Another 4 civil organizations boycott NGO law

July 12, 2017

“When will you leave us alone?” Photo: Ökotárs Alapitvány – Facebook

Another four NGOs have announced they will not comply with a recently passed law requiring them to register themselves with a court, reports 444.hu.

As the deadline set by the government for NGOs receiving funding from abroad to register as “foreign-funded organizations” expires today, the four NGOs said they will disregard the controversial civil law.

The four are:

Autonomia Foundation, a Roma integration advocacy organization,

Civil College Foundation, which supports local communities,

Rights Reporter Foundation, which deals with drug policy and marginalized groups, and

Ökotárs Foundation, which promotes environmental improvement and awareness among civil society and the general public.

“This law is one of the many measures that fundamentally endanger Hungarian democracy,” they say in a joint statement. “The law was adopted during the crossfire of anti-civilian government propaganda, without social consultation, despite extensive international and domestic protest, and moreover, with the sole support of the governing party.” The NGOs argue that the government’s aim is to “quarantine and intimidate independent civil organizations so that they do not have a say in public affairs and do not give their opinion on parliamentary and municipal decisions.”

The ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition adopted the NGO law in June. It obliges NGOs that receive more than HUF 7.2 million (USD 27,236) worth of funding from foreign donors to register themselves as “foreign-funded” organizations with a court, and indicate this in their public communications.

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, K-Monitor, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International Hungary all vowed earlier to boycott the law.