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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban: "We will maintain the existing regime, even if the European court ordered us to change it."

Budapest will stick to its immigration laws despite a European court ruling, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on December 21, as his nationalist FIDESZ party is bracing for what promises to be a closely fought national election due early next year.

"The government decided that we will not do anything to change the system of border protection," Orban told a news conference in Budapest. "We will maintain the existing regime, even if the European court ordered us to change it. We will not change it and will not let anyone in."

Last month, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that Budapest broke EU law by allowing police to physically "push back" asylum seekers across the Serbian border.

When Orban's justice minister asked Hungary's Constitutional Court to review the CJEU ruling, the court ruled that Budapest has the right to apply its own measures in areas where the European Union has yet to take adequate steps for common implementation of EU rules.

But the court also struck down the government's bid to challenge the European court's decision.

The conflict with the EU over democratic standards has prompted a freeze in EU recovery funding to Hungary, dealing a blow to Orban's hopes for reelection since the country's economy relies heavily on the funds from the bloc to boost growth.

Orban, 58, faces a united opposition as inflation hit at a 14-year-high and the budget deficit has spiked to record levels.

Orban, whose anti-immigration stance boosted support for Fidesz after the 2015 migrant crisis, said that migration and LGBT rights -- the two main issues which have caused conflict with the bloc -- would dominate the campaign agenda.

He said he would also pursue another contested issue: a referendum on LGBT rights.

The referendum will ask whether people support sexual orientation workshops in schools without parental consent and whether they believe gender reassignment procedures should be "promoted" among children.

With reporting by Reuters
One of the videos shows two FSIN officers instructing two inmates on how to beat and rape a third inmate.

The Russian human rights group Gulagu.net has released new videos purportedly showing instances of torture in a prison hospital for tuberculosis patients in Siberia.

The group published the latest clips on YouTube on December 20, saying that they had been recorded in the tuberculosis infirmary No. 1 in the city of Krasnoyarsk.

According to the rights group, the videos are the first in the latest batch from an archive compiled by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) that a new informant managed to smuggle out of the country in recent weeks.

Neither FSB or FSIN officials immediately commented on the videos.

One of the videos shows two FSIN officers instructing two inmates on how to beat and rape a third inmate. Later, a young inmate is brought into the room, where the two inmates beat him. They push him under a bed and cover the bed with mattresses and blankets to muffle what is happening.

A video also shows an inmate falling from a window. The founder of the Gulagu.net group, Vladimir Osechkin, says the inmate died.

"It was not suicide," Osechkin says.

According to Osechkin, the published videos represent less than 1 percent of the latest batch of materials that he and his group have obtained.

Osechkin, who currently resides in France, has issued several other videos showing the beating and torture of inmates by guards, penitentiary employees, and other inmates since October.

In November, he published videos showing instances of rape allegedly recorded in an infirmary in the city of Saratov. Osechkin has said that the men involved in raping and torturing the inmates were hired by the prison hospital as administrative managers and nurses.

Osechkin said they were supervised by the regional branches and directorates of the FSIN and FSB and identified some of them.

According to Osechkin, the footage was handed to the infirmary’s administration, which then passed them on as classified material to the FSIN and FSB. FSB and FSIN officers recruited the victims as informants after telling them that the videos would be made available to other inmates if they did not cooperate, he said.

In penitentiaries across Russia and most of the former Soviet republics, homosexuals and inmates who have been raped are treated as pariahs, face humiliation on a daily basis, and are forced to do dirty menial work.

In October, Osechkin said his group obtained a large batch of videos showing FSB and FSIN officers using rape and other forms of torture to force inmates to cooperate.

Osechkin's materials -- published on YouTube -- sparked a public outcry and led to investigations in the FSIN directorate and in penitentiaries in the Saratov region.

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