Balázs Tóth is head of the Law Enforcement Program at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a public benefit human rights organisation that provides legal help to refugees, detainees and victims of law enforcement violence. Kristóf Szombati met with Balázs, who has been working for the organisation since 2004, to discuss the challenges faced by civil society organisations in Hungary.
The hostile environment created by the government makes the work of civil society actors practically impossible. To be a human rights activist in Macedonia is to be a person that is constantly threatened, attacked, and demonized.
India likes to consider itself the “world’s largest democracy”. In practice, however, there are many restrictions on the freedom of expression. The space available to civil society organizations for action is increasingly restricted.
Repression of civil society is on the rise all over the world. The charter aims to support civil society organizations as activists throughout the world, to advocate for their rights and freedom of action, and to demand government guarantees.
The repression of civil societies activites in countries like Egypt and Russia are justified with the "protection of the states sovereignity" and the "principle of non-intervention". When unwelcomed critique is silenced, activists need all our solidarity and support.
The civil society in Egypt is facing a disastrous suppression and realignment by the government. By returning to normal foreign policy operations this weakening condition for civil society could be even strengthened.
State repression against non-governmental organizations is increasing globally. In this interview, Barbara Unmüßig calls for a reconceptualisation of solidarity with civil society and puts the issue of shrinking and closing spaces at the very top of the political agenda.