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Hungary: Incitement is not a Crime

According to an article published by Ágnes Lampé in the Budapest weekly “168 óra,” the Hungarian police will not be pursuing the online edition of the “Expressz” newspaper, after it published an advertisement from a company claiming to specialize in “eradicating Jews”...

by Karl Pfeifer, Z word blog

Said company offered its services to “liquidate Jewish MPs with bull-neck, nouveau riche brokers” along many other groups. The ad offered an “internet execution” to order. Nonetheless, the Hungarian police opined that publishing the ad was not a criminal offense.

Ferenc Kádár, a lawyer who brought ad to the attention of the police, responded by asking what the prosecutors office would say if an online ad appeared offering not the extermination of Jews but the extermination of prosecutors.

Kádár, who pointed to “unknown perpetrators” when making his report, requested a search of the offices of “Expressz.” He also proposed engaging police officers specializing in online crime.

As stated in the letter of response from the police, the advertisement could not be judged as “a call to a preparation of activity, because the call to commit a crime must be concrete and imminent.” Apart from this, “nothing shows that the intention of the persons who published the advertisement is serious.”

According to the police, one cannot state the preparation of terror activity. For this it would be necessary “to commit according to the penal law a violent crime dangerous to the public or a crime with a weapon”. Preparation of manslaughter is not possible, “because there is no concrete call for this, the expression liquidation cannot be identified unequivocally with a call to kill other persons.”

And what is the situation with incitement against a community? The police would only act, it seems, if the extreme right were to kill somebody.

The press spokesman of the senior public prosecutor of Budapest confirmed that the Police have decided that the crime of manslaughter, preparation of genocide and a terror crime were not realized.

University professor Gábor Halmai, who is a specialist in constitutional law, said: “I expected such a decision. This practice is characterizing the work of the courts and prosecutors. The case of this advertisement on Expressz is not unique.” Halmai pointed out that the “readers of the neo-Nazi Website kuruc.info could vote whether the journalist József Orosz should be shot and tossed into the Danube because he is Jewish or because he is a homosexual.”

Tamás Polgár (Tomcat) wrote in his blog that it was a mistake not to hang the children of the members of AVO (political police) because the communists live here. In both cases there was a report to the police. In both cases legal procedure was rejected with similar reasons.

The former member of the Hungarian Constitutional Court Zoltán Lomnici has asked for a statement of the Constitutional Court in 2006 about the possibilities to start procedures according to the Civil Code against hate incitement, but the Court has still not responded.

It’s worth noting that last week, two Roma people were shot dead in an attack on two houses in a Hungarian village. Police said they were investigating the attack in the village of Nagycsecs in northeastern Hungary in which a 43-year-old man and a woman, 40, were killed by shots fired through a window.

Since incitement to murder is not prosecuted in Hungary, one cannot be surprised if this is understood by some as permission to commit to murder. The tendency of Hungarian police and courts is to deny racism and to deal with such crimes as if they were “normal” crimes.

Category: Ungarn
Posted 11/11/08 by: admin



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