Hungary demands resignation of UN rights chief over Orban criticism
United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein addresses the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 26, 2018 in Geneva. (AFP PHOTO / Jean-Guy PYTHON)
GENEVA, Switzerland â" Hungary on Monday demanded that the UNâs top human rights official step down over his âunacceptableâ an d âinappropriateâ criticism of Prime Minister Viktor Orbanâs anti-migration rhetoric.
âIt is obvious that Zeid (Raâad) Al Hussein must step down. He is unworthy to his position,â Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, slamming the UN High Commissioner for Human Rightsâ criticism earlier Monday of Orban as âvery inappropriate.â
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During the opening of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Zeid warned of a general deterioration in the respect for rights around the world, but Orban was the only leader singled out by name.
âToday, oppression is fashionable again. The security state is back and fundamental freedoms are in retreat in every region of the world. Shame is also in retreat,â he said.General View of the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 26, 2018 in Geneva. (AFP PHOTO / Jean-Guy PYTHON)
âXenophobes and racists in Europe are casting off any sense of embarrassment, like Hungaryâs Viktor Orban, who earlier this month said âwe do not want our color â¦ to be mixed in with others.â
âDo they not know what happens to minorities in societies where leaders seek ethnic, national or racial purity?â asked Zeid, who has already announced he will not seek a second term when his mandate expires later this year.
His comments enraged Szijjarto, who charged that the UN rights chief had âaccused Hungary (of being) comparable to the worst dictatorships of the last century.âHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers his annual âState of Hungaryâ s peech in Budapest, Hungary, in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. The inscription reads: âFor us Hungary is first!â (Zoltan Mathe/MTI via AP)
âIt is very inappropriate that UN officials accuse member states and democratically elected leaders,â he said, insisting that âthis is simply unacceptable.â
He also voiced outrage that Zeid had not remained in the room to listen to the response to his comments from member countries.
âIt is an obvious question: Where is the high commissioner now. Why doesnât he listen to the member states?â Szijjarto asked.
He stuck to Orbanâs hardline immigration stance, insisting the UN and other international organizations had no business telling Hungary who it should allow into the country, or that it should not criminalize illegal migration.
âViolating borders must be considered as crime and must be sanctioned,â he said, insisting that âmigration is dangerous, â¦ (but) it is not unstoppable .â
âIt is stoppable and we have to stop it,â he said.read more:
- Israel & the Region
- Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
- UNHRC United Nations Human Rights Council
- Viktor Orban
- PÃ©ter SzijjÃ¡rtÃ³
- immigration policy