April 16th, 2012
Court overturns police ban on Budapest gay pride march
A Budapest court on Friday annulled the police decision to ban a planned gay-pride march through Budapest on July 7, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) said.
On April 6, the Budapest Police Headquarters refused to grant permission for the Budapest Pride March organised by the Rainbow Mission Foundation.
The police argued it would be impossible to maintain the free flow of traffic along alternative routes to the planned march, which traditionally starts out from the City Park, proceeds along Andrassy Street and ends up at Alkotmany Street leading to Parliament.
On April 9th, with the legal assistance of TASZ, the March’s challenged the police decision at the Municipal Court.
The court ruled that the march, expected to be attended by 1,500 people, can be held on the specified route and the police had no legal foundation on which to ban it.
TASZ said the police had failed to prove that an alternative route for traffic would not suffice.
Amnesty International welcomed the court’s decision on Friday. In a statement sent to MTI, AI Hungary director Orsolya Jeney said the decision confirmed all Hungarians’ right to the freedom of assembly as well as signalling a victory for the LMBT community. After this, police will be expected to ensure that the participants can freely practice their rights and they are protected from harassment and violence by groups that oppose the march, the AI added.
Police also tried to block the march from taking place last year. On that occasion, too, the municipal court overruled the police ban.