1,425 People Have Been Deprived of Their Slovak Citizenship

A total of 1,425 people, among them 71 Hungarians, have lost their Slovak passports under the State Citizenship Act during the six years since the law went into effect on July 17, 2010, according to statistics published by the Slovak Ministry of the Interior. The law was adopted by the first government of Robert Fico (2006-10) in response to Hungarian legislation that made it possible for descendants of Hungarian nationals who speak Hungarian to gain dual citizenship. There have been several attempts to mitigate the law since its adoption, but all have failed.

As of February, the Ministry of the Interior began restoring some individuals’ citizenship by virtue of exemptions. However, it didn’t do so in the well-known case of Ilonka Tamás, a retired teacher who passed away on August 22, 2016 at the age of 104.

Ms. Tamás received her Hungarian citizenship in April 2011, and in December 2011—similarly to other Hungarians in Slovakia obtaining this status—she was summoned by the police and asked to hand in her Slovakian identity card and passport. She kept appealing the decision in vain. After several rejections, on August 18 of this year the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament accepted her complaint; however, she died without having received justice.