Call for Action

Yugoslavian objectors, draft-evaders and deserters in Hungary

The Amnesty International issued a lengthy, detailed report (October 1999, AI Index: EUR 70/111/99) which dealt with the situation of Yugoslavian conscientious objectors and deserters in connection to the Kosovo crisis. The report is supported by citations from several documents and interviews with witnesses. Some parts of the report criticizes Hungary because of the treatment of the refugees, slow processing of their asylum claims, and incorrect refusal arguments.

During the Kosovo crisis, the NATO and its leading politicians repeatedly revealed the criminal actions committed by the Yugoslavian army by leaflets and radio broadcasts, threatening the soldiers with devastating attacks and international war crimes court trials, unless they escape.  These calls urged the soldiers to disobey the orders of the Yugoslav government and to offer resistance.

Due to this, we think that it is a moral obligation for the NATO countries to guarantee an adequate protection for all Yugoslavians who - following their conscience - escaped abroad, in order to avoid participation in the criminal actions. Now, from these objectors and deserters (ethnic Hungarians from Vojvodina, but ethnic Serbs as well) political asylum is being refused.  They are not allowed to take jobs, and are forced to live in miserable conditions in refugee camps (Debrecen, Békéscsaba). Their political asylum applications are disregarded for months, and they fear of deportation back into Yugoslavia. This procedure is a shame for Hungary!

We call the Hungarian government and the Hungarian immigration authorities to assure safety and protection for these objectors and deserters (many of whom are ethnic Hungarians from Vojvodina), if only because of the principles of correctness and humanism. It is the duty of the Hungarian authorities to take into account all the antecedents, the fact that these soldiers had made a service to all peace-loving people, and, in the near future, they cannot return in their homeland, because they can face long-term imprisonment for their actions inspired by their beliefs, or their political or moral convictions.
1999. December

See further related information:   Safe House reports:

Further supports are welcome
Farkas Henrik
Tófalvi Péter

Supporters until 3 December 1999 /in Hungarian/

Ádám András
Balogh Sándor /USA, az AMOSZ –Amerikai Magyaarok Országos Szövetsége- elnök/
Bata Gábor
Bródy János
Bulányi György piarista tanár
Csapody Tamás
Deli Gyula
Deliné Szita Anna
Erdély Dániel
Fábri Péter
Farkas Henrik
Farkas István
Hatvany Béla Csaba /USA/
Helcz Tibor /USA, a Volt Magyar Politikai Foglyok Világszövetségének elnöke/
Horváth Zsolt
Jancsó Miklós
Juhász Géza
Johnson Patricia /Csehország/
Keeler Wally /Kanada/
Klasse, Per Johan /Németország//
Lanaikey Avinty /Csehország/
Lengyel Alfonz /USA, a MAOSZ –Magyar Amerikaiak Országos Szövetsége - elnöke/
Merza József
Nagy Lajos /Belgium/
Raffai Zoltán /Svéfország/
Rátkai János
Sík Toma
Simonyi Gyula
Somlyó Zsuzsa /a Raoul Wallenberg Egyesület örökös elnökségi tagja/
Steiner Miklós
Szalai István
Szebeni Olivér /baptista lelkész/
Tanító  Béla / Finnországi Magyarok Egyesülete (FME) alelnöke, az emberi jogok követe Finnországban/
Tihanyi Gyula
Tófalvi Péter
Tóth Kálmán /USA/
Varga Ferenc /Ausztrália/
Vicsek Lilla
Vida István

Soldiers’ Mothers of Saint Petersburg
Habeas Corpus Munkacsoport
Hadkötelezettséget Ellenz?k Ligája
Volt Magyar Politikai Foglyok Vilagszövetsége