Barriers around public media protesters broken down, police at the spot

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Security guards have tried to disperse the hunger strikers outside the headquarters of public television MTV, hvg.hu, the online edition of weekly HVG reported, referring to a statement from television trade union TFSz. The guard also tried to “restrict the free movement” of the protesters and “limit their personal freedom”, the statement, said referring to the guards’ attempt to surround the protesters with barriers.

Later in the morning, at around 10.30am, three opposition politicians, the Democratic Coalition’s (DK) László Varju together with MSzP’s Ildikó Lendvai and Tamás Harangozó, demolished the barriers, hvg.hu added.

At the same time, mno.hu, the online edition of daily Magyar Nemzet, said that the barriers were broken down by the protesters after the politicians started to demolish the cordon with screw-wrenches.

Nol.hu, the online edition of daily Népszabadság, also stated that the barriers were broken down by protesters. However, while nol.hu added that it happened at around 9 am, the portal does not mention any politicians attending.

According to online news portal Index, the police came after that the protesters called them. The officers appeared at the spot twice in the morning but, after checking the identity of all people there, left without any further action, alluding to the fact that the given territory is private. However, the officers pointed out that the protesters can prosecute through any police organization in case of any kind of trespassing.

The Media Service Support and Asset Management Fund (MTVA) on Tuesday dismissed Balázs Nagy Navarro and Aranka Szávuly, the two employees who had been on hunger strike since December 10 in protest against alleged political meddling with journalists’ work in public media. The scandal broke out after the face of former Chief Judge Zoltán Lomniczi was blurred in the news program of public television channels MTV and Duna TV on December 3. The protesters called on MTVA to hold to account those really responsible for the incident.

MTVA said that Nagy Navarro and Szávuly were fired because their fast is illegal and a “provocation” of their employer. Several media trade unions and opposition parties repudiated the dismissals.

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