During the 25th Pride Festival, the Budapest Town Hall and a few other (opposition-led) districts decided to display the rainbow flag, which resulted in several atrocities. Radical football fans and later a far-right Mi Hazánk politician, Előd Novák, illegally removed these flags from some of these buildings. Today, Novák reported on his Facebook page that he was arrested by the police for removing the flag from the Újbuda local government building.
As we reported previously, the Budapest Town Hall and some other (opposition-led) districts’ decision to display the rainbow flag on the occasion of the 25th Pride Festival resulted in two incidents. In Ferencváros, radical elements of the local football club’s supporters stripped off the rainbow flag, while far-right Mi Hazánk’s vice-president Előd Novák did the same with the flag on the Town Hall. Since then, Novák also removed the rainbow flag from the Újbuda (XI. District) government building as well. All cases resulted in police intervention.
According to Novák, who is a representative at the municipal government of Újbuda, by holding LGBTQI events throughout the month in the House of Culture of the district, he is excluded for “worldview reasons” because “according to the rules of the series of events, representatives of other opinions cannot participate in the events”. For this reason, the far-right representative complained to the notary.
Since then, According to the Mi Hazánk politician, he has been arrested by the police and is now “threatened” with up to 2 years in prison for removing the rainbow flag. According to him, the police conducted a search of his house at night. He was booked, a DNA sample and fingerprints were taken of him, and he was also photographed by the police. He added that “all this happened merely because of removing the Újbuda flag, and the government is trying to intimidate the pro-normality forces lined up against the propaganda of deviances.”
He also mentioned in his post that, as the local government representative of the Mi Hazánk Movement, he was the only one who mentioned that last year the efficiency rate of district police investigations decreased from 55% to 35%. According to Novák, the government uses the police for political intimidation, adding that “instead of their riot parade, they banned the protest of Mi Hazánk and also rejected our complaint about the humiliation of a national symbol, the Holy Crown with a rainbow motif.” The Vice President of Mi Hazánk added that he expects that the “perpetrators” who put the rainbow flag on the building will be prosecuted for breach of peace as well.
While the Pride Parade itself has been called off due to the coronavirus outbreak, accompanying events are still being held in and around the capital from Friday onward. In addition, a total of 30 embassies and 9 cultural institutes welcomed the Budapest Pride Festival and condemned the discrimination and violence faced by the LGBTI community in the wake of the incidents that occurred over the weekend and this week.
featured photo: Balázs Mphai/MTI