Budapest, April 29 (MTI) – The police today launched an action to expel protesters from a construction site in central Budapest, where the government plans to erect a monument to victims of Hungary’s 1944 German occupation.
The officers called on protesters to leave the site in Szabadsag square, citing a municipal decree issued on Monday to ensure protection to the construction site. A group of 23 protesters, who refused to leave, were carried out of the area one by one.
Imre Mecs, former liberal then Socialist lawmaker, said that “the protesters are protecting the honour of the nation” and blamed the police for not refusing to take “a measure violating human rights”. He insisted that “the police must not act against democracy” and said that the protesters would appeal to the European Court of Justice.
The government plans to erect the monument by May 31. Civil groups and parties of the leftist opposition strongly criticised the plan, insisting that the government was aiming to diminish the Hungarian state’s responsibility for the Holocaust.