2 key UN agencies denounce anti-migration plan in Hungary

February 16, 2018

In this Feb. 13, 2018 photo, Activist Anna Nemes holds copies of the “You Print, Too!” newsletter at Budapest’s Keleti train station. The mini-magazine is considered a new kind of “samizdat,” the dissident publications from the communist era. It includes news not usually covered in Hungary’s pro-government media and is being distributed mainly in rural areas. Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban is stepping up efforts to silence civic groups critical of his government ahead of April elections which will likely result in his third consecutive term. (AP Photo/Pablo Gorondi)

GENEVA (AP) — Two U.N. agencies are denouncing proposals by Hungary’s government to tax and penalize groups that assist migrants inside the country.

Spokesman Rupert Colville of the U.N.’s human rights office says Hungary’s legislative proposals could cause an “unjustified restriction” on the right to freedom of association.

He said they could “stigmatize” civil society groups and drive them into lengthy bureaucratic hurdles — and even possible dissolution — under Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.

Also Friday, the U.N. refugee agency called on the Hungarian government to withdraw the proposals.

It also denounced new restrictions at border crossing points in Hungary, saying the country “has practically closed its borders to people seeking international protection, in clear breach of its obligations under international and EU law.”

Orban’s government strongly opposes immigration, especially by Muslims.

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