do not want to describe them. I think everyone knows what I mean,” concluded Ferenc Kőszeg.
Featured image: Facebook/Hungarian Helsinki Committee