Document - Hungary: Amnesty International welcomes Hungary's commitment to combat discrimination and urges full and effective investigation and prosecution of racially motivated crimes




Index: EUR 27/007/2011

12 October 2011

Hungary : Amnesty International welcomes Hungary’s commitment to combat discrimination and urges full and effective investigation and prosecution of r acially motivated crimes

Human Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on Hungary

Madame President,

Amnesty International welcomes Hungary’s engagement with the Universal Periodic Review and its support for a number of important recommendations, including the adoption of measures to combat discrimination and to promote equal opportunities for disadvantaged and marginalized groups, such as women, children and Roma.

A number of States raised the issue of hate crimes, and we emphasize the need to revise the Criminal Code to bring it in line with international standards on the protection of minorities. Although the Criminal Code criminalizes assaults committed because a victim belongs to, or is perceived to belong to, a national, racial, ethnic or religious group of the population, there is no provision in the Criminal Code allowing for the existence of a racist motivation to be recognized as an aggravating factor in the commission of other crimes. Cases documented by NGOs illustrate that officials often fail to recognize racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic motivation in crimes and fail to apply the relevant law. In March 2011, Amnesty International received reports that Roma residents in the village of Gyöngyöspata had been racially abused by far-right vigilante groups in military outfits and in some cases carrying weapons such as whips and axes. No arrests were made for ten days, and Roma residents were reportedly told by the police to “behave” and then nothing would happen to them.

Madame President,

We welcome Hungary’s support of recommendations to strengthen hate crime legislation and its implementation, and to undertake public awareness campaigns involving law enforcement officials. We also welcome Hungary’s commitment to introduce training and capacity-building programmes for law-enforcement and judicial authorities to identify and address racially motivated crimes. We urge Hungary to ensure that such crimes are fully and effectively investigated and those responsible prosecuted under laws providing for sanctions which reflect the gravity of the human rights violations. Finally, we welcome Hungary’s commitment to ensure collection of statistical data disaggregated by ethnicity and gender to measure, monitor and remedy ethnic discrimination.

Thank you, Madame President


The UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Hungary on 23 September 2011 during its 18th session. Prior to the adoption of the report of the review Amnesty International delivered the oral statement above. Amnesty International also contributed to the information basis of the review through its submission on Hungary:

Public Document

International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK


A/HRC/18/17 paragraphs 94.13 (United States of America), 94.29 (Switzerland), 94.40 (Islamic Republic of Iran), 94.41 (Argentina), 94.43 (Russian Federation), 94.44 (Australia), 94.45 (Palestine), 94.46 (Bangladesh), 94.47 (Republic of Korea), 94.48 (Belarus), 94.49 (Pakistan), 94.50 (Norway), 94.52 (France), 94.53 (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), 94.54 (Thailand), 94.55 (Uruguay), 94.57 (Islamic Republic of Iran), 94.58 (Norway), 94.61 (Indonesia), 94.62 (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), 94.81 (Indonesia), 94.82 (Norway), 94.83 (Austria), 94.84 (Austria), 94.85 (Canada), 94.86 (Indonesia), 94.102 (Germany), 94.103 (Morocco), 94.107 (Sweden).

Ibid., paragraphs 94.13 (United States of America), 94.45 (Palestine), 94.46 (Bangladesh), 94.47 (Republic of Korea), 94.54 (Thailand), 94.55 (Uruguay), 94.81 (Indonesia), 94.83 (Austria), 94.84 (Austria), 94.85 (Canada), 94.86 (Indonesia), 95.19 (Indonesia).

Ibid., paragraph 94.8 (Switzerland).

Ibid., paragraphs 94.13 (United States of America), 94.54 (Thailand).

Ibid., paragraphs 94.82 (Norway), 94.84 (Austria), 94.85 (Canada).

Ibid., paragraph 94.43 (Russian Federation).

How you can help