The co-chairman of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Andras Kristof Kadar, has called on Fidesz spokesman Peter Hoppal to publicly apologise for statements he made at a press conference on Aug. 17.
Hoppal called the Helsinki Committee and other NGOs “fake civil society organisations” funded by international financial speculators, whose only task was to attack the Hungarian government, Fidesz and the prime minister.
Kadar said in an open letter on Friday that the Helsinki Committee had criticised successive governments for two decades. During this time it had received funding from financier George Soros. The organisation had criticised the situation of human rights in Hungary between 2002 and 2010 in UN and Council of Europe forums, just as it had done over the past three years, Kadar added.
The government could have avoided international criticism had it listened to legal advice from experts, he said.
Kadar said that the Helsinki Committee had provided legal assistance to many people who are also citizens of Hungary: to civil servants fired without explanation, law enforcement workers deprived of their pensions and demonstrators whose rights to assembly were curtailed.
“To see the representation of these people’s interests as an attack against the country depicts a very strange idea of the nation,” he said.
Kadar said unless Hoppal publicly apologises within eight days for falsely claiming that the Committee had been working to smear Hungary on the orders of financial speculators, it would launch a civil suit against him.