In Hungary, pro-government weekly prints list of ‘Soros mercenaries’

Report names rights organizations activists members, anti-corruption watchdog journalists and others, who it alleges seek to topple the government

People stand on a street by a billboard from Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party which reads, 'Let's stop Soros' candidates!' showing American financier George Soros, center, and, from left, Bernadett Szel of the Politics Can Be Different party, Ferenc Gyurcsany from the Democratic Coalition, Gergely Karacsony of the Dialogue party and Gabor Vona of the Jobbik party, in Budapest, Hungary, April 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

BUDAPEST, Hungary — A Hungarian magazine has published more than 200 names of people it says are likely part a group of what Prime Minister Viktor Orban alleges are “mercenaries” paid by US-Hungarian billionaire philanthropist George Soros to topple the government.

Those on the list in weekly publication Figyelo include members of rights organizations, an anti-corruption watchdog, refugee advocates, investigative journalists and faculty and officials from the Soros-founded, Budapest-based Central European University.

Some of those named are deceased.

Orban was re-elected to a fourth term as Hungary’s leader in Sunday’s parliamentary election.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban greets his supporters in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Orban, who based his campaign on demonizing migrants, blames Soros and organizations supported by his Open Society Foundations for wanting to allow thousands of immigrants into Hungary.

Last month, Orban said the government knew the names of some 2,000 members of the “Soros mercenary army.”

Orban and his government have repeatedly attacked Soros, the Hungary-born Jewish financier and philanthropist, using language that some critics have said has anti-Semitic undertones.

“We are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open, but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the whole world,” Orban said at one rally.

Orban and far-right activists have attacked Soros for well over a year, waging a campaign that has involved billboards and other advertisements. Some Hungarian Jews, in addition to Soros himself, call the campaign anti-Semitic.

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