Lowey Statement on Hungary's Anti-Democratic COVID-19 Actions

April 1, 2020
Press Release

Lowey: “My colleagues and I are watching and urge you to act responsibly and with transparency”

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on the Hungarian Parliament’s passage of anti-democratic legislation granting the Prime Minister sweeping new authority:

“I am troubled by reports of abuses of democratic principles and human rights around the world related to the global COVID-19 pandemic. While governments must take this pandemic seriously, human rights abuses anywhere, at any time, are unacceptable. The need to ensure journalists are not muzzled in efforts to report about the situation while promoting transparency is critical.

“The move earlier this week by the Hungarian government to grant emergency powers, under the veil of pandemic response, that essentially allow Prime Minister Orban broad authority to rule by decree without limit, threatens to set a dangerous precedent that undermines free speech and civil engagement. To Prime Minister Orban and leaders who seek to exploit the current emergency to abuse powers and threaten democracy: My colleagues and I in the U.S. Congress are watching and urge you to act responsibly and with transparency to protect citizens while promoting free speech and the rule of law.”