PEN International, a worldwide association of writers, released a statement Thursday condemning the Orbán government’s encouragement of hateful views, its crackdown on independent civil society groups and critical voices, and Lex CEU (the controversial legislation designed to force the closure of the Central European University).
According to PEN, the government’s George Soros billboards were reminiscent of anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda, which mocked Jewish people and emphasized their supposed attempts to destroy Germany.
“Prime Minister Viktor Orbán claims that the government has zero-tolerance towards anti-Semitism yet this latest campaign against George Soros has clearly fueled hateful views,” said Jennifer Clement, PEN International President. ‘We urge the Hungarian authorities to investigate, prosecute and sentence all racist crimes and to end their vile and shameful attacks against dissenting voices.”
The statement reads: “PEN International urges the Hungarian authorities to end their campaign against independent civil society groups and to uphold their international obligations. [PEN] calls on the Hungarian authorities to take all possible measures to combat xenophobia, anti-refugee sentiment and racism.”