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Parliamentary questions
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4 May 2018
Question for written answer P-002496-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Liisa Jaakonsaari (S&D)

 Subject:  List published by the Hungarian magazine Figyelő
 Answer in writing 

The situation in Hungary is serious cause for concern. Freedom of the press no longer exists: the media is under the control of Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, and the extreme nationalist Fidesz party. TV stations and the press have been mobilised to serve in the government’s propaganda war, disseminating hatred of immigration, Islam and Soros. Now the Figyelő magazine, whose owner, Mária Schmidt, is associated with Orbán, has published a list of people whom Orbán has described as ‘George Soros’s footsoldiers’ and ‘enemies of the people’.

Figyelő magazine has published a list of several hundred names of people who, inter alia, work for NGOs or do human rights work to assist asylum-seekers. The list includes two Finnish women, Annastiina Kallius and Aiski Ryökäs. Such a public list is a clear attempt to restrict civil-society activities and could, in the worst-case scenario, lead to intimidation and violence.

1. Is the Commission aware of the list and is the Commission concerned about the Orbán government’s systematic attempts to destroy the independent media and civil society?

2. What will the Commission do to remedy the situation?

Original language of question: FI 
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