The maybe last free voice in Hungary will be silenced December 21, 2019.
Started 25 years ago, Civil Radio has seen other free community radios succumb to the increasingly harsh requirements, with very few independent voices left on air in Budapest. Outside of the capital city, community radios have already been forced to give up. On December 21 the latest 5-year license expires and Civil Radio has been informed that they will not be able to get an extension due to, as the communique from the station reads: “minor malfunctions of the radio, without taking into consideration the spirit and values represented by our radio… We will be expelled to the internet.”
But Civil Radio does not give up. Civil Radio writes: “…in our judgment and conviction, the Media Council’s mistaken decision does not mean the end and dissolution of Civil Radio. We take every opportunity to prove in facts that cancellation of the resolution would be the only legitimate and alongside rightful action.” And they continue: “We will not reconcile ourselves to the decision of the Media Council. We file a lawsuit to prove in the court that, although the decision was lawfully made, it is still disproportionate and unfair. The first phase of the legal proceedings does not promise a quick outcome, withdrawal of the decision seems illusory. However, in a longer process, we will point out that the current biased media regulation makes our voice weak and prevents us from the practice of an objective approach. We will give evidence that a more balanced and fair media law can bring a freer country, more truthful information for the public. Legal representation of Civil Radio is provided by The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) with the professional cooperation of Mertek Media Monitor.
We trust that Civil Radio will have frequency, and in the meantime we will continue to broadcast with fresh content and new shows: www.civilradio.hu”
We can all support Civil Radio by giving news about what has happened with them, how the political power could act against a peaceful community that wishes nothing more than to speak free and share their thoughts about what they see and experience as everyday citizens. You can support Civil Radio by telling to your audience that a radio, a community in the middle of Europe still has to fight for the freedom of speech, but they do not intend to give up. Continuous attention, the power of publicity would be the help that is needed now to keep our faith, because we feel, we still have a lot to do to reclaim democracy in Hungary.
Hear more about Civil Radio and the situation here:<<<
Walther Moser’s 36 minute interview with Géczi Gábor of Civil Radio, Budapest, June 2019: