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Hungary's amended media law 'still a threat'

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(VIENNA) - Press watchdogs voiced concern over Hungary's media law Wednesday, depicting it as a "threat" to media freedom, even after Budapest amended the law in line with EU demands.

"While we welcome the fact that some changes have been made, a number of areas of concern remain, and unless they too are addressed, then the legislation still constitutes a potential threat to press freedom," the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) said in a statement, renewing its "objections" to the law.

Hungary's parliament voted Monday to amend its controversial legislation on issues like media registration and balanced reporting, in response to criticism from the European Union.

However, no changes were made to the Media Council, a body that oversees all coverage and is made up entirely of close allies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's ruling Fidesz party, critics noted.

On Tuesday, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had voiced new concerns about the law, warning that "the legislation can still be misused to curb alternative and differing voices in Hungary".

The debated law came into force on January 1, quickly poisoning Hungary's six-month presidency of the European Union just as it began.


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