Reports: HírTV publishes police files of protestors

History

According to an interview and recent media reports, Hungarian commercial TV channel HírTV, which carries government friendly news, is publishing confidential information about anti-government activists that the TV station apparently obtained from police or prosecutors. Some of the victims say they will sue.

Balázs Gulyás, who organized the recent demonstrations that brought down the internet tax, said he received a call from an unknown number to find a HírTV staff member asking him about a road accident in which he had been involved. "Only my inner family knew about it, so it was obviously leaked by the authorities," Gulyás told the Budapest Business Journal.

“I was in a road accident and it was my fault. I did not leave the scene and cooperated with the authorities, and as the proceedings are soon ending, I’ll be fined HUF 200,000” Gulyás told Hungarian news portal 444.hu, adding that he is considering a lawsuit against the TV station.

Zsolt Várady, the founder of now discontinued Hungarian social networking site iWiw, on Thursday said that HírTV published news about him being involved in drug possession in 2003, leaking confidential police documents, Hungarian online news portal index.hu reported on Thursday. Várady has been an active advocate of anti-government demonstrations that have been occurring around the country over the past few weeks.

“One of the HírTV’s staff called me from an unknown number, asking me about possessing 0.19 gram of branch pieces in 2003 containing 0.02 THC agent. To prevent speculation, I am publishing all the confidential documents I received from the police, and I’m planning a lawsuit,” Várady said in a statement on Thursday evening. He has received support from the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) according to a Facebook post.

HírTV also had negative news about Balázs Németh, one of the speakers appearing in “the day of public outcry”, a demonstration that recently drew more than 10,000 anti-government protestors to the Parliament buidling. Last year, Németh applied for an internship offered by the Prime Minister’s Office and was rejected. “I applied for the internship to gain professional experience, however I was not considered as I had been involved in student demonstrations against both the Socialist and Fidesz government” Németh was quoted as saying by 444.hu.

HírTV also reportedly mentioned that activist Kinga Kalocsai had been arrested. She responded by listing her arrests on Facebook. All of the arrests were for civil disobedience that Kalocsai undertook in protest of the current government's actions. 

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