Related topics

Hungary Joins Western Countries Seeking U.N. Probe of Romania

March 3, 1989

GENEVA (AP) _ Hungary formally called today for the United Nations to investigate human rights in Romania, becoming the first communist country to demand such action against a Warsaw Pact ally.

The call came in a draft resolution presented by Sweden’s chief delegate Jan Romare, who told the U.N. Human Rights Commission that the situation in Romania is ″one of massive repression.″

Five other Western nations and Hungary have backed Sweden’s proposal that the 43-nation panel appoint a special investigator to examine human rights in Romania.

Approval would depend on Third World countries which have the majority in the commission, and on the position taken by four East bloc delegations on the panel - the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, East Germany and Soviet Ukraine.

The resolution cites ″increasingly severe obstacles for Romania’s national minorities to maintain their cultural identity,″ and the flow of refugees from Romania ″for reasons related to serious violations of their human rights.″

Hungarian authorities say they have given asylum to 15,000 Romanians, most of them from that country’s population of 1.7 million ethnic Hungarians.

Relations between the two neighbors have deteriorated since Hungary publicly accused Romania of depriving its ethnic Hungarian minority of their ethnic and cultural rights. Romania denies the accusation.

Hungary also has protested Premier Nicolae Ceausescu’s plans to eliminate more than 7,000 Romanian villages and resettle inhabitants, including thousands of ethnic Hungarians, in agro-industrial centers.

Romania, an observer at the U.N. commission’s annual meeting, has denounced criticism as a campaign to ″distort realities.″ It said Hungary joined the campaign to divert its citizens’ attention from domestic problems.