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UN Special Rapporteur says press freedom is under threat in Hungary

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“Human rights are at risk, and in particular freedom of expression and media freedom, which is a fundamental pillar of democratic society,” UN Special Rapporteur Irene Khan told Euronews.

The UN special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression concluded her visit to Hungary from November 15 to 22 on this note, after examining potential barriers to the implementation of laws and policies that affect the work of the media, civil society, and academics.

The Central European country has been widely attacked for curtailing independent media outlets and smear campaigns against human rights defenders.

“Over the past decade, Hungarian authorities have used laws, policies, and other measures, including financial support, to distort the media environment and independent media – and by that I mean media critical of the regime,” Khan stated.

“This media has suffered, while media that is pro-government have flourished. That’s a very dangerous situation, especially as Hungary heads into the elections.”

The next Hungarian parliamentary elections are to be held in April or May 2022, with 199 seats up for grabs.

Khan’s report will come out in June for the 50th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Watch the full interview with Euronews presenter Tokunbo Salako in the video player above.

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