Media law – EFJ repeats call on govt to change law after blog-registration

Budapest, February 11 (MTI) – The European arm of the International Federation of Journalists said on Friday it was repeating its call on the Hungarian government to make changes to the media law after an announcement that bloggers must register with the state before the end of June

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) said it had again called on Hungary to make “radical and urgent changes to its controversial media law”.

    ”The news that Hungary is pressing ahead with a law that has caused almost universal condemnation among press freedom defenders in Europe will only raise new anxieties that Hungary is reluctant to respect free speech rights,” said EFJ General Secretary Aidan White.

    ”The demand that journalists or bloggers must register with an authority entirely appointed by the Prime Minister is unheard in any democratic country and it goes against all European principles of press freedom”.

    The Federation statement said it was not yet clear what sanctions would follow in case the bloggers refuse.

    ”It’s time to force Hungary to change course,” said White. “This is not about politics or a vindictive attack on a particular EU state, it concerns the rights and values of all citizens and the defence of journalism as a public good.”

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