Hungarian PM condemned for "migrant-terrorist" message

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OHCHR says the Prime Minister’s comments in an official questionnaire suggest a link between migration and terrorist attacks. Photo: UNHCR/F. Malavolta

Comments by the Hungarian Prime Minister apparently suggesting a link between migration and terrorism have met with strong criticism from the UN's human rights office.

It said it was "shocked" by Viktor Orban's remarks attached to a questionnaire recently sent to Hungarian citizens.

In it, the Prime Minister alludes to the Paris terror attacks and states that Hungary should decide how to "defend itself against illegal migrants".

Daniel Johnson reports from Geneva.

The UN human rights office said it was shocked at the Hungarian Prime Minister's comments in the official questionnaire.

Spokesperson Cecile Pouilly said that the document had been sent to every Hungarian citizen over the age of 18 a week ago.

In it, leading questions "actively promote hostility towards migrants" and risk spreading xenophobia within the country, Pouilly said.

"Of course this is absolutely shocking that the Prime Minister of Hungary will decide to ask every Hungarian citizen in a very biased manner…so you're asking your citizens about their take on immigration and terrorism; the only fact of asking and linking the two terminologies of course you're inducing a number of reactions from the citizens."

Hungarian authorities have a duty to combat xenophobia and discrimination, the UN spokesperson said, and employ principled migration policies.

Meanwhile, the UN rights office said that Prime Minister Orban's call for a debate on a reintroduction of the death penalty was a potential "terrible setback" in the global fight against the use of capital punishment.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1'02"

 

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