Thousands attend media law protest in Hungary

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 15, 2011 08:14

BUDAPEST, Hungary  — Several thousands people gathered in the Hungarian capital to protest a new media law which critics fear could be used to limit press freedoms.

Friday's rally outside parliament in Budapest was organized by civic groups and mostly attended by college students and journalists.

The new law greatly expands the state's power to monitor and penalize private news outlets, including print and Internet-based media, on broad grounds. There are concerns that the law will be used against media critical of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's center-right government.

EU officials say they will review the legislation to ensure it complies with European practices.

The law went into effect on Jan. 1, when Hungary took over the rotating presidency of the EU for six months.


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