Soros Foundation Appeals to Strasbourg Court Over “Stop Soros” Laws
Miklós Halász-Szabó 2018.09.24.
The Open Society Foundations is turning to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECtHR) to appeal against Hungary’s “Stop Soros” laws, the organisation said on Monday.
The OSF, founded by billionaire George Soros, said on its website that it wants the court “to act against Hungary over its so-called Stop Soros laws, which criminalize and tax the work of independent civil society groups, under the pretext of controlling migration.”
The June legislation, it said, contradicts the articles of the European Convention of Human Rights on freedom of expression and freedom of association.
The statement said that under the new law, anyone who helps asylum seekers who have entered Hungary, including people who provide legal advice, are regarded as criminals. Further, organisations must pay a 25 percent special tax if they engage in activities that support migration.
Daniela Ikawa, the OSF’s lead lawyer on the case, said: “These measures expose a broad range of legitimate activities to the risk of criminal prosecution, including preparing and distributing information and providing legal advice on migrants’ rights, activities protected under European and international law.”
At the same time, the OSF is also turning to Hungary’s Constitutional Court with the complaint that some parts of the law conflict with rights guaranteed by the country’s fundamental law.