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the increasingly difficult work of journalists

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                Under Viktor Orban's government, the public media have become a tool of propaganda.  The clan of the sovereignist Prime Minister has also bought out many private media.  For the few independent media that still exist, it is a disaster, says the report on press freedom in Hungary by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic. 

                                    <p><em>From our correspondent in Budapest</em>, <strong>Florence La Bruyere</strong>

In Hungary, when an independent media seeks to obtain public data, such as the details of a contract signed by the state, it is mission impossible. Newspaper often has to sue, says independent newspaper editor Péter Petö 24 hours :« We’re used to trials. Even if we win, we are sometimes obliged to send a bailiff to have this public data. A trial can last more than two years! When we end up having the information, it doesn’t interest many people anymore… Our work has become absurd. »

Last December, a MEP from Viktor Orban’s party was surprised at a libertine party in Brussels. To create a diversion, close media target journalist Csaba Lukacs, director of the independent weekly Hungarian voice. They reveal that he is homosexual: “ These media forced me to do my coming out. I lodged a complaint, but they disoriented the trials in the provinces. We have to go there, we no longer have time to work. When you’re harassed like that, one day you end up telling yourself that you don’t want to be a journalist anymore. »

From hate speech to violence

For the time being, Hungarian journalists are not victims of attacks. But according to the Commissioner for Human Rights, if hate messages continue to circulate with such impunity, violence could occur.

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In her report, she concludes with recommendations to the Hungarian government. In particular: clearly condemn hate speech against journalists; and adopt European rules on transparency on media owners and on state advertising aid to public media.


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