Protesters turned up at the headquarters of the public broadcaster MTVA on Sunday evening after a demonstration of civil organisations and opposition parties against recent amendments to the labour code in Budapest.
The crowd included several opposition politicians who insisted that their demands should be read out in the public media, MTI correspondents reported.
Some lawmakers were allowed to enter the building with police escort. They included Lajos Kepli and János Stummer of Jobbik, László Varju of the Democratic Coalition, Ágnes Kunhalmi of the Socialists, and independent MPs Ákos Hadházy and Bernadett Szél.
Police said on its website police.hu that some members of the crowd pelted crackers, bottles and other objects at the officers, then pushed those standing in the front onto the police lines. Some demonstrators fell on the ground and felt faint. After several warnings, police used tear gas against the crowd. Those injured were taken behind the police lines for first aid and medical care, police said.
MTVA files criminal complaint against deputies entering public media headquarters
Public media foundation MTVA has filed a criminal complaint with the police against opposition deputies “exceeding their rights arising from their mandate”, MTVA said on Monday morning.
The deputies, headed by independent MP Ákos Hadházy, entered the MTVA building on Sunday evening, saying that they wanted to make a public statement. MTVA’s security chief told them that “their right to enter the premises does not involve disturbing operations there”. The deputies were also warned that they cannot enter any of the studios or editorial offices.
According to MTVA’s statement, the deputies had said that unless their demands are met thousands of “angry people” would enter the building from the street. Meanwhile, protesters outside were pelting stones and bottles at the police, the statement said.
The politicians, including independent Bernadett Szél, Socialist Ágnes Kunhalmi, István Ujhelyi and Tibor Szanyi, LMP’s Péter Ungár, Jobbik’s Andrea Varga-Damm and János Stummer, Liberal Anett Bősz, as well as Ágnes Vadai and László Varju of the Democratic Coalition, spent the night in the MTVA building, the statement said.
Hadházy, who attempted to climb over a railing, and Szél were removed from the building by security staff.
Fidesz condemns politicians’ ‘violence’ at public media headquarters
Any attempt by politicians to “forcefully interfere” with operations of the (public) media is unacceptable, the communications director of ruling Fidesz said on Monday, in connection with developments at the public media headquarters during the previous night.
Balázs Hidvéghi insisted that protesting opposition deputies that spent the night at public media foundation MTVA headquarters “used the excuse of obtaining information for setting off the fire alarm and violently attacking public TV staff”.
The opposition deputies abused their powers and authorisations arising from their mandate, Hidvéghi said. He said that “their obvious goal was to intimidate journalists” and added that “these are well-known methods of the pro-immigration Soros network”.
featured photo by Balázs Mohai/MTI