Hungarian Minority Leaders Condemn State-Sponsored Human Rights Violations in Western Ukraine

Washington, DC – Ukrainian border authorities have been carrying out illegal interrogations, body searches and detentions against ethnic Hungarians, according to a report submitted on December 15, 2018 to top-level Ukrainian political leaders.

The “Statement on Civil and Human Rights Violations by Ukrainian State Officials Against Ukrainian Citizens of Hungarian Nationality” is signed by two organizations representing the Hungarian minority of Ukraine, who number approximately 150,000 and mostly inhabit the Subcarpathian region near the Hungarian border.

According to the statement, Ukrainian state border authorities are targeting and detaining ethnic Hungarian individuals crossing the border and “extensively searching their luggage and vehicles.” The individuals, who have not violated any law nor have been charged with any infraction, “are subjected to body searches and interrogation-like investigations, during which officials demand their personal data and confidential information on their economic, political and public activities.”

These violations are “frequent and of long standing”, and so far, Ukrainian authorities have failed to respond to complaints.

The statement is addressed to Ukrainian President P.O. Poroshenkio; Prime Minister V. B. Groysman; and L. L. Denisova, Commissioner for Human Rights and Member of the Supreme Council of Ukraine.

One of the two signatories is Laszlo Brenzovics, the only ethnic Hungarian in the Supreme Council of Ukraine. In April 2018, he visited Washington, D.C. at the invitation of the Hungarian American Coalition to meet with U.S. officials and raise awareness about the plight of Ukraine’s Hungarian minority.

For a full text of the statement, click here.

See also our press release on Dr. László Brenzovics of Ukraine’s visit to Washington D.C.

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