In the late 1980s, Hungary's 15,000 member Security
was controlled by the Ministry of Interior. However,
Warsaw Pact countries, Hungary lacked a uniformed security
force. Such a force--the AVO--had existed but was
Historical Background and Traditions
, this ch.).
vehemence with which the public hated the AVO and
with the Stalinist terror, the Kadar regime saw fit not to
it, even under a different name. Nevertheless, until the
1980s the Security Police continued to harass and arrest
persons deemed to be political enemies.
The reform of the political system during the second
the 1980s appeared to have also affected the Security
an interview on Hungarian television in July 1989,
Interior Horvath claimed that the Security Police no
viewed the domestic opposition as political enemies, an
that had become "obsolete" in a multiparty system. He
previous Security Police actions, such as harassing and
known dissidents before national holidays as "a bad reflex
of a different type of power structure." Horvath stressed
the Security Police did have a legitimate intelligence and
counterintelligence function but was not an organization
above the citizens."
Data as of September 1989