Parliamentary committee discusses István Beke's and Zoltán Szőcs' case

Today's classified meeting of the Hungarian Parliament's Committee on National Cohesion was convened based on Jobbik's initiative. Discussing the infringement of the rights of the Transylvanian Hungarian community, the meeting was attended by state secretary for national policy Árpád Potápi, state secretary for foreign affairs Levente Magyar as well as István Pásztor, the director of the Information Office.

As we have already reported, the Romanian authorities, after a highly questionable procedure, have placed István Beke , the Kézdivásárhely (Târgu Secuiesc) president of Sixty-four Counties Youth Movement (HVIM) in pre-trial detention, which was followed by the arrest of Zoltán Szőcs , the Transylvanian president of the organization. DIICOT, the Romanian agency for investigating organized crime and terrorism suspects the two Sekler youth of preparations for terrorist acts. The authority thinks they wanted to explode a bomb on 1st December, the national holiday of Romania. The procedure demonstrates some typical signs of a show trial: objects confiscated are New Year's firecrackers in Beke's house and Albert Wass books from Szőcs.


Demonstration in support of the harassed HVIM members

Last week, Jobbik Movement for a Better Hungary submitted a motion to convene a joint classified meeting of the Committees on National Cohesion and Foreign Affairs. As István Szávay pointed out in his press conference, the meeting was necessary because there had been several anti-Hungarian measures taken in Romania recently. The country seems to have taken backwards steps again in the path of democracy and minority rights. This process culminated in István Beke’s and Zoltán Szőcs’ harassment by the authorities. Supported by Gábor Vona and Márton Gyöngyösi (Foreign Affairs Committee), István Szávay and Balázs Ander (Committee on National Cohesion) the two MPs initiating the meeting proposed to hear Zsolt Semjén, the deputy prime minister for Hungarian communities abroad, Péter Szíjjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as Romania's ambassador to Budapest.

Eventually, the matter was debated by the Committee on National Cohesion in its classified meeting. After the session, Balázs Ander told us that he was happy about the fact that the committee was indeed convened and the Hungarian Parliament decided to deal with this astounding case. "However, I am sad that neither deputy prime minister Zsolt Semjén nor foreign affairs minister Péter Szíjjártó attended the meeting. They were represented by state secretary for national policy Árpád Potápi and state secretary for foreign affairs Levente Magyar. Although the Romanian ambassador did not show up or send a substitute, he did respond to the Committee's request and asked to discuss the issues of bilateral relations at a later time due to his currently busy schedule. I believe that such discussion is indeed necessary as Romania has been trampling upon the Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia) Declaration that the country passed on 1st December 1918 and is supposed to ensure extensive rights for national communities," Jobbik's MP pointed out.

On behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, it was Márton Gyöngyösi, the body's vice chairman who attended the classified meeting. Evaluating the debate, Gyöngyösi said he had unfortunately not been convinced by the present members of the government that Hungarian diplomacy was going to stand up with the necessary resolve in Beke and Szőcs' matter or other anti-Hungarian measures in Romania. "The potential steps of our diplomacy include summoning the ambassador, sending an official note or even going beyond that, but the Hungarian government does not seem to consider the matter important enough to do even the former. The Romanian ambassador may have decided not to show up for this committee meeting, but he would not be allowed to reject the government's call. I regret to say that I don't feel the Hungarian government truly intends to demonstrate a more resolved stance. However, we must not fail to notice that as long as Romania sees that the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not clearly stand up against such anti-Hungarian measures, it will continue daring to do anything and it will go further and further."

Talking about Jobbik's expectations from the Hungarian government, Gyöngyösi explained that the ministry should firmly remind Romania of its responsibilities assumed by becoming a member of the EU and the Council of Europe, and to treat its citizens in compliance with the rule of law. "Let's make it clear: this is a show trial which infringes upon the rights of HVIM members from a dozen aspects. In addition to diplomatic measures, we expect the Hungarian state to provide rapid and effective national legal aid to our fellow-nationals harassed abroad."  emphasized the politician.


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