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Police launch proceedings against ‘assemblies held without prior notice’

The police have launched several proceedings in connection with "several assemblies" in Budapest on Monday "held without advance notice", the Budapest police headquarters communication service said.

A demonstration was held without advance notice in front of the interior ministry building on Monday morning, and police started proceedings against the organiser for breaking regulations on freedom of assembly, the police said in a statement on Thursday.

A demonstration in protest against draft legislation seeking to change the employment status of teachers was legally held at the ministry building on Monday afternoon.

Then several protesters moved to the prime minister’s office in the Buda Castle district and held a demonstration without advance notice, the police said.

Several protesters used bolt cutters, other tools and physical force in an attempt to dismantle a fence in front of the PM’s office, and criminal proceedings were also initiated on the ground of vandalism, the statement said.

Police used tear gas against the protesters when the safety of police officers was threatened, as it appeared the barricade would be pushed over on to officers, it added.

After assessing available information, police will file a criminal complaint with the prosecution investigators on suspicion of assault against “persons acting in an official capacity”, it added.

The statement said that police use of coercive measures was lawful and professional, and they were considering filing a complaint against “people whose actions resulted in the application of such measures”.

“Police officers never used coercive measures for the purpose of intimidation,” the statement said. “Coercive measures are used exclusively in cases described by the law governing the police, bearing in mind the principle of proportionality,” it added.

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