Throngs protest Hungarian media law in Budapest; organizers say largest demo since 1989

(MTI) Tens of thousands of demonstrators protested Hungary’s media law in Budapest on Tuesday, on the day marking the anniversary of the 1848-49 revolution and war of independence from Habsburg rule.

Anna Vamos, the protest’s chief organiser, said demonstrators were dissatisfied with amendments to the media law and believed they failed to bring the legislation in line with European Union norms.

The protestors packed into the space in front of a stage erected at one end of Elisabeth Bridge, on one of the capital’s busiest streets.

The police did not report any disorder.

The organisers said the demonstration was the biggest civil protest since the 1989 regime change.

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  1. Thousands protest Hungary’s media law

    Tens of thousands of people have taken part in a protest against Hungary’s media law, which critics fear will be used to restrict press freedoms despite recent amendments to make it compatible with European Union rules.

    Organizers said Tuesday’s event was Hungary’s largest protest by civic groups since the 1989 start of the democratic process which ended the communist regime.

    Polish newspaper editor and former dissident Adam Michnik told the crowd that “there is no place for censorship” in a democracy and that eliminating press freedoms could lead to dictatorship.

    The media law, which greatly expands state oversight of print and Internet media and centralizes state media news production, was amended by lawmakers last week after objections from the EU.

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