Hungary defends anti-immigration stance at UN rights body

A man taking part in a march against Prime Minister Viktor Orban holds a holds a banner that reads "Where are you migrating" on the background of the European Union flag, in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, March 15, 2018.(AP)
Updated 20 March 2018
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Hungary defends anti-immigration stance at UN rights body

GENEVA: Hungary defended its anti-immigration stance on Monday at the United Nations, saying it was determined to maintain a homogeneous, Christian society.
The UN Human Rights Committee, composed of independent experts, began a two-day review of Hungary’s record in upholding civil and political rights, less than three weeks before a parliamentary election.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a rally last Thursday that voters must fight “external forces and international powers” who wanted to foist mass immigration on their country.
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told the panel: “First and foremost, it is a firm conviction of the government that the Hungarian people have the right to live a life in security, without fear of terrorist atrocities.”
In 2015, Hungary had a “sad experience” when some 400,000 migrants passed through on their way to western Europe, “ignoring all rules,” he said.
Hungary responded with a border fence and rejection of European Union proposals to settle migrants in member states under a quota system. Most of the migrants were Muslims fleeing conflict in the Middle East.
“The Hungarian government has not admitted illegal migrants and will not admit them in future,” Szijjarto said.
“We Hungarians have lived the past 1,000 years in a Christian society, in an integrated, homogenous society; that is what we consider invaluable, and we continue to insist on this.”
He said non-governmental organizations that lobby for more tolerance of immigration were not elected and did not represent the Hungarian people.


Boko Haram suicide attack kills eight at mosque

Updated 57 sec ago
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Boko Haram suicide attack kills eight at mosque

KANO: Eight people were killed at a mosque in northeast Nigeria on Monday when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives, a civilian militia member and a local resident said.
The blast happened in the Mainari area of Konduga, in Borno state, said Ibrahim Liman, from the civilian militia force assisting the military in the fight against Boko Haram.
“The male bomber walked into the mosque at about 5:15 am (0415 GMT) while prayers were on and exploded, killing eight worshippers and injuring five others,” he told AFP.
“Seven of the victims died in the mosque while another died on the way to (the Borno state capital) Maiduguri.”
Suicide bombings against “soft” civilian targets such as mosques, markets and bus stations are the hallmark of the Boko Haram faction led by Abubakar Shekau.
Many of the bombers used are young women and girls. Liman said the latest attack appeared to be carried out by a man in his early 20s.
Umar Goni, who lives in Konduga, said he was on his way to the mosque when the blast occurred and he helped to rescue victims with members of the civilian volunteer force.
“We pulled out seven dead bodies and six injured worshippers. One of the six injured died on the way to hospital,” he added.
The bomber was disguised as a worshipper, he said, adding: “There was no way anybody could have known his mission.”
The latest attack comes as Nigeria’s government is encouraging people displaced by Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency to return home.
But aid agencies providing food, health care, clean water and shelter across the conflict-ravaged region have warned that security has not improved.
Last week, at least six traders were killed when a convoy of lorries under military escort were ambushed in Borno state near the border with Cameroon.
There have also been a number of attacks on military convoys and bases in Borno and neighboring Yobe state, with undisclosed casualties.
Soldiers and civilians have also been targeted in separate attacks in neighboring Chad and Niger.