Markku Laukkanen calls for limits on new media authority in Hungary

Strasbourg, 23.12.2010 – “In a democracy, media must not be treated as enemies of the state. The Media and Communications Authority  to be established in Hungary on 1 January is an alarming sign that Hungary wishes to police the media,” said Markku Laukkanen (Finland, ALDE), the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on the Media of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).


“Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights protects freedom of expression, information and opinion throughout Europe. We see an overly broad Hungarian legislation, which enables state authorities to impose severe sanctions on media for having raised political criticism. This will cause a severe chilling effect on media freedom and would therefore in principle violate Article 10,” Mr Laukkanen said.

 

“The PACE Sub-Committee on the Media will discuss the state of media freedom in Europe in January 2011. I do hope that the Hungarian government will have clearly set by then the limits on this new Media and Communications Authority, which must not function like the censorship bodies sadly known in Hungary under communist and fascist rule. Media censorship has no place in the democratic Europe of today.