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Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups

The oldest Hungarian radical right-wing party is the “Party of Hungarian Justice”. Created in 1990s, the party was able to actively promote its ideas in the parliament until 2002. Founder of the party, a well-known Hungarian playwright, poet, political activist and a no less famous anti-Semite, Istvan Csurka, died in February 2012. Currently, the party is promoting its views on the internet .

Party “For a Better Hungary” (Jobbik) was formed in 2003 under the leadership of Gabor Vona by the former members of the “Party of Hungarian Justice” who were unhappy with its policies. The party’s name consists of a play on words – word “Jobbik” has two meanings in Hungarian – “best” and “right”. Gradually, the party became a leading radical right wing party in Hungary, beating its predecessors from the “Party of Hungarian Justice” in their radicalism. Along with Jobbik, Hungary has several other nationalist organisations, including the Hungarian Phoenix Movement (Magyar Főnix Mozgalom), “Army of Criminals”, “64 Regions Youth Movement”, “Self Defence for a Better Future”. On May 24, the first self-defence unit of the Association for a Better Future was established in Sazskhalombatta.

The main slogan of the Hungarian Justice Party, which is apparently in decline since the death of its leader, is the traditional far-right slogan “Hungary for Hungarians”. This includes moderate anti-Semitism and no less moderate anti-Roma sentiments. The party opposes “foreign domination” and is characterised by its anti-communist and anti-socialist orientation.

“For a Better Hungary” (Jobbik) defines itself as radical and national-conservative party. Independent observers classify the Jobbik party as extreme right wing. The party actively uses anti-Roma, anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric, even though it officially denies anti-Semitic and homophobic ideology. In its manifesto, the party calls for the recognition of the term “gypsy crime” and combating it. The leader of the party, Gabor Vona, also calls for gypsy birth control and forced transfer of Roma children “of lazy parents” to boarding schools.

The Hungarian Phoenix Movement is also primarily anti-Roma. Hungarian National Front aims to deport all Roma from the country, which they say they can achieve in 24 hours after coming to power . 64 Region Youth Movement demands restoration of Austro-Hungarian Empire frontiers. By the beginning of 2015, far-right party Jobbik had become the second largest party and largest opposition party in Hungary. The increase in Jobbik’s support has mainly been a consequence of three phenomena: the increasing dissatisfaction with the government’s performance; the non-existence of a potent opposition force within the democratic camp; and the rebranding strategy of Jobbik. The so-called “campaign of cuteness” started already in 2013. Since that time, Jobbik applied a completely new image affecting both the physical appearance of the party’s politicians and their rhetoric. While before 2013 the party was known for its harsh, anti-Semitic and openly racist statements, nowadays Jobbik focuses on sending positive messages. Instead of hate inciting comments, the party’s leading politicians concentrate on solving the people’s problem and fight corruption both within the governing party Fidesz and the second largest opposition party MSZP. The aim of the new strategy is to attract more moderate voters, persuade them that they have nothing to fear of Jobbik and make the party Fidesz’s main challenger in the 2018 general elections. In the framework of the new strategy, Gábor Vona talked about the importance of peace and calm in the society and promised the voters fairness, empathy and understanding in his “state of the union” speech in February . Later he announced the policy of opening to the West in order to settle relations with Germany and the US. According to Mr Vona the core of the party’s “rebranding” strategy is as follows: “Firm and strict programme on the one hand, calm and smooth tone on the other hand.”

A proof of the successful strategy was the by-election in Tapolca in April 2015, where Jobbik won its first individual constituency seat in the Hungarian Parliament. After the elections Mr Vona said in an interview that the party would go further on the path to become a people’s party and, while preserving its values. Jobbik would do politics in a calm and professional way and in a “civic” tone in order to reach the broadest audience. However, not everyone in the party is happy about the modest image and the manoeuvre into the political centre. In an interview Mr Vona admitted that there were some question marks regarding the new style and the process of becoming a people’s party within the membership. Indeed, while on the national level and in the party’s mainstream communications most leading politicians restrained from openly racist and anti-Semitic statements, members particularly on the local level could not but act “naturally” in accordance with their conviction.

