BUDAPEST (AFP) – Thousands of people protested against Hungary’s controversial new media law on Friday, demanding the legislation — which has come under widespread fire internationally — be withdrawn.
The rally, organised via online social networks and blogs, was the second such protest to be held in front of the Hungarian parliament in three weeks,
Many of the demontrators had their mouths taped over in protest against what they see as restrictions on media freedom.
Budapest has come under fire from media and rights groups, as well as European governments, for the legislation, which came into force on January 1, just as Hungary took over the presidency of the European Union.
Under the legislation, a new authority — headed by a close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban — has the right to impose major fines on media outlets and force journalists to reveal sources on issues related to national security.
Orban and his centre-right government has rejected the criticism, insisting the law conforms to European norms.
But in the wake of the outcry, Orban said Budapest might amend the law if the European Union demanded it.
Organisers said the aim of the demonstration was to force the government to withdraw the law and create a new one in consultation with civil organisations and media representatives.
The organisers have also launched a movement for press freedom on the online social network, Facebook, which has attracted 71,000 supporters so far.
The rally started with a performance by the Hungarian rapper Pista Busa.
A Hungarian actress, Dorka Gryllus, then read out a list of the demonstrators’ demands, which included a constitutional revision of the law, involvement of the media in drawing up any changes, the scrapping of fines and guarantees regarding the confidentiality of journalists’ sources.
A parallel demonstration was staged in front of the Hungarian embassies in Vienna and Berlin.
One of the main speakers at the rally was journalist Tibor Bakacs, a dissident during communist times, who called on demonstrators to bombard Orban’s personal email address with protest letters.
Before the demonstration broke up peacefully, Bakacs called for another rally to be held on January 27.
The truth about Bernie Sanders’ medical records: They’re encouraging — but a key detail is missing
When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) landed in the hospital at the beginning of October 2019 after suffering a heart attack, it became guaranteed that his health would be an issue in the 2020 Democratic primary. The 78-year-old is known for his passionate rallies and reveling in the rigors of the campaign, but a candidate's health condition can change the course of an election, and a serious medical crisis like a heart attack puts into question his ability to do the job.
To help allay these concerns, Sanders assured voters that he would release "comprehensive" medical records. But he hasn't, and now it seems he doesn't plan on doing it. Instead, he released three letters in December from doctors describing his health positively and vouching for his ability to handle the campaign trail and potentially, the presidency.
How the question of who killed JFK emerged in an unexpected way on the 2020 campaign trail
On Monday night in Fairfax, Virginia, Donald Jeffries, author and talk radio host, asked Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard about a book she was seen carrying, “JFK and the Unspeakable.” Published in 2008, the book is a Catholic philosopher’s meditation about the assassination of liberal president John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, one of the great historical crimes of American politics.
Gabbard replied she had not finished the book, but “from what I have read, it… speaks to what happened [on November 22] in a way that I haven’t seen anywhere else.”
Trump whines about losing the Time ‘Man of the Year’ award he lost to a teenage girl
President Donald Trump goaded his audience into booing a teenager during a campaign rally in Colorado Springs on Thursday.
Trump said, "I got beaten up by Greta" -- in reference to Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg, who recently celebrated her 17th birthday.
The leader of the free world went on to complain about Thunberg being declared TIME magazine's "Person of the Year" award in 2019.
He said that many women wish it was still "Man of the Year" and suggested separate categories by gender, which would prevent him from competing against European teenage girls.