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11 Apr 2017

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Media Unit

Hungary: UN expert urges parliament to reconsider new law that 'puts academic freedom at risk'

"Hungarian Parliament urged by UN expert to reconsider new law targeting Central European University", 11 April 2017

Recently adopted legislation... "targets freedom of opinion and expression in Hungary, freedom of academic pursuit, the role that scholarship and research play in the expansion of knowledge and the development of democratic societies,” [David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression] said... [It] requires, among other things, foreign-accredited universities to provide higher education services in their own country... “While [...] drafted in seemingly neutral terms, its restrictions would particularly hit CEU,” Mr. Kaye said. “If enacted, its requirements and timelines could cause the University to cease its operations”... “Members of [Hungarian] Parliament have a unique opportunity to restate Hungary’s commitment to democratic norms and academic freedom..,” the Special Rapporteur concluded. Mr. Kaye’s statement is endorsed by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Maina Kiai, and the Special Rapporteur on cultural rights, Karima Bennoune.