Hunger strikers defiant in Hungary media protest

(bbc.co.uk) Security guards in Hungary have failed to remove a group of hunger strikers from the main entrance of the MTV state television building.

Five demonstrators, including two MTV employees, have been on hunger strike since 10 December. They say there has been gross interference by pro-government editors in their work.

They have been living on tea and soup, but no solid food.

The protest is part of a wider row about the government’s media policy.

This week the two MTV employees, Balazs Nagy Navarro and Aranka Szavuly, were fired by the organisation.

Before dawn on Thursday, the security guards tried to move the encampment, which consists of a tent, chairs and banners.

Supporters, including deputies from the opposition Socialist party, arrived and a verbal agreement was finally brokered with TV chiefs. The protest camp has moved a few metres to one side, to ensure a safe exit from the building in case of an emergency.

“We will stay here until our demands are met,” Balazs Nagy Navarro told the BBC in the capital Budapest.

The demands include the sacking of five TV editors who the strikers accuse of political interference in daily news programmes.

One of the editors, Gabor Elo, was sacked before Christmas. He was blamed for an incident on 3 December when the face of a former head of the Supreme Court, Zoltan Lomnici, was edited out of a news report.

“We welcome Gabor Elo’s departure, but insist the others leave too,” said Mr Navarro.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16354192

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