Kaptur and 21 House Democrats Seek Information on Cancellation of State Department Fund to Support Independent Media in Hungary

October 10, 2018
Press Release

 

Cleveland, OH - Following the State Department’s unexpected July announcement of a deferment in grant monies to help nurture independent media outlets in rural Hungary, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Co-chair of the Congressional Hungary Caucus, lead 21 Members of Congress in a letter to Assistant Secretary of State Wes Mitchell to express deep concern about the diminished space for independent journalism in Hungary. The letter seeks clarification on why the State Department canceled $700,000 worth of grants to support independent media in Hungary, as the cancelation raises questions as to State’s global commitment to freedom of the press. Kaptur issued the following statement with the release of the letter:

 

“I am pleased to join my colleagues to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to freedom of the press in Hungary and around the world. As co-chair of the Congressional Hungarian Caucus, I remain a close friend of the Hungarian people.  Hungary has struggled and fought for its own liberty. Their commitment to the values of free expression and democracy have been repeatedly reiterated by successive Hungarian governments, both in words and binding commitments.” 

 

“Yet, independent media in Hungary has come under fire from the government. Newspapers such as Nepszabadsag have been shuttered, while media outlets friendly to the government receive more state advertising support. Media consolidated in the hands of a few is a weapon against liberty. In an era of global democratic retrenchment and rising nationalism, the United