The speaker of the House violated the freedom of the press when banning journalists from the Hungarian Parliament building, ruled the European Court of Human Rights today. The six applicant journalists were represented by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union.
The government is working hard to obscure the events and to confuse the public opinion following the banning of several editorial offices - including the staff of 24.hu, one of the most read online portals - from Orbán’s annual “Orbáninfo” last Thursday. While the fact alone that the Prime Minister is willing to expose himself -once a year - to journalists independent from the government is a rarity, it is decided entirely arbitrarily who may be given this opportunity and who will be denied entry.
The International Press Institute (IPI) expressed disappointment over the decision of the Hungarian Parliament’s Justice Committee not to advance a bill that would have repealed criminal defamation and established safeguards against the abuse of civil defamation law.
You must be daring to quip about politicians in Hungary these days: journalists, bloggers and ordinary people have been brought to court for such deeds.
On 23 October 2013 rapper László Pityinger, known as Dopeman, was a speaker at a political demonstration arranged by political group Szolidaritás. During the demonstration the audience symbolically toppled and cut off the head of a statue representing the prime minister of Hungary. The rapper kicked the detached head which resulted in a criminal investigation. Dopeman will be represented by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) during the procedure.