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Constitutional Court rules against extremist right-wing groups who disturbed protests

picture of Budapest Pride parade

In two separate cases, a council of the Constitutional Court rejected the complaints of two far-right activists, who had claimed that it was unconstitutional to not allow them to disturb the events of groups opposed to them.

Members of the “Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement” appeared together in a group in June 2020 with garb bearing “Legion Hungária” symbols at a previously-announced demonstration against racism against African-Americans in front of the US Embassy.

However, the group said they were there only to protest racism against white people, and began to yell “Traitors!” at several demonstrators. The police eventually had to separate the protesters from the demonstration, fining them 80,000 Ft. (US $245).

Two members of the organization challenged this fine in court, saying that it went against their constitutional rights. However, the Constitutional Court ruled that the plantiffs did not want to join the ongoing demonstration, as “the purpose of their demonstration was clearly the opposite of that of the participants in the rally that had been previously announced on the square.”

The inscriptions and shouts of the group disrupted the official protest and endangered its peaceful nature, so the court ruled that removing them from the area was justified and rejected the plaintiff’s complaint.

In the other case, a similar group of people was not permitted to enter the Roundtable Discussion on Rainbow Families in Hungary event organized by the Foundation for Rainbow Families and Budapest Pride in August 2020, as “the group’s motives and opposition to the content of the event could be assumed.” The court determined this by banners the group was carrying that read, “Rainbow Family = Child Endangerment” on one side and “Stop Destroying Children” on the other side. In this case, the police also imposed a 80,000 Ft. fine.

As the Constitutional Court determined, the plaintiffs had good reason to believe that they would not be permitted to enter the roundtable event, as their statements would be considered provocative by the organizers and disturb the peaceful nature of the event. The court found that this case could therefore not qualify as a “spontaneous assembly” that is otherwise covered by law.

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