As we already mentioned in the chapter about hate speech and incitement of religious and ethnic hatred, on 1 January 2015, deputy leader of Jobbik Előd Novák posted a photo of the family on Facebook next to the photo of his own family of five, and made strong anti-Roma statements. The post unleashed support from other Jobbik member and supporters, but was harshly criticized as racist by both the governing and opposition parties. Minister of Prime Minister's Office János Lázár labelled Novák a “cowardly criminal” for stigmatizing a new-born baby on the basis of ethnicity and said that it is the responsibility of the state to protect all children against discrimination.

Ahead of the by-elections in Tapolca many cases were revealed where either Jobbik politicians made racist or anti-Semitic statements or admitted that the modest image is only a facade. In February earlier Facebook posts of János Kötél, a Jobbik candidate for the council of a town in Southeast Hungary Mezőtúr were discovered.

Back in 2013 Mr Kötél posted about the execution of Roma people. Vona tried to distance Jobbik from these views, and forced Kötél to live with a Roma member of the party for three days. However media reports revealed later that the Roma man in question had some anti-Semitic posts on his Facebook wall as well. Shortly after, one of Jobbik members of a local council in Budapest caused public outrage when he refused to pay tribute to the recently-deceased Chief Rabbi of Hungary, József Schweitzer, mentioned earlier. A few days later, anti-Roma posts from the Facebook wall of Jobbik’s candidate in the Tapolca by-elections were discovered. One of the posts, for instance, praised an article which described Roma as “biological weapon of the Jews”. In March, Jobbik Member of Parliament Gergely Kulcsár’s anti-Semitic act from 2011 was leaked. In 2011 Mr Kulcsár desecrated the Holocaust memorial “Shoes on the Bank of the Danube” in Budapest by spitting into one of the shoes. As reaction Mr Vona sent Mr Kulcsár back to the scene to pay his tribute. Still in March an audio tape was released on which Tamás Sneider, the Jobbik deputy president of Parliament can be heard telling his audience that consisted of members of the extremist paramilitary group Outlaws’ Army (Betyársereg) that the cuteness campaign is not real and the party has not changed. They only had to temper their message so that they do not scare away the more moderate voters, especially pensioners. However, Outlaws’ Army can carry on delivering the real message of Jobbik since the two groups (plus Jobbik’s proxy organisation, the Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement, SCYM) complement each other on the basis of a division of labour.

Besides anti-Roma and anti-Semitic statements from earlier, explicitly discriminatory demands from the first half of 2015 prove that the party has not changed in its nature. They have just learned to better wrap their messages up. Jobbik continues to score via law and order policy, social populism, anti-elite and anti-poor (including anti-Roma) measures. In January, as it was mentioned earlier in the chapter “Discriminatory legislation and practices affecting minorities”, Jobbik insisted that disruptive kids should be put into special classes and in extreme cases into a boarding school. However, Jobbik MP Dóra Dúró serving also as a Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Education and Culture, tried to wrap up the party’s message, but it was clear that it was about segregation of Roma pupils.

In his state of the union speech in February Gábor Vona listed a few topics that are of importance for Jobbik and for which the party will stand up. For instance, he mentioned the possibility to limit the right of suffrage to those who terminated elementary school; to limit the number of children in families to a certain number that can be raised by the respective parents themselves; to make social benefits available only via a „social card” that can only be purchased in a chain of „social stores”; the duty of the minority to stick to the norms of the majority instead of the majority accepting the difference of the culture of a minority; possible curfew against repeated infringers.

Regarding the erupting refugee crisis, Jobbik’s position has been similar to Fidesz’s: instead of asylum seekers the far-right party has been talking about economic immigrants, threatening with the perishing of Christian Europe, and identifying refugees with criminals and terrorists. Therefore, Jobbik has been insisting on a harsh stance against refugees by closing the borders, deploying the army, creating an individual border patrol, turning the open refugee camps into closed facilities and speeding up asylum procedures. A month before the government’s consultation on immigration and terrorism started, Jobbik had launched a petition campaign in favour of the reestablishment of the border guard and to oppose that the state defrays the cost of taking care of the refugees.

