Jobbik stands for the freedom of the press

Of all EU member states, only Bulgaria is ranked below Hungary with regard to media independence – as it is stated by the latest release of Reporters without Borders. This year, Hungary is ranked 89 in a list of 180 countries in total. There is no surprise there since Fidesz refused to allow any opposition experts in the Media Council, a body elected for nine years, even though we had come to an agreement on the delegates while I was working as the opposition vice president of the committee that elects the members.

As a civic and conservative party, we stand for the freedom of the press which Fidesz, using the pandemic as a pretext, has just curbed even more. The coronavirus act contains a special scaremongering clause which allows for extremely flexible interpretations and causes an unnecessary and disproportionate limitation to the freedom of expression. Furthermore, we are also concerned that the omnipotent Orbán government now has the power to silence any media outlet under suspicion of scaremongering, inciting panic or spreading fake news. In the meantime, Fidesz-tied media outlets keep instigating against opposition MPs, independent media workers or certain targeted groups. Szilárd Demeter, who licensed the programming of a show joking about the extermination of the German community and now defames the same group in other forms, is still in office – this time as the director of Petőfi Literary Museum.

As a national people’s party, Jobbik warns that the media has an indispensable role in eliminating the pandemic and minimizing the losses. Any political force that keeps fighting against publicity and the media even in this dire situation is not interested in overcoming the virus. Instead, it is aiming to overcome democracy! The freedom of speech and information is a fundamental right of all citizens under any circumstances according to the constitution (Fundamental Law) in force!

 

Koloman Brenner, deputy parliamentary group leader, Jobbik