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Gay Pride organizers to file complaint against police

The police used intimidation to make Budapest Pride march impossible, said organizer Rainbow Mission Foundation in a press statement following last week’s march in the center of Budapest.

Police officer told organizers only two hours prior to the event that no cordons and entry gates will be built despite of what was agreed earlier, the press release states. Arriving at the venue, Budapest Police chief Tamás Tóth said cordons will be built when marchers are in physical danger.

“We were trying to convince them that it would be late when the attack begins and that this is an opportunity for right wing extremists to infiltrate the crowd,” said Sándor Steigler, president of the organizing board of Budapest Pride. During the march, four right wing activists managed to enter the crowd, but police quickly apprehended them. The police also demanded the organizers provide an ambulance, which is not requested by the law.

“We know about two further attacks after the march,” said László Mocsonaki, curator of the organizing board. “Two men attacked one of our volunteers at a metro station after the march in the evening.”

The other attack took place on a bus in the early morning where, according to an eyewitness, two men in their twenties called a man of about 40 queer and severely beat him up, he added. The foundation also said that the police failed to check the identities of the right wing activists who were threatening the festival.

“Through this, the police sent a message to right wing extremists that they can get away with queer bashing,” said Gábor Kuszing from civil organization Patent Egyesület.

The organizers said that they would file a complaint on the police behavior. (