Beyond the party landscape there are two major far-right organisations in Hungary, each has close ties to Jobbik. The Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement (SCYM) was found in 2001 by László Toroczkai, current mayor of the village of Ásotthalom in South Hungary. Current leaders of the movement are György Gyula Zagyva, former Jobbik MP and Gábor Barcsa T. The organisation’s name is a tribute to “Greater Hungary” that consisted of 64 counties. The movement advocates revision of the Trianon Treaty and reestablishment of “Greater Hungary” in order to re-unite all ethnic Hungarians living in the neighbouring countries. The movement is mainly active on the local level (not only in Hungary but also in the parts of Slovakia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine where ethnic Hungarians live) and unofficially functions as the radical wing of the party. Their main activity is to advocate stricter measures on the local level against those who do not stick to the rules (e.g., criminals and those who do not care about order and purity in a settlement; by these terms far-right groups always refer to Roma and only focus on Roma perpetrators and “Gypsy crime”). Furthermore they organise demonstrations and other activities (e.g., petition campaign) to spread anti-Roma, anti-Semitic and nationalist messages (e.g., marches commemorating “heroic acts” of German and Hungarian soldiers during WWII), and organise summer camps, sport activities and paramilitary training for the youth. They are visible at the national level only at certain occasions (e.g., yearly march commemorating the Trianon Treaty in June, march against a possible participation of Hungary in the war in Ukraine in February). In the first half of 2015 the movement did not undertake any major activities either against minorities or refugees. The movement turned to the topic of refugees only from May on, even though Mr Toroczkai’s village, Ásotthalom, which is situated at the border to Serbia, has been one of settlements that have been affected by the influx of refugees the most. However, their first major action against refugees was a demonstration in Budapest that took place only on July 10. Further actions took place later during the second half of the year.

Another paramilitary organisation that is even more radical and extreme than SCYM is the Outlaws’ Army, which poses a real threat to Hungary’s domestic security. It is an openly racist organisation, which does not accept Roma as members and whose members believe in white supremacy . Outlaws’ Army was founded in 2008 by László Toroczkai. Current leader of the Outlaws is Zsolt Tyirityán, who earlier served a prison sentence for grievous bodily injury committed with racist motive. According to Mr Tyirityán, Outlaws’ Army has about 200 members, including former officers of the security forces (e.g., former officers of the police, army and intelligence agencies and mercenaries). Many members of the organisation have close ties to the underworld as well. In 2009, Mr Tyirityán called upon the members for doing military trainings, practice the use of weapons and prepare for guerrilla warfare. Practically, Outlaws’ Army functions as an arbitrary security force whose services might be purchased upon online request in any settlement, in which inhabitants are not satisfied with public security. The Outlaws aim to re-establish public security through intimidation rather than the use of force or violence. Jobbik and Outlaws’ Army sealed a cooperation agreement in 2009. However, according to Tyirityán, the cooperation is limited to mutual support and participation in each other’s events. According to Jobbik’s chair Gábor Vona, there is no formal connection between Jobbik and Outlaws’ Army. He suggested, however, that there are informal ties and friendly relations between the members of the two organisations. There are a lot of personal ties between and even dual memberships in Outlaws’ Army and SCYM.

According to their website, Outlaws’ Army took part in seven deployments across Hungary during the first half of 2015. All the activities targeted Roma. The action, which generated the biggest echo, was a deployment in Szúcs, a village in North Hungary.

According to the Human Rights dogwatch NGO TASZ (Hungarian Civil Liberties Union), 30 members of Outlaws’ Army went to the village upon the request of a local landowner who accused one resident of stealing wood from his forest. However, an investigative report revealed that Outlaws’ Army was involved in a conflict between two local families. Besides living in the settlement for 3 months and showing general presence, they also regularly patrolled the village, made photos of Roma inhabitants, and threatened and insulted them. Just as SCYM, also Outlaws’ Army did not devote interest to the refugee crisis during the first half of 2015. They became active against refugees only in the beginning of July, when they visited Ásotthalom and the surrounding territories at the border to hunt refugees (the action failed).

A third organisation, which has to be mentioned, is the New Hungarian Guard, a successor of the infamous Hungarian Guard, which was founded in 2007 as an unofficial paramilitary wing of Jobbik. A few weeks after the Hungarian Guard had been dissolved by the Court in 2009, the New Hungarian Guard was formed. While the original Guard had a significant role in putting the term “Gypsy crime” on the top of the political agenda in Hungary during the years before 2010 (this term was the main reason that catapulted Jobbik into the European Parliament in 2009 and in the Hungarian Parliament in 2010), the New Guard hardly plays any role and has lost its significance. During the first half of 2015 the New Hungarian Guard was mainly occupied with organising sports days, securing events, renovating memorials, providing donations etc.

