November 1, 2019
HHRF ALERT: Speak Up for the Hungarian Minority in Ukraine! Tell the New York Times and Washington Post They Are Misinformed
You may have read recent articles in the New York Times and Washington Post that question the veracity of the unprecedented assault against the ethnic Hungarian community in Subcarpathia, Ukraine. HHRF has written an objection to the Editor of the New York Times and we urge you to write as well, no matter how briefly. Ongoing discrimination, scapegoating and threats to the lives of ethnic Hungarians are well documented and verified.
Here are some examples you can refer to:
· Numerous illegal activities and undemocratic policies surrounded the July 2019 parliamentary elections in which the Hungarian minority community lost its sole representative in the Rada. There is now no one at the national level to speak up for the community.
· In April 2019, the Ukrainian president signed a law curtailing the Hungarian minority’s use of their mother tongue, in violation of their own constitution.
· No student enrolled in the Mukachevo/Munkács State University’s Hungarian Department in September 2019. The country’s anti-Hungarian, coupled with unfair entrance exams and changes to the education law, have driven Hungarian language education into the ground.
· Billboards falsely labeling Hungarians “separatists” littered the Subcarpathian countryside in October 2018.
· In September 2018, the Ukrainian parliament’s website hosted a petition to deprive dual Ukrainian-Hungarian citizens of their citizenship and deport them.
· “There are no Hungarians living in Subcarpathia, only Ukrainians of Hungarian origin,” proclaimed the president of Subcarpathian State Administrative Office, Ihor Bondarenko, in October 2019.
· The headquarters of the Cultural Alliance of Hungarians in Subcarpathia (KMKSZ) in Uzghorod/Ungvár was firebombed in February 2018. The perpetrators have yet to be identified or charged.
· An extremist website, Myrotvorets, that in 2018 revealed the personal data of hundreds of ethnic Hungarians it deemed “enemies of the state” is still up and running.
Please stand up for human rights and submit comments to both newspapers.
July 18, 2019
HHRF ALERT: Police Raid Homes of Hungarian Minority Leaders in Ukraine to Intimidate Voters
Sole Parliamentary Representative for the Community Appeals to European Parliament
Following armed raids at the homes of ethnic Hungarian community leaders in Subcarpathia, Ukraine, the president of the Cultural Alliance of Hungarians in Subcarpathia (KMKSZ) called on the newly-elected European Parliament president to “demand that Ukraine observe the Law on Elections, in order to give minorities at least a fair chance to have their interests represented at the parliamentary level.” In his July 15 letter to EP President Sassoli, László Brenzovics wrote about “numerous illegal activities and undemocratic policies,” which threaten the fairness” of the July 21 parliamentary elections and the future of his community.
In a show of solidarity, locals rushed to the home of ethnic Hungarian Károly Rezes - an elected official on the Subcarpathia County Council – on Monday when police stormed his Szőlősgyula (Diula) house with a warrant falsely accusing him of buying votes. A hearing is scheduled in Kiev on July 19. Earlier that day, police also raided the home of Salank (Shalanky) mayor, Viktor Aljohin.
Brenzovics told karpatalja.net on Tuesday that “Accusations of us buying votes is absurd and nothing other than attempts to intimidate the activists and representatives of the Hungarian community in Subcarpathia…we emphatically protest the fact that authorities are harassing us instead of pursuing the real perpetrators of election fraud.” Moreover, the Hungarian community stands to lose any and all representation in the Rada with the rejection of a Subcarpathian voting constituency in violation of Article 18 on the Law on Elections to the Supreme Council of Ukraine.
“The intimidation and harassment of Hungarian community leaders, journalists, teachers, and organizations continues unabated,” states the appeal for help to Sassoli and the use of his good offices on behalf of minority rights and democratic practices. In fact, none too soon, the Hungarian Cultural Alliance learned, via Twitter, on Thursday, July 18, that acting Foreign Minister Jehor Bozsok had instructed the Ukrainian Security Service to begin criminal proceedings against KMKSZ. The charges? Apparently using the “Hungarian colors” of red-white-green on a map in its publication to indicate those election districts of concern for ethnic Hungarians in Subcarpathia is tantamount to “inciting separatism” and threatening “the inviolability of Ukraine’s territorial integrity” per Article 110, Section 2 of the penal code. Brenzovics denounced the foreign minister’s actions as those fomenting anti-Hungarian sentiments on the heels of the election, and appealed to the central authorities for normalized relations between the communities.
Read the entire letter below.