Democratic opposition parties in Hungary held a rally in Budapest on September 16. Some 1,000 took to the streets to protest Prime Minister Viktor Orban, demanding the government respect democratic rights and other EU values.

The rally was organised following the European Parliament’s vote on September 12 to sanction Hungary for flouting EU rules on democracy, civil rights and corruption. It was an unprecedented step that left Orban isolated from some powerful allies in the European Parliament.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Hungary said it would seek legal ways to challenge the ruling which it described as “petty revenge”. However, Hungary is unlikely to be suspended from voting in the EU since Poland and the Czech Republic have said they would back Orban and veto any sanction against Hungary.

“Europe stood by us, now it is our turn,” the organisers of the Budapest rally said in a statement on their Facebook page. “Orban and his Fidesz party lost in European parliament, and Hungary has won.”

Demonstrators at the rally waved both Hungarian and EU flags.