Three opposition activists react to Fidesz claims that they pose “national security risk”

September 13, 2017

Three opposition activists react to Fidesz claims that they pose "national security risk"
Photo: Tumblr/tejhatalom

National Security Committee vice-president and Fidesz VP Szilárd Németh identified three opposition activists by name during a closed-door session of the committee on Tuesday. According to Németh, the activists – former Politics Can Be Different MP Gábor Vágó, stage director Árpád Schilling, and civil activist and video blog host Márton Gulyás – could each be expected to engage in subversive activities this autumn with the intention of “participating in the disruption of Hungary’s internal order.”

News site 444.hu asked each of the activists for their reactions to being singled out by Németh during the National Security Committee meeting.

Vágó, who recently initiated a referendum on extending the statute of limitations for corruption crimes, wrote on his blog: “What was my crime that I became a subversive? I initiated a referendum, and they got so embarrassed about the extension of the statute of limitations for corruption crimes? I organized a protest in [Viktor Orbán’s hometown of] Felcsút and I disrupted the peace of the main village? I spoke out at different demonstrations and spread the word everywhere that the government must be replaced in an organized manner, but that anger and rage should not direct us?

“Fidesz’s paranoia means that they’re afraid, that they feel their power is threatened,” Vágó added.

Gulyás, who has indeed called for peaceful acts of civil disobedience if the National Assembly doesn’t pass election reform by October 23, told 444.hu that he would organize a public discussion for Saturday at Kossuth Square, in front of Parliament, called “Background Power.” According to Gulyás, both Vágó and Schilling would participate in the discussion.

“My state has never decorated me like this before,” Gulyás said of his being singled out by the committee.

Theater director and activist Árpád Schilling said that what was happening to him and the other two activists was “at once comical and angering.”

“We see here that they are selling the country by the kilo to the Russians, but I am the national security risk?” Schilling told 444. “There is no kind of organization behind me, and I regularly speak my mind at protests. That’s why I must be named a danger to national security today in Hungary, they’ve got to deal with me in this kind of committee, and not with, say, the extremists who beat up public workers with police assistance?

Schilling wrote on his Facebook page that “the big day has finally arrived, I was given the most prestigious award of the Fidesz-government: the Medal of Traitors!”