Hungary / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in Hungary since 1992

  

Hungarian journalists fear Orbán will use election win to tighten grip on independent media

As Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán celebrated his landslide election win on Sunday with jubilant jibes at the European Union’s “bureaucrats in Brussels” and international media, the country’s independent journalists braced themselves for an even harsher media climate during his Fidesz party’s unprecedented fourth consecutive term in office. Orbán has systematically eroded Hungary’s independent…

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Hungarian government bypasses court order allowing journalists to report from public hospitals

Berlin, February 11, 2022 — Hungarian authorities should not grant state media preferential access to public facilities, and should ensure that independent news outlets can cover the COVID-19 pandemic freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday. On February 4, the Hungarian government’s executive branch issued a decree empowering the Operational Corps, the government pandemic…

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Hungary’s Szabolcs Panyi on how Pegasus surveillance has hindered his reporting

It took five months for Hungary to acknowledge publicly that it had bought the Pegasus spyware allegedly used to hack the phones of hundreds around the world. In November, Lajos Kósa, a top official from Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party, acknowledged the purchase in a media interview after a parliamentary meeting; Minister of the Interior Sándor…

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Hungary’s Klubrádió owner András Arató on how the station is responding to the loss of its broadcast license

After more than 10 years providing a key platform for reporters and listeners to voice criticism of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán via FM radio, the Budapest-based Klubrádió station is now operating entirely online after authorities blocked its broadcasting license. The move was the culmination of a long campaign to force the station off air,…

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Hungarian court convicts reporter Júlia Halász on criminal defamation charge

Berlin, May 28, 2021 — Hungarian authorities should not contest journalist Júlia Halász’s appeal of a recent criminal defamation verdict, and should reform the country’s laws to decriminalize speech, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On May 6, an appellate court in Budapest upheld a lower court’s November 12, 2020, ruling to convict Halász,…

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Hungarian police question journalists for ‘illicit data collection’ after use of drone footage

Berlin, October 28, 2020 — Hungarian police must stop harassing journalists Gabriella Horn and Balázs Gulyás, and drop any investigation into their sources and their use of drone footage to report on information of public interest, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On October 26, the business crime unit of the Hungarian police in…

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A woman facing away from the camera looks at a large display of magazines and newspapers.

Hungarian court gags investigative report, citing EU data protection law

Berlin, October 21, 2020—A gag order issued by a Hungarian court has cited European Union data privacy rules to prevent the weekly Magyar Narancs newspaper from publishing an article on Budapest-based soft drinks company Hell Energy and its owners, according to the article’s author, Ákos Keller-Alánt, and local news reports. The court in Budapest issued…

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North Macedonia journalist Tanja Milevska receives death and rape threats

Over several days following July 11, 2020, Brussels-based journalist Tanja Milevska, a reporter for the North Macedonia state news agency MIA, received numerous threats and threatening messages on social media, according to a report by her employer and the journalist, who communicated with CPJ via email. Milevska told CPJ that the messages began after she…

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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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Prime Minister Viktor Orban is seen in the House of Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, on March 23, 2020. The parliament is considering amendments to the country's penal code that could imprison journalists covering the COVID-19 outbreak. (AP/Tamas Kovacs/MTI)

Proposed Hungarian laws could imprison journalists covering coronavirus response

Berlin, March 24, 2020 — Hungarian lawmakers should not pass amendments to the country’s criminal code that threaten journalists with prison sentences for their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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