Hungary’s far-right party is disbanded

By Thomas Land, December 23, 2008
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Members of the now-outlawed group taking their oaths earlier this year

Members of the now-outlawed group taking their oaths earlier this year

A Budapest court has disbanded the right-wing Magyar Garda (Hungarian Guard) association, widely seen as the 21st-century heir of the Nazi-era Arrow Cross.

The verdict issued at the end of the five-day proceedings effectively disqualified the association from organising public demonstrations due to concerns over its right-wing ideology and threatening behaviour, which principally targeted Jews and Gypsies.

The Alliance of Hungarian Jewish Religious Communities (Mazsihisz)welcomed the ruling and described the trial as a successful test of Hungarian democracy.

The formation of the Guard in August 2007 provoked severe criticism from all major Hungarian parliamentary forces and expressions of deep concern from Jewish groups.

Judge Árpád Pataki had excluded many parties, including Mazsihisz and a Gypsy representative body, from offering evidence in support of the prosecution.

Order at the court was enforced by an unusually heavy police presence, both within the building and in the surrounding neighbourhood.

Earlier court proceedings had seen organised confrontations where uniformed MG members physically prevented journalists from entering the court while their supporters chanted “we’re not interested in Tel Aviv”.

    Last updated: 11:46am, December 23 2008