In 2017, the party continued and even accelerated its moderation process that started in 2013 2014 in order to reposition the party as a nationalist, conservative people’s party. While earlier the party was known for its extremist positions, especially for harsh anti-Roma, anti-Semitic, anti-EU, and anti-US statements, since 2013 Jobbik has abandoned these topics step by step. However, the repositioning and rebranding strategy seems to be mainly a political marketing tool for the party. The main goal of the strategy is to make Jobbik more acceptable to disillusioned voters from the centre and the left-wing parts of the political spectrum and attract former left-wing voters who are disappointed with both the governing Fidesz and the discredited left-wing opposition parties.

Even though Jobbik has increasingly focused on pragmatic issues (e.g., wage increase, state of the healthcare sector) and especially on corruption in recent years, the party’s positions have not significantly changed regarding social policy, social inclusion of the Roma, human rights including equal rights of LGBTQ people and foreign policy orientations. The party still favours exclusionary and discriminative practices in these issues, but they rather conceal them. At the same time, while the party’s messages have become softer at the national level and some topics and buzzwords have almost completely disappeared from the party’s mainstream communications (e.g., the term “Gipsy crime”, which used to be Jobbik’s main topic before 2011–2012), Jobbik has not changed at the local level. The party’s membership, core voter base, activists, and local representatives largely remained just as radical as they used to be and hold the same extremist beliefs and values as before. The token gestures of the party’s pragmatic leadership towards left-wing and liberal voters led to tensions within the party with those who wished to return to the party’s extremist path. The main example was the participation of the party’s leader Gábor Vona in a public discussion at the Spinoza Theatre in Budapest, which was considered a symbolic venue of the liberal Jewish intelligentsia by many within Jobbik.

Even though Jobbik’s moderation strategy was based on the consideration that the party has to broaden its voter base to centrist and left-wing voters in order to have a chance at winning the elections, the strategy did not bring any results until the end of 2017. Jobbik’s support varied throughout the year between 12 per cent and 9 per cent among the population that is eligible to vote and between 18 per cent and 14 per cent among the active voters with party preference.

In 2015, when Hungary became a frontline country of migration while remaining a transit country, Jobbik took a very harsh anti-immigration stance. However, throughout 2016 the party increasingly diverted its focus onto other topics mainly because the governing party Fidesz’s radical position completely dominated the issue, and it left no space for Jobbik. This trend continued in 2017 as well. While Jobbik’s mainstream communications focused on other issues, especially corruption, the party seemed to outsource this issue to László Toroczkai, who besides being one of the most significant people in the Hungarian far-right scene, was one of the deputy presidents of the party since 2016 and, since 2013, the mayor of Ásotthalom, a municipality at Hungary’s Southern border to Serbia.

In sharp contrast to its previous strategy, Jobbik mainly attempted to refrain from anti-Roma politics in 2017. However, for political strategical reasons, the topic was raised. At Jobbik’s traditional gathering on the 1st of May, the party’s chairman Vona said that Hungarian-Roma cohabitation remains one of the most important problems of Hungary, but it is impossible to talk about it in detail, “without getting lost in the blind alley of racism.” He also repeated the traditional far-right accusation according to which Roma families have children only to secure their living through child benefits. In contrast, in an interview in August, Vona denied that Jobbik has ever been a racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Gipsy party, and said he would be ready in the name of Jobbik to apologise to the Jewish and Roma communities for “wrong sentences” and the “derailed process.”

However, the party has not removed the word “Gipsy crime” from its vocabulary. According to a text on Jobbik’s website, “Gipsy crime” refers to “criminal methods that can be connected to the gipsy minority […] which can only be managed specially due to their ethnic nature.” According to the website, this does not mean that all Roma are criminals, but the phenomenon “exists and spreads.” Even though Jobbik did not build its politics on this word in 2017, the term appeared from time to time in the communication of the party’s leaders.

