Budapest gay sauna attacked with petrol bombs

Tony Grew July 3, 2008
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A gay establishment in the Hungarian capital has been targeted, the second attack in a week.

Four petrol bombs were thrown into sauna called Magnum in the early hours of yesterday morning.

One man was slightly injured by fumes.

The bombers had called the sauna before their attack and warned people to evacuate.

A similar phone warning was used last week when a gay club was attacked with a petrol bomb.

The sauna had kept several extinguishers at hand since last week’s attack and so the fire was promptly extinguished.

The gay community in the city is fearful that more violence could occur during this week’s 13th LGBT Film and Cultural Festival and at the Pride march on Saturday.

“We are doubtful if the police are really protecting the gay establishments as they promised,” said Gábor Kuszing of gay rights group Patent Association.

“Police were present around the cinema housing the Festival, however they left after the politicians opening the Festival finished with their speeches,” he added.

Yesterday’s attack comes after repeated threats against the LGBT festival and the Pride march from right-wing groups during the last few weeks.

Activists said it could be the work of a group who use a website called

Described as “an extremist nationalist hate site targeted against gay people, liberals, Jewish people,” the phone numbers and other details about gay activists are regularly posted on the site.

“This site, although Hungarian, is hosted in a US server, so there is nothing we can do to stop them,” a Hungarian activist from Budapest told

“Last week this site put out an address list of all the gay bars in Budapest, the first in the list being Action. Later that night, it was set on fire.”

The chief of police in Budapest has said he is anticipating disruptions to this year’s Pride march on July 5th.

Last year at Budapest Pride, a gang of ultra-nationalists, skinheads and fascists attacked marchers along the 7km (4.3 mile) route.

Pride organisers said that the police had failed to take appropriate action:

“Contrary to a number of reports and the statement of the Interior Ministry, items capable of causing grievous bodily harm were thrown at the marchers: beer bottles, smoke bombs and molotov cocktails,” they said.

“The counter-demonstrators continuously shouted: “faggots into the Danube, followed by the Jews,” “soap factory” and “filthy faggots.””

After two arson attacks on gay venues in one week, there is concern that fascist and nationalist extremists are planning more violence against the city’s gay community.

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