Hungary’s media watchdog has fined Magyar Hirlap daily for publishing a notorious anti-Roma article by right-wing journalist Zsolt Bayer.
The Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) launched an investigation, the first of its kind, against Magyar Hirlap for publishing in its print and online version the Jan. 5 article entitled “Who shouldn’t be?”, which caused a storm at home and abroad for such statements as: “Gypsies are animals and act as animals”.
Afterwards, Bayer said he had been misunderstood and he did not “wish to liquidate the Roma”.
The media authority acted after a complaint was lodged by the Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities, ruling the paper broke the media law’s ban on inciting hatred and discrimination.
The authority fined the paper 250,000 forints (EUR 850) for the “gravity” of the violation, as well as failing to promptly remove the article from the paper’s website. It also ordered Magyar Hirlap to publish the verdict word-for-word both in print and online for seven consecutive days.