Party chairman Gábor Vona stated in an interview in 2017 that he believes “Gipsy crime” does exist. The most bizarre episode happened in November, when János Volner, the head of Jobbik’s parliamentary group posted a picture on his Facebook with the comment that he believes that the “politically correct media” manipulated the image and made the picture of a “Gipsy criminal” whiter. It was later revealed that the person in the picture was, in fact, a victim, and not a suspect – yet Volner did not delete his post. This case demonstrates that even Jobbik’s leading politicians have the same racist views as earlier and that they are ready to return to the party’s previous rhetoric if they believe it is politically profitable.

While earlier anti-Semitic messages along with anti-Gipsy narratives used to play a key role in Jobbik’s politics, the party has refrained from the topic in recent years. And what is more, Jobbik leaders have even made gestures towards the Jewish community to get rid of the stigma of anti-Semitism. In December 2016, party chairman Gábor Vona and party spokesman Ádám Mirkóczki sent a greeting letter to leading rabbis of the Hungarian Jewish community for Chanukah. Since then, the volume of anti-Semitic elements has considerably decreased in the rhetoric of Jobbik’s leaders. However, not all party members, especially at the local level kept themselves in line with the party’s moderation” strategy.

Even though Jobbik has traditionally been a very homophobic party with very harsh anti-LGBTQ positions, the rhetoric changed throughout 2017 within the framework of the repositioning strategy. While party chairman Gábor Vona called the Budapest Pride Parade a provocation in June 2017 and promised that Jobbik, once in government, would not allow such “anti-family” events to take place , he completely changed his opinion by November 2017, when he said that he would not ban the gay pride parade as long as it does not harm others’ sensitivity. However, despite the more moderate position of the party leader on the Pride Parade, the party still objects to gay marriage and adoption by gay couples. Furthermore, Jobbik’s leading politicians still hold their even more homophobic ideas. In October 2017, Dóra Dúró, a key MP of Jobbik expressed her views on LGBTQ people on Facebook saying that she even objects to the registered partnership of gay couples which was introduced in Hungary in 2009. In addition, she would ban the Pride Parade and even the annual LGBTQ film festival, which she considers “homosexual propaganda.”

Other Far-right organisations.

In 2017, the cooperation and network building among far-right organizations, which had started in 2016, continued at an accelerated speed, resulting in the formation of a new movement (Strength and Resolve, in Hungarian Erő és Elszántság, EE) by three pre-existing organisations. Since the decline of the Guard movement, 2017 was the first year when the far-right scene has appeared to undergo revitalisation. This development was mainly the consequence of two factors. Firstly, Jobbik’s repositioning strategy had created a vacuum on the far-right. In order to fill this ideological and power vacuum, far-right organisations changed their previous strategies, becoming more active and rearranging their relationships. Secondly, due to the emergence of the migration issue in the last few years, far-right organisations detected a new and trending narrative which helped them “repackage” their ideology.

Even though it is less significant, a third factor has also contributed to the deeper connections among the organisations. Knights Templar International (KTI), a Britain-based international far-right organisation under the alleged leadership of James Dowson , has developed close relations with local far-right, paramilitary organisations in some Central and Eastern European countries, including Hungary, where it maintains a presence through its local representatives. KTI, which has established close cooperation with leading Hungarian far-right organisations and activists, provided them with the know-how of social media communication, organisation skills and even gave them some paramilitary equipment. KTI thus served as an important catalyst in the cooperation and activities of Hungarian far-right organisations.

Due to Jobbik’s pretended move into the political centre, far-right organisations, which used to be close to it and could have been considered the extremist wing of the party, have moved away from Jobbik and become increasingly critical of the party’s new approach, while remaining on good terms with certain extremist politicians in the party. Moreover, due to the governing party’s move into the opposite direction, namely from the centre to the right-wing extremist part of the political spectrum, Fidesz essentially ended up on the same platform as far-right organisations, at least regarding refugees and migration. However, Fidesz attempted to use far-right organisations and individuals to discredit Jobbik and legitimise its own position. The pro-government media has seemed to intentionally elevate certain far-right organisations and individuals by carrying interviews with them in order to amplify their anti-Jobbik messages.

