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American-Hungarian Federation turns to US Congress over widening Slovak citizenship row
4th January, 2012 by News

The American-Hungarian Federation has turned to the US Congress Helsinki Commission with an appeal for it to take action in the case of a Slovak of Hungarian origin who has been stripped of his citizenship on the ground that he took up Hungarian citizenship, the alliance’s chairman told MTI.

The case involves Hungarian-Slovak businessman Oliver Boldoghy, who has called on the Slovak government to scrap a law which strips successful citizenship applicants of another country of that status in their own land. Boldoghy, of the city of Komarno, has said all Slovaks should have the right to dual citizenship.

Slovakia enacted the law after Hungary introduced a fast-track citizenship procedure for Hungarians living beyond the border. Under Slovakia’s recent legislation, 126 residents have lost their Slovak citizenship, including 15 who had been granted Hungarian citizenship.

Chairman of the American-Hungarian Federation, Ferenc Koszorus, told MTI at the weekend that a letter sent to the co-chairmen of the US Congress’s Helsinki Commission, Christopher H Smith and Benjamin L Cardin, noted that Slovakia had deprived Oliver Boldoghy of his citizenship in “the latest anti-Hungarian incident” after he took up Hungarian citizenship.

“This decree not only runs contrary to American and European practices, it also violates the Slovak Constitution, too [...],” the letter said.

“This decree must be withdrawn,” it added.

99-year old ethnic Hungarian stripped of Slovak citizenship
The Hungarian government’s Nation Policy State Secretariat has learnt with dismay that another ethnic Hungarian – this time an elderly lady born in 1912 – was deprived of her Slovak citizenship after she had applied for and was granted Hungarian citizenship, MTI learnt from a statement on Friday.

Hungary firmly rejects this attitude and is ready to appeal to international forums, Deputy State Secretary Zsuzsanna Repas said in the statement, adding that the government would also provide all legal aid to 99-year-old Mrs Aladar Tamas, a retired teacher.

Repas called the Slovak move inexplicable and one running contrary to European values. “What risk could have a centenarian lady awarded with Hungarian citizenship posed to the Republic of Slovakia?” the statement asked.

Mrs Tamas had applied for Hungarian citizenship under Hungary’s dual citizenship act and took the citizens’ oath in April last year. She reported the fact to Slovakia’s authorities as required by Slovak regulations, including a statement that she intended to retain her Slovak citizenship as well. However, on Friday she received a letter notifying her that she was no longer a citizen of Slovakia.

So far, 16 ethnic Hungarians have lost their Slovak citizenship under a Slovak legislation which stipulates that those who apply for citizenship of another country should be stripped of their rights.

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