‘Protector’ of Roma facing jail as new law backfires

A SELF-STYLED “Colonel” sworn to protect Hungarian Roma from neo-Nazi paramilitaries on the rise in Hungary faces two years in prison if found guilty under a law brought in last year to halt Roma persecution. Ferenc Bago set up a “Roma guard” in the face of attacks from neo-Nazi groups with links to a far-right political party. But a law prohibiting the formation of unofficial security organisations was enacted soon after a neo-Nazi mob masquerading as a security force terrorised Roma in the village of Gyongyospata in April last year. Neo-Nazi groups are linked to the far-Right Jobbik party, winner of more than 16 per cent of votes in the parliamentary election of 2010. Analysts say these Jobbik outriders are ramping up their activities to improve the party’s election chances in 2014. The rightist Fidesz government of Viktor Orban has allowed the neo-Nazi Hungarian Guard, banned in 2009, to reform. The “New” Hungarian Guard, as it is known, and others linked to Jobbik, march in the name of law-and-order with little police interference. They were allowed to celebrate the foundation of the Hungarian Guard last month. Police watched as a neo-Nazi mob of a thousand poured into the village of Devecser earlier in the month, stoning Roma houses.

via scotsman: ‘Protector’ of Roma facing jail as new law backfires

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