On 8 July 2017, "Strength and Resolve" (Erő és Elszántság, EE) were formed in Vecsés. A pivotal moment in the arrangement of far-right organisations, EE’s formation was to fill the political and ideological vacuum left in the political scene in the wake of Jobbik’s repositioning. Originally, it was meant to be a joint group between the Army of Outlaws’ political faction, Identitesz, and the Érpatak Model National Network. Nonetheless, the latter had a falling out with the other groups and was replaced by Jobbik’s former local ally: The Towns National Alliance (Városi Nemzeti Szövetség) of Vecsés.

Identitesz, originally the Alliance of Conservative Students, also ceased its activities as its founders transferred to the board of EE. Their main focus was university students as they propagated chauvinistic and racist ideologies. Accordingly, the group’s founders and several of its members were part of Neo-Arrow Cross and Neo-Nazi groups and were known for their anti-Roma, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and anti-gay sentiments, which essentially foreshadowed the group’s ideological orientation. Ethnic self-defence, the promotion of race consciousness and the “defence of Lebensraum,” are among its primary foci. In effect, the EE promotes unconditional obedience and the respect of power, authority and tradition, as well as communal and Christian values. EE’s logo also depicts the alliance between the feather and the war hammer which symbolise two of the founding organisations. The feather stands for Identitesz that in their view represent the intelligentsia of the far-right movement, and the war hammer stands for the Army of Outlaws who represent the fighters with physical strength.

Even though EE was originally formed as a movement with the aim of influencing public thought and not to directly influence politics, the founders envisaged a possible formation of a party from the beginning once the time is ripe. Strength and Resolve thus established 13 regional branches in 2017, with about 4-5 members each, in the following cities: Gyöngyös, Győr, Iregszemcse, Kecskemét, Kisvejke, Miskolc, Mosonudvar, Paks, Pécs, Szeged, Tatabánya, and Vecsés. Just like its founding members, EE also has good relations with other right-wing extremist organisations like HVIM, the Army of Outlaws, MÖM, and Knights Templar International.

Throughout the last few years, Hungary became a hub for international far-right activists who prefer it over other countries as their base. While the majority of those individuals did not involve themselves in Hungarian matters nor did they link themselves to local organisations, their ideologies often align with the organisations’ and the current Hungarian government. Among the most prominent activists who resided or frequently visited Hungary are the owner of Arktos Media Publisher and the editor of AltRight.com, Daniel Friberg, Tor Westman, AltRight.com’s technical director and Arktos’s head of marketing, American-Hungarian Melissa Mészáros, Altright.com’s co-editor and a vlogger, and Matt(hew) Forney, an AltRight.com writer and blogger, the founder of Counter-Currents Publishing Group Michael Polignano, Friberg’s former business associate John Morgan, French vlogger Willem Nassau, American Paul Ramsey (RamZPaul), Swedes Erik Almquist and Patrick Brinkmann, French-Hungarian Ferenc Almássy (originally Lavallou), and Austrian Holocaust denier Gerd Honsik. Hungary’s appeal can be many-fold, be it the country’s accessible geographic location made better by the affordable living standards, or the current government’s ideologies that provide the far-right activists and apologists with the conservative environments they desire.

However, Hungary’s appeal or the authorities’ approach might have changed in 2017, because some of the most significant activists have allegedly left the country. For instance, Daniel Friberg is said to have left Budapest for unknown reasons. Also, two leading British far-right figures, Jim Dowson and Nick Griffin, leaders of the Knights Templar International (KTI) far-right organisation, who used to be very active in Hungary in 2016 promoting their ideologies in the CEE region and working with some of the groups above, were unexpectedly banned from Hungary in May 2017. Even though the reasons for the ban have mainly remained unclear, the authorities aimed to stop the flow of extremists from the West to Eastern Europe and their penetration in Hungary.

However, KTI, which maintains a social media network that spreads nativist, traditionalist, pro-life, and Islamophobic views across the UK, the US and the CEE region, is still active in Hungary mainly through the organisation’s Hungarian Grand Prior Imre Téglásy. Furthermore, KTI cooperates closely with the Army of Outlaws, EE, MÖM and HVIM. An interesting event in 2017 was the case of Horst Mahler, a German neo-Nazi, who was sentenced to jail in Germany for Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic incitement, but upon a court ruling could leave prison because of serious illness. When he was ordered to return to prison in late 2016, he fled to Hungary where he claimed political asylum in a personal video message to PM Orbán. However, Hungarian authorities detained him in May, and a court ordered his extradition to Germany in June.

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