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UN human rights expert still concerned about Hungary’s media law

The UN Human Rights Council’s special investigator on freedom of expression Frank La Rue said that EU-requested changes have not removed his concerns that Hungary’s media law could be used to limit press freedoms.

Hungary’s media regulations “still fall short of the required benchmarks,” La Rue said.

He said attempts by governments to dictate balanced media coverage often lead to censorship. “Every time we hear about balanced coverage or objectivity of the press ... it inevitably becomes, with time, a form of censorship regardless of what the initial motivation was,” he added.

Zoltán Kovács, the government’s communications chief, said the government supports the ideals of freedoms of the press and opinion, but that “local peculiarities” need to be taken into account when those principles are applied.