STATEMENT BY THE HUNGARIAN AMERICAN COALITON
ON THE SZÉKELY MIKÓ REFORMED HIGH SCHOOL
IN SFÂNTU GHEORGHE/SEPSISZENTGYÖRGY, ROMANIA
We, members of the Hungarian American Coalition, join the greater Hungarian diaspora in expressing our strong objection to the politically motivated decision made in Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe) to renationalize the Székely Mikó Reformed High School. This decision reverses the historically proven ownership of a Hungarian institution; it unjustly sentences Attila Markó and Tamás Marosán to prison sentences for carrying out their duty; and it represents a major step backward in the painfully slow and long-overdue process of church property restitution in Romania.
This punitive decision is intended to intimidate the historic Hungarian community of Transylvania. It also calls into serious question the independence of the Romanian judiciary.
Over the past 20 years, the Hungarian American Coalition has gained first-hand knowledge of the major challenges facing Hungarian church schools in Romania. Our member organization, the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation, has advocated for the Hungarian community’s human rights for the past 36 years. Many of our members are not only regular visitors to Romania, but also major donors whose contributions assist with the upkeep of Hungarian school buildings and provide scholarships that enable Hungarian students to maintain their culture and ethnic identity
We call upon the Romanian authorities to correct the injustice represented by the Székely Mikó Reformed High School decision, and thereby provide evidence of their oft-expressed commitment to respect of the rights of national minorities – a basic democratic value.
Washington, DC, August 31, 2012