“The silent man is an accomplice,” starts out an open letter delivered by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee to three of the highest public dignitaries of the Hungarian state.
The Hungarian branch of the international non-profit organization that monitors human rights enforcement in Hungary calls on Viktor Orbán, Pál Schmitt and Péter Polt to speak out against political organizations such as those gathered at the Magyar Sziget (Hungarian Island). Just a few days ago, a sound recording was made public of a lecture inciting to violence against Romas and Jews was held at the gathering.
The open letter also points out the connections between extreme neo-Nazi groups, such as those speaking at this lecture, and the far-right parliamentary Party Jobbik, which corruntly holds over 12% of the seats in the Hungarian legislature. As the letter states:
The head of an extremist group (Betyársereg) cooperating with the parliamentary party Jobbik incited its audience to kill Jews, Roma and people who have “a different color skin” at a festival in Verőce.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee urges the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the case and the Prime Minister and the President of Hungary to condemn the manifestations of hatred. The Helsinki Committee reminds that these steps are especially important considering the high level of intolerance towards minorities in the country.
When approached by the Hungarian press, Jobbik did not make much of an attempt to distance itself from the environment in which the Hungarian Island festival operates. As the English daily the Sun reported, the event featured musicians with songs enciting to racist violence, as well as vendors selling holocaust memorabilia. 7 of these 42 members of parliament not only embraced the event, but were active in its organization – serving as lecturers, panelists, or, in the case of Zagyva György Gyula, as one of its main organizers.
In fact, two Jobbik members of parliament, Sándor Pörzse and Dániel Z. Kárpát were panel discussants while László Toroczkai, a well-known far-right militant stated that any recording anyone might prepare of their discussion was not the first time he would be heard stating that he would like to shoot Hungary’s previous (or current) prime ministers. Toroczkai’s comments were made on occassion of the Norwegian massacre. We “would have done a favor to Hungarians,” Toroczkai went on to say, “if we had shot them dead while they were only in youth camps.” Toroczkai represents Jobbik in the municipal government of south-Hungarian city Szeged when not acting in the capacity as the Hungarian Island’s main organizer.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s letter goes on to urge Hungarian politicians to speak out against these intolerance, against racism and against inciting to violence against minorities residing in Hungary.
They address three state officials in particular. First, they request an official response from Péter Polt, chief procesutor of the Hungarian state, about whether he intends to investigate these incidents insofar as they are criminal offenses under Hungarian law.
Secondly, the letter demands that Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s Prime Minister deliver a public denunciation of these unprecedented manifestations of racist incitements. The letter also inquiries about the actions the government plans to take against persons openly calling for violence in this manner, especially in view of the fact that during the spring (while extreme right paramilitaries kept a Hungarian town called Gyöngyöspata under occupation for approaximately two months), they promised to be diligent in countering such activities.
Thirdly, the letter also calls on Pál Scmitt, President of the Hungarian Republic to step out of his silence, especially since, in his role as the representative of Hungarian unity, he must express that the views expressed at the “Hungarian” Island festival are far from the opinion of the Hungarian people.