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The scandal is caused by the banning of the right-wing conference in Brussels

British Eurosceptic populist Nigel Farage and former British Home Secretary Sewell Braverman were among the main speakers at the “National Conservatism” conference. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was scheduled to speak at this two-day conference on Wednesday.

Farage spoke at a time when rumors were already spreading about the closure of the event. Braverman spoke after him, although the police had already arrived at the event to inform the organizers of the ban. However, the conference actually went ahead, according to the BBC.

Former French presidential candidate Eric Zemours was later barred by police from attending a conference where he had planned to give a speech on migration.

“I think it’s absolutely unnatural,” Farage told reporters after his speech. “This is completely in the old communist style – if you don’t agree with me, then you will be banned, you will be locked up.”

The mayor of Brussels’ Saint-Jose district, Emir Kier, announced on Facebook that he had banned the conference in the area to “ensure public safety” after anti-fascist protesters threatened to attack the conference venue.

Kiir also said the far right was “not welcome” in Brussels.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croix criticized the ban as “unacceptable” and said the Belgian constitution guarantees freedom of speech. “Banning political meetings is unconstitutional. Period,” de Kro, who is the leader of the Open VLD party, wrote on the social networking platform X.

Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán promised that “we will not give up”. “I believe they can no longer tolerate freedom of speech,” Orbán wrote on the “X” platform.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni criticized the “hateful suppression of freedom of speech taking place in Brussels”.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s press secretary called the decision to ban the conference “extremely worrying”.

Despite the ban, the conference continued until Tuesday afternoon. The police refrained from expelling its participants, but did not allow new visitors to come.

Organizers said they would challenge the ban in court. It was not yet clear whether they would be forced to continue the conference on Wednesday at another location or not at all.

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– 2024-04-17 07:00:04

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