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Hungary police to probe alleged far-right student list

Hungarian police said Thursday it will probe a secret database run by a group with links to the far-right Jobbik party and reportedly including details on university students' ethnicity and sexual orientation. The police told national news agency MTI that it had received a criminal complaint from Barna Mezey, the rector of Budapest's ELTE university, confirming an earlier report by private broadcaster ATV. ATV reported on Tuesday that HÖK, the student representative body of the arts faculty at ELTE, kept a secret database of first-year students that included negative comments on their ethnicity, sexual orientation and appearance. It said HÖK, which is considered to be close to Jobbik, kept the list for recruitment purposes. The national data protection authority responded that gathering information on students' political outlook, party affiliation, religion, ethnic origin and sexual orientation was illegal and violated their dignity. On Thursday, HÖK president Adam Garbai told the daily Népszabadság that he was aware the database existed but that the controversial comments had been added by people he did not know. He also denied he was a Jobbik member. Research group Active Youth in Hungary said last week that in a poll of 1,700 university and college students in 2012, 33 percent of those with definite party preferences said they would vote for Jobbik, more than any other party. In a statement on Wednesday, Jobbik said it would not deal with the "alleged internal affairs" of the student organisation but condemned compiling lists on the basis of ethnicity.