On Monday morning 16th Hungarian police raided the offices of two NGOs, DemNet and Ökotárs, seizing computers and accusing them of financial wrongdoing. The raid comes after similar sweeps in May.
A few weeks after the prime minister declared that liberal democracy is over in Hungary and Putin’s methods should be precedent, police raids started. The government calls independent civil society organizations as agents of foreign interest, and challenges the Norwegian Civic Funds, demanding to stop financing Hungarian NGOs. Meanwhile Hungarian police investigates „financial wrongdoing“ at the four foundations that handle the Norwegian Civic Funds program in Hungary. !
What is this really about? The government has a blacklist of 13 NGOs. The list was leaked in May. The government denied it’s existence, until the police raids in September. During the search in the offices of DemNet and Ökotárs, the leading investigator declared: „I have a list of 13 NGOs. I want you to go through this list and present any document in order to prove their wrongdoing.“
It is the same list. The listed organizations are uncomfortable to the government because they stand for democracy, human rigths and the freedom of speech, fight against corruption, oligarchism, and dictatorship:
1. Transparency International – international watchdog organization
2. K-Monitor – Hungarian watchdog organization, open data for transparency
3. Asimov Foundation – independent investigative journalism news-portal átlátszó.hu
4. Hungarian Civil Liberties Union – human rights watchdog and advocacy
5. Roma Press Center – training Roma journalists, fostering Roma community media and providing news
6. Krétakör Foundation – a watchdog platform of professionals working in culture, social work, education and healthcare
7. NaNe – women for women against violence and harrassment
8. Foundation for Democratic Youth – democracy education
9. Hungarian Women’s Advocacy Association – gender issues, advocacy campaigns
10.Labris Lesbian Association – awareness raising on gay rights and tolerance
11.Patent, Association Against Patriarchism – monitoring domestic violence cases on court
12.LiFE – Association of Young Liberals
13.Szivárvány Misszió Foundation – gay rights, Hungarian Gay Pride !
The list speaks for itself. So why did the police raid the offices of DemNet and Ökotárs? Because the government wants to cut off their last resource of funding: the Norwegian Civic Funds. The operator foundations of the funds in Hungary are Ökotárs (lead, environmental grants), DemNet (democracy grants), and Autonómia (community building grants). The main target is the lead, Ökotárs Foundation.
We are not vehicles of political parties or foreign interest. We are independent. We are working on a democratic, transparent and solid society. We are working for our country. Our work and our finances are transparent, as is the Norwegian Civic Fund.
They are obviously trying to scare us. They are trying to suppress us. We will not quit. We are still working. But we need your help. How can you help us?
Show your solidarity: demonstrate, campaign. Spread the word: share our content. This can happen to some of you as well. Talk about it, start a public debate. Prevent it.
http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2014/09/05/eu-to-ignore-norways-call-for-measures- against-hungary/ !