Hungary far-right party forms uniformed 'self-defense' group

Hungary far-right party forms uniformed 'self-defense' group
Laszlo Toroczkai, first row center, head of Hungary's far-right Our Homeland Movement, announces the formation of the National Legion, a "self-defense group" created in the spirit of the Hungarian Guard, which was disbanded by the courts in 2009 in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, May 14, 2019. The group's main activities will include "guarding of traditions" and teaching basic military skills. (AP Photo/Pablo Gorondi)

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A far-right party in Hungary says it is forming a uniformed “self-defense group” in the spirit of the Hungarian Guard, which a court ordered disbanded in 2009.

Laszlo Toroczkai, head of the Our Homeland Movement, said Tuesday the new National Legion would primarily focus on the “guarding of traditions” and teaching basic military skills. He says it would be available to provide help after natural disasters and to support people facing evictions from their homes.

Toroczkai said the National Legion would also serve as an umbrella organization for similar groups and has unspecified legal strategies to use if Hungarian authorities try to break up the group.

Vince Szava, head of a minority rights advocacy group, condemned the National Legion plan and called for preventing “the advance of neo-Nazi ideas.”