31 Jul, 2020

Momentum takes to the streets for press freedom in Hungary

Momentum, ALDE Party member in Hungary, are taking a stand to protect the freedom of the press by organising a protest to express their concerns on the decline of press freedom in Hungary.

Last week, the editor-in-chief of the country’s leading independent news website Index.hu was fired, one month after publicly raising the alarm over political interference in the portal’s operations. Two days later, 90 more staffers — practically the whole editorial team — resigned in solidarity. For Momentum, the dismissal of Szabolcs Dull from his role appears to be yet another blow struck against news sources that do not support the political line of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has been in power for a decade.

More than 10,000 protesters marched in Budapest on Saturday 25 July to show their support for Index.

Taking part in the protest, ALDE Party Vice President Daniel Berg, said: It is time for the European Union to take action against the Orbán’s flagrant disregard of core European values. EU money should not be used to build an anti-European authoritarian regime: EU funding must be tied to an objective rule of law mechanism, and violators must face real sanctions.

“As European liberals, we stand united in solidarity with all who raise their voices against violations of fundamental rights, such as the freedom of the press,” he said. “In a functioning democracy, the pro-government owner of a media holding should not be able to dismiss the editor of the country’s best-known online news portal overnight, citing ‘organisational transformations’ and ‘synergies’. The real purpose is to silence anyone who disagrees with Orbán’s politics, and dares to report the facts objectively.”


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