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Hungarian Opposition Protests Newspaper Closure

  • VOA News

Supporters of opposition parties attend a demonstration organized against corruption and to express solidarity with Hungarian political daily Nepszabadsag in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 16, 2016.

Several thousand demonstrators marched Sunday in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, chanting and carrying signs protesting the sudden closure of the country's largest selling opposition newspaper.

The protest targeted Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been accused at home and abroad of stifling press freedoms and isolating private media outlets opposed to his controversial anti-migrant stance on refugees.

The demonstration follows the abrupt closure of the newspaper Nepszabadsag, which shut down October 8 with no warning either to the public or the newspaper's staff.

Management blamed the shutdown on failing circulation and financial losses over the past decade. Publisher Media Works also linked the closure to declining revenues.

But critics of the closure point to the publication early this month of news reports alleging corruption within Orban's ruling Fidesz party, including close allies of the prime minister.