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Amnesty condemns excessive force against MPs, protesters

Hungaryʼs police must rein in unnecessary and excessive force, including the use of tear gas, against peaceful protesters, Amnesty International said Monday, while also criticizing the physical ejection of two MPs from the state TV building, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

"Demonstrators are expected to descend onto Budapest’s streets tonight for a sixth night of anti-government protests," said Massimo Moratti, deputy director for Europe at Amnesty International, ahead of continued protests on Monday night. "Last [Sunday] night we witnessed displays of unnecessary and excessive force against peaceful protesters that included the use of tear gas. This must not be repeated again. The police must use force only when strictly necessary and only when all other means to contain the violence have failed."

Smaller protests Monday night were handled relatively peacefully by both police and protesters, unlike on multiple occasions last week.

Moratti added that the forcible removal of two opposition MPs from the building of the Hungarian public broadcaster (MTVA) on Monday morning revealed "the determination of Hungarian authorities to continue their crackdown on any form of dissent."

"This is in violation of Hungarian law, which gives MPs parliamentary immunity and access to all public institutions, and contravenes Hungary’s international obligations to respect the right to freedom of expression," Moratti added.

After the physical ejection of independent MPs Ákos Hadházy and Bernadett Szél, Democratic Coalition (DK) MP László Varju was taken away by ambulance after sustaining bruises to the rib and knee areas when security guards wrestled him to the ground, according to Hungarian online news portal hvg.hu. A video of the incident can be seen at this link.