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Hungary bans US far-right group's 'racist' conference

30 september 2014, 11:59
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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. ©AFP
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. ©AFP

 Hungary on Monday banned a conference of the US-based white supremacist National Policy Institute (NPI) set for this weekend, calling the organisation "racist", AFP reports.

Interior Minister Sandor Pinter has concluded that the speakers invited to the event "are proponents of racist ideologies" and that allowing them to speak would contravene Hungary's constitution, the ministry said in a statement.

"Practising freedom of expression cannot be aimed at violating the human dignity of others," it added.

Among those slated to speak at the conference Friday through Sunday in Budapest, titled "The Future of Europe - Perspectives on Geopolitics, Identity and Nationalism", was Philippe Vardon, a close associate of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Also on the list was Alexander Dugin, a Russian political scientist who promotes the so-called Eurasian empire. Many see Dugin as an ideologue with strong fascist views and close Kremlin ties. He is also said to be the go-between of Moscow and Europe's far-right parties.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban -- often criticised for steering the country of 10 million away from democracy towards an autocratic regime -- on Sunday instructed Pinter to use all legal means to block the conference.

But the institute vowed to defy the ban.

"The conference is not cancelled. We will meet in Budapest on October 3-5," NPI president Richard Spencer said in a statement reacting to the ban.

Meanwhile however the venue where the event was to be held said it had cancelled its contract with the organisers.


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