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Criticism on the banned Tibet demonstrations in Budapest rejected in the hungarian parlament/ENG

2011. július 17./Belgium/Denis Barbion/TibetPress

By Dennis Barbion and Hajnalka Gátai.
Belgium, 17th July 2011.
The banned demonstrations in Hungary at the end of June were discussed in the Hungarian Parliament on 4th July 2011. Several Tibet groups and human rights organisations planned demonstrations during the visit of the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiaobao in Budapest, but the protests were banned. Moreover, the Tibetans living in Hungary were forced to go to the Immigration Office without any reason the day of the visit of the Chinese Prime Minister. That was remarcable, as the offices in Hungary are always closed on Saturdays, and the Tibetans have official permits, to stay and to work in Hungary.

Dr. András Schiffer, leader of the LMP party fraction (Lehet Más a Politika, „Politics Can Be Different”), critiziced the facts that the policemen insulted the Tibet activists who wanted to demonstrate during the visit of the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiaobao, and that the police has forbidden a demonstration of the Falun Gong, a religious group of which a lot of their members in China are sentenced to imprisonment in labour camps. Dr. Schiffer reminded that also the former „pseudo-left-wing” governments in Hungary prohibited demonstrations with invented reasons and that the Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán said specifically the same at the end of June, "that they will take firm steps to eliminate the actions which risk the goals of the State". The LMP fraction leader asked what the real reason was for the police measures, and whether the government issued orders to the police.

As the Prime Minister Orbán had already left the hall, Mr. Károly Kontrát who is Under-Secretary of State answered that the announced demonstration was banned by the police because of potential traffic problems due to the protests, and to guarantee the security and a smooth transport of the Chinese delegation. "The ethical questions are important, but it’s also not possible to disregard the ethical responsability of the leaders of the country" said Kontrát, who partly repeated some former words of Mr. Orbán "that it is allowed to demonstrate but do not destroy the goals of the State". Mr. Károly Kontrát added "that the police acted in the interest of the safety of the protected persons and the preservation of their dignity", and furthermore that there was an increased control in force in the whole territory of Budapest city during the EU-presidency, in the framework of which the measures against certain persons were taken.

According to Mr. Schiffer, this reply was „scandalous and against the law”, because the right of assembly has nothing to do with goals of the state and international relationships, and that there is a precise description of reasons to ban a demonstration. In the view of the leader of the LMP fraction, the government „humbles the country by its servility”. The Parliament accepted the reply of the Under-Secretary with 187 votes to 73 and 10 abstentions. More than 40 deputies of Fidesz party did not vote although they were present.


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