Prosecutor wants fascist Hungarian group shut down

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Budapest’s prosecutor has accused a far-right group recently established in the country of racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism and asked a court to disband it.

Magyar Garda, or Hungarian Guard, held an anti-Roma rally earlier this month, where they marched in neo-Nazi uniforms.

A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said the group was guilty of generating fear among minority groups, specifically the Roma, who make up 5% of the Hungarian population.

“Freedom of association cannot get in the way of another’s rights or freedom,” he said.

Magyar Guard was founded in August by a small political party of around 600 members called Jobbik.

The guard has virulently homophobic views.

The founding members of Magyar Garda took oaths of allegance in front of over a thousand supporters of the Jobbik party waving red and white striped Arpad flags, similar to those used by the country’s pro-Nazi Arrow Cross regime during the Second World War.

Jobbik supporters protested at Budapest’s gay pride march in July, throwing eggs and bottles at marchers.

“If the Magyar Guard manages to legitimise itself over the longer term… more such groups will be formed and it will cause a strong fear in the public in a young democracy which still needs to be developed rather than challenged,” Zoltan Fleck, professor of the sociology of law at Budapest’s ELTE university, said in August.

Hungary joined the European Union in 2004. New laws to legalise same-sex marriage are at the draft stage.

Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany condemned the creation of the paramilitary group saying it is “the disgrace of Hungary and Hungarian democracy”.

The Jobbik party has allegiances with most of the country’s mainstream right of centre parties in municipal and local government.