-Source- Townhall- An international philanthropic organization founded by billionaire George Soros said Monday it has filed applications before the European Court of Human Rights and Hungarys Constitutional Court to challenge recent laws in Hungary targeting civic groups working with refugees and asylum-seekers. James Goldston director of the Open Society Foundations legal team told The Associated Press that the legal action is aimed at countering laws designed to intimidate and silence independent voices in Hungary. The Open Society Foundations support some of the civic groups targeted by Prime Minister Viktor Orbans unyielding anti-immigration policies. Hungary passed in June legislation dubbed Stop Soros that threatens to incarcerate for up to one year people helping asylum-seekers. In July Hungarian lawmakers approved a 25 percent tax on financial or material support for groups promoting migration. The tax law is so broadly written that the Hungarian government could target virtually all funding for rights groups and civil society even if a small portion of the funding goes to migration Goldston said from New York in a telephone interview. He said he hoped the ECHR would deal with the case sooner rather than later due to the critical situation in Hungary. The government has undermined judicial independence tamed the media and now seeks to silence civil society groups which are among the last critical public voices left in Hungary the organizaiton said in a statement.
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