Humanists back calls for sanctions against Hungarian PM for breach of fundamental freedoms #wakeupeurope

‘Wake Up Europe’ campaign launches, with support from HSS.

Since 2010 we have seen a increasingly authoritarian stance taken by the Hungarian Government in relation to press freedom, protection of refugees and asylum seekers, freedom of religion and belief, as well as calling for a ‘debate’ about the reintroduction of the death penalty.

LogoToday, the European Citizens’ Initiative “Wake Up Europe” launches its on-line platform for signing its EU-wide petition urging European Institutions to take a firm stand against the authoritarian agenda of Hungarian PM Viktor Orban.

Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) supports these proposals. HSS is a member of the European Humanist Federation and committed to the promotion and protection of human rights across Europe and beyond. HSS will be calling upon its members and supporters to sign the petition and raise awareness of the situation in Hungary.

While the European Commission has addressed some aspects of the authoritarian developments in Hungary through a legalistic approach, it keeps shying away from strong political action against what clearly is a systematic erosion of democratic principles and persistent violations of European values and human rights by the Hungarian Government.

The citizens behind “Wake Up Europe!” strongly regret this, and call on any EU citizen who believes that there is no place in Europe for such authoritarian behaviour to join and sign the petition asking the European Commission to initiate Article 7 sanctions against the Hungarian government.

Gary McLelland, Head of Communications and Public Affairs for HSS, and a Director of the European Humanist Federation, said;
“We fully support all efforts to protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms across Europe and beyond. Worryingly, we have seen an increasingly authoritarian approach develop in Hungary since 2010.

“The illiberal and authoritarian actions of the Hungarian Government are clearly breaches of the fundamental freedoms which the European Union is duty-bound to uphold. These actions are opposed not only by Hungarian citizens, but many of us across Europe who support the protection and promotion of human rights.”

Pierre Galand, President of the European Humanist Federation and Member of the “Wake Up Europe!” Citizens’ Committee said:
“By allowing Hungary to drift so far away from our common founding values, the EU encouraged other member states to follow this path. Recent developments in Poland clearly demonstrate this. While we strongly support the fact that the EU launched its rule of law probe against Poland last week, we would like to see the same commitment by European institutions to protect rule of law in Hungary as well.”


For more information or comment please contact Gary McLelland 07813060713 or

The online platform to collect the one million signatures needed to validate the petition will be accessible until November 2016.

More information about Article 7 sanctions.


Photo Courtesy: habeebee, Creative Commons.


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