Hungary / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in Hungary since 1992

  
Hungarian journalist Csaba Lukács recently spoke to CPJ about the challenges of covering the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: CPJ)

Hungarian journalist Csaba Lukács on covering COVID-19 amid attacks on independent media

In 2018, a group of conservative journalists opposed to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his right-wing government launched Magyar Hang, an independent weekly magazine. Since then, government officials and their supporters have repeatedly harassed employees of the magazine, calling them “traitors” for opposing Orbán, accusing them of spreading fake news, and threatening them with…

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, right, gestures as he walks past journalists after talks in Warsaw, Poland, in September 2017. A joint mission to Hungary in November 2019 found that the government has pursued a strategy to silence the country's press. (AP/Alik Keplicz)

Hungary’s media control unprecedented in EU, joint mission finds

Since 2010, the Hungarian government has achieved a degree of media control unprecedented in an EU member state, seven international organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement released today. The organizations urged the EU “to take all available measures to respond.”

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A poster of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia is carried at a protest against government corruption revealed by the Daphne Project, in Valletta, Malta, on April 29. Reporting on corruption can be a dangerous assignment. (Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi)

Make solving journalist murders a priority, CPJ tells US Helsinki Commission

“Being a reporter in much of the world is dangerous work. Being an investigative reporter can be deadly,” CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney told the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, known as the Helsinki Commission, at a briefing in Washington, D.C. today.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addresses supporters in Budapest after partial results of the country's parliamentary elections are announced on April 8, 2018. (Reuters/Leonhard Foeger)

Independent journalists in Hungary brace for tough times in next Orbán term

As Hungary’s new Parliament holds its first session, where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is due to form his third consecutive government after a landslide re-election a month ago, journalists critical of his power will closely monitor his words for hints of what awaits them in the next four years.

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President François Hollande speaks at the opening of the Open Government Partnership summit in Paris in December, where press freedom was added to the agenda. (Jacky Naegelen/Pool/AFP)

Press freedom on OGP agenda as authoritarianism rises

There was poignancy to the Paris summit of the Open Government Partnership, as leaders from government and civil society took the stage to defend a political ideology under siege: liberal democracy. French President François Hollande, who amid weak public support announced he will not seek re-election in 2017, called democracy “so fragile and so precious.”…

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Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, talks to the press outside the EU leaders' summit in March. The country's poor press freedom record and policies on asylum seekers have been criticized by the U.N. (AFP/John Thys)

UN review of Hungary shows country ‘treats human rights as a public enemy’

On May 9, a stern review of Hungary’s conduct in human rights issues and press freedom was released at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The report, drafted by the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, listed concerns from U.N. member states about the controversial policies of Viktor Orbán’s government on asylum seekers and…

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Hungarian police try to stop a young migrant with a baby in September 2015. Journalists covering the refugee story report being harassed, blocked and sometimes attacked. (Reuters/Marko Diurica)

Journalists not welcome: Across Europe, press and migrants increasingly barred

“The press is not allowed in refugee centers.” The message from the Greek government could not have been clearer. “No permission will be given to television crews and reporters to enter such premises that hosts refugees,” Yannis Mouzalas, the minister in charge of immigration policy, said in a February 29 statement. In protest the Pan-Hellenic…

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Viktor Orbán at a European Parliament debate about Hungary in May. His government has brought in a law that will make it harder for journalists and others to make Freedom of Information Act requests. (AFP/Frederick Florin)

New hurdles for Hungary’s press as Orbán restricts FOI requests

“This is the best thing that has ever happened in Hungary.” Katalin Erdélyi, a freedom of information activist, was referring to a ground-breaking website launched in Hungary in 2012. “I was glad because I realized the potential and how it will help me get all the information I longed for,” she told me. The website,…

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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Brussels last year. Hungary and its media law have come under scrutiny in the EU. (Reuters/Yves Herman)

Orbán walks fine line in Brussels with Hungary’s media law

“With the Islamic state offensive, the Ebola epidemic and Ukraine, Hungary is not on anyone’s mind in Europe,” mused one of our interlocutors during the Committee to Protect Journalists’ fact-finding mission in Budapest in October. “Viktor Orbán has really nothing to fear from Brussels.”

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Tamás Bodoky, editor-in-chief of Atlatszo, which advocates for information access. (AFP/Peter Kohalmi)

In Hungary, an independent website defies censorship and pressure

A delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists, led by board member Kati Marton, traveled to Hungary in October on CPJ’s first fact-finding and advocacy mission to an EU member state. We went there in response to concerning reports of deteriorating conditions for the press, and met dozens of journalists, media lawyers, managers, rights defenders,…

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