Hungary launches ‘Stop Brussels’ questionnaire campaign

Bence Tuzson, Hungarian Minister of State for Government Communication, holds a press conference on a national consultation, in Budapest on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 01 April 2017

Hungary launches ‘Stop Brussels’ questionnaire campaign

BUDAPEST: Hungary launched Saturday an anti-EU campaign that asks households in a survey their advice on how to deal with Brussels policies that it says threaten Hungarians’ independence.
Questionnaires titled “Let’s stop Brussels!” are being posted to households nationwide, a senior government official, Bence Tuzson, told a press conference to launch the drive.
“Big decisions and struggles lie ahead of Hungary in the coming period, (Hungary) can only win those struggles if it feels the support of the country,” said Tuzson.
The six questions on the survey mostly ask citizens “what Hungary should do” about EU policies on immigration and economic issues like tax-raising powers.
One question for instance asks “what Hungary should do” as “despite a series of recent terror attacks in Europe... Brussels wants to force Hungary to let in illegal immigrants.”
The answer options are: “Illegal immigrants should be kept under supervision until the authorities decide in their cases“; and “We should allow illegal immigrants to move freely in Hungary.”
The survey, called a “National Consultation 2017” by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government, follows the coming into force last week of new rules allowing the indefinite detention of migrants in border container camps.
Other questions in the survey ask citizens about international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that the government says support illegal immigration or “interfere” in Hungary’s internal affairs.
In recent months the government has moved to clamp down on NGOs that it has called “political players” and “paid activists,” particularly those funded by Hungarian-born billionaire investor George Soros.
In 2015, it also launched a ‘National Consultation’ campaign, asking households about “immigration and terrorism.”
That survey was sharply criticized among others by the UN refugee agency UNHCR, which expressed “shock” at its questions and said it could boost xenophobia in the country.

Bangladesh declares zero tolerance against drug dealers

Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) soldiers during a raid on suspected drug dealers at Mohammadpur Geneva Camp in Dhaka Saturday. (AP)
Updated 27 May 2018

Bangladesh declares zero tolerance against drug dealers

  • Law enforcers have so far arrested 3,000 drug dealers, while 23 drug peddlers were killed during “gunfights” while they were being captured.
  • Human rights activists and the country’s largest opposition party the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have criticized the “gunfight” incidents as a “violation of human rights.”

DHAKA: Bangladesh has declared a war on drugs throughout the country. In the past 12 days around 84 alleged drug dealers were killed during gunfights with the law-enforcing agencies.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the anti-narcotic drive in early May.

Human rights activists and the country’s largest opposition party the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have criticized the “gunfight” incidents as a “violation of human rights.”

On early Sunday, 11 drug dealers were killed in separate gunfight incidents throughout the country. Among the dead was a ruling party leader who was a city councilor in Cox’s Bazar City.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), a paramilitary law-enforcing agency, started its anti-narcotic movement on May 4. And it has so far arrested 3,000 drug dealers, while 23 drug peddlers were killed during “gunfights” while they were being captured.

Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan, spokesperson of the RAB, told Arab News: “There is no question of violation of human rights in our ongoing war against drugs.”

He said that when the RAB captured any armed person or group generally some shootout incidents took place. And, he claimed, it also happens in the US and other developed countries. “We arrest the drug dealers based on intel information and later on they are produced to the court.”

Bangladesh Police started its all-out operation against drugs on May 15, and police headquarters has directed all its units to start countrywide operations against dealers.

Mohammad Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said: “Our anti-narcotic operations will continue till the situations come down to a tolerant level.” He said the only objective of this operation was to bring down the usage level of narcotics in society.

Justifying the anti-drug movement, Masudur added: “We only arrest the persons with whom we get drugs. And we will continue this movement for an indefinite period.”

Obaidul Quader, general secretary of ruling party Bangladesh Awami League, said: “Any drug trader, irrespective of party, won’t be spared if accusations become true.

“The countrymen have amicably welcomed the law enforcement agencies’ drives against narcotics. Only those with evil political intentions are criticizing the crackdown,” Quader told local media on Saturday.

But Advocate Asadujjaman, human rights secretary of the BNP, claimed that in many areas of the country their supporters and leaders were arrested in the name of the anti-drug movement.

He added: “Any kind of extrajudicial killing is unconstitutional, illegal, inhuman and a violation of human rights of international standard. It shows that the government is not showing any respect to protect the basic rights of the people as stated in the Constitution.”

The country’s human rights group is also criticizing the killings. Nur Khan, renowned human rights activist and adviser of the Human Rights Support Society, demanded an investigation into every extrajudicial killing through a neutral and credible Investigation Commission.

Nur said: “This type of extrajudicial killing will establish the culture of absence of justice in the society. People will get frightened due to this situation.”