12:29 GMT27 January 2020
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    The UN human rights expert called on Tuesday on the Hungarian parliament to reconsider the recently adopted legislation that can result in closure of the Central European University (CEU), founded by billionaire George Soros.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye stated that Budapest has to reconsider law in order to restate Hungary’s commitment to democracy.

    Hungarian-born US magnate and philanthropist George Soros attends an economic forum in Colombo on January 7, 2016
    © AFP 2019 / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI
    “Adopted quickly without normal legislative process, the bill seemed designed to damage CEU … Members of Parliament have a unique opportunity to restate Hungary’s commitment to democratic norms and academic freedom. I urge them to reconsider this law,” he said, as quoted by the UN statement.

    He pointed out that the legislation may result in halting the university's work.

    “The new law 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,” Kaye added.

    The bill adopted on April 4, and signed by Hungarian President Janos Ader on Monday, requires foreign-accredited universities to provide education services in their countries and bans them from awarding Hungarian diplomas in case of absence of an agreement between Hungary and a country of accreditation.

    CEU is accredited in the United States. The university does not provide educational services in the United States and there is no bilateral agreement between Budapest and Washington required by the law.

    Earlier on Tuesday, CEU said that it would challenge the law in court.

    Related:

    MEPs Call for EU to Begin Legal Action Against Hungary Over Soros Uni Clampdown
    National Consultation: Hungarian PM Orban Seeking Ways to 'Stop' Brussels, Soros
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    university, law, George Soros, Hungary
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