LETTER
Hungary's deteriorating press and media freedom
07 Aug 2018
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP
Logos of the signing organisations

Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President, European Commission

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner, European Commission

Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner, European Commission

Antonio Tajani, President, European Parliament

 

7 August 2018

 

OPEN LETTER – Media freedom in Hungary and the case of Hir TV

The undersigned media freedom organisations are writing to draw your attention to the deteriorating situation of press and media freedom in Hungary, in particular the recent case of Hir TV.

Hir TV was the last domestically-owned independent TV company in Hungary. On 1 August 2018 a sudden change in ownership resulted in dismissals of outspoken leading journalists and an abrupt change of editorial policy. Programmes that had previously reflected independent views were cancelled and replaced with government-friendly programmes. One cancelled talk show was replaced with a broadcast of a speech that Viktor Orbán had made some days earlier.

The case of Hir TV has been reported to Index on Censorship’s platform Mapping Media Freedom, which monitors threats, limitations and violations related to media freedom in Europe.

The loss of independence of the last remaining domestically owned TV company in Hungary is deeply discouraging. It demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect for media freedom and shows how far Hungary has distanced itself from European values.

We ask you to condemn these developments in the strongest possible terms.

We strongly urge the European Union to strengthen the link between eligibility for funding under the next Multiannual Financial Framework and respect for media freedom.

 

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Index on Censorship

International Press Institute (IPI)

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO)

Hungarian media freedom violations reported to and verified by Mapping Media Freedom since May 2014.

Index statement on Alexei Navalny

Putin critic has been sent to a Russian penal colony following his show trials

The Government’s policy paper on higher education: free speech and academic freedom

Index on Censorship responds to seven specific policy proposals, including the appointment of a Free Speech and Academic Freedom Champion

Belarus: Index strongly condemns actions against journalists and human rights defenders

Belarusian Association of Journalists and the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” have been targeted

Letter to the Chinese ambassador to the UK on the BBC ban in mainland China

Ambassador Zheng Zeguang Embassy of the People’s Republic of China 49-51 Portland Pl, London W1B 1JL Dear HE Ambassador Zheng, In 1948 the People’s Republic of China was an original signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of UDHR protects freedom of expression and media freedom. The actions by your Government today, [...]

Comments are closed.