Thursday’s session of the European Parliament, which questioned Hungary’s state of emergency law, was worse than a communist-era show trial because the defendant — in this case Justice Minister Judit Varga — was banned from attending the session or presenting the country’s arguments, Hungarian officials said.
“Can an institution where hearing the other side is not self-evident still call itself democratic?” Varga asked in a six-page document posted on Facebook. The session, initiated by the Greens with the support of the Socialists, was meant to scrutinize whether Hungary’s emergency law gave too broad powers to the conservative government.
Attended by only a handful of predominantly left-wing politicians, the session became instead an outlet for liberal voices demanding sanctions against Hungary, stopping European Union budget payments to the country and launching a procedure for breach of Article 7 of the EU Treaty, according to Magyar Nemzet.
At no point was Hungary allowed to argue or defend itself in a case that Hungarian officials are saying amounted to the censorship of an entire country.
“My speech in the European Parliament which I wanted to say in the defense of the Hungarian people and Hungary, was banned. This says it all about the European Parliament’s staged procedure,” Varga wrote in her Facebook entry which also contains all six pages of the intended speech. “An institution which wanted to lecture Hungary about the rule of law and democracy on several occasions does not even pay attention to have the appearance of a fair trial.”
She wrote that the session had all the hallmarks of a show trial.
“Left-wing parties have already written the judgement, so they are not curious about the defense speech. I will publish the speech, which I could not give in Brussels, to the public of the internet and send it to MEPs,” Varga wrote.
Hungary is being attacked by pro-migration forces, says top Hungarian MEP
Hungarian Fidesez party MEP Tamás Deutsch also slammed the European Parliament’s “pro-migration, left-liberal majority” for “performing a pathetic and transparent political circus act debate today.”
Deutsch expressed outrage that the European Parliament was dragging Hungarian officials to Brussels for a political trial in the midst of Europe’s coronavirus which has resulted in the death of 160,000 and the loss of millions of jobs.
Even in such a dire situation “the groups of the Soros network are preoccupied with attacking Hungary,” and said that Hungary is being pursued “by the same forces who were attacking it for rejecting immigration and building a border fence” during the 2015 migration crisis.
While the European Union presidency, currently held by Croatia, was represented by State Secretary Nikola Brnjac, Varga, who was designated by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to represent Hungary, was not allowed to even attend the session.
Orbán, who intended to send Varga in his stead to represent the country, argued that all his time and energy was devoted to coordinate the coronavirus defense. In a laconic he only wrote, “This is how a Hungarian Amazon fights”, accompanied by an image showing the two of them going over Varga’s intended speech.
The session of the European Parliament which eventually only lasted 20 minutes, ended without any conclusion or resolution.
Title image: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Justice Minister Judit Varga. (source: Facebook)