The Dangers of Illiberal Democracy in Hungary

a conversation with Márta Pardavi, human rights defender and co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee

Today democracy is in danger in an EU member state. Since 2014, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has systematically attempted to dismantle democracy, normalize xenophobia, threaten critical voices and challenge fundamental principles of human rights. Last year the government declared the “state of danger” twice and granted with unlimited power issued over 150 decrees. Meanwhile at its borders it has violated EU law openly for years, as the European Court of Justice found last December. 

We have the honour to announce that our next guest will be Marta Pardavi, a leading Hungarian human rights defender. She is the co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the most well-known human rights organisation in Budapest. In 2019, she was awarded the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award for her dedication and exceptional contribution to resist inhuman treatment of the most vulnerable. 

She and other outspoken critics have been subjected to hate campaigns by the Hungarian government and media close to it. What is it like then to defend Human Rights in a country like Hungary? Which challenges do human rights defenders face? How does Marta and her colleagues counter government pressure when they are accused of being “traitors”? How does Viktor Orban use the refugee issue and the pandemic to his advantage? And what is this “illiberal” democracy he promised a few years ago to construct in Hungary? 

If you want to learn more about the future of Hungarian democracy and rule of law and about the challenges that courageous civil rights defenders face, then join us on the 18th of March, from 17.00-18.30 for an interesting debate with one of the most charismatic activists in Europe today. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

For more information see: https://crd.org/.../civil-rights-defender-of-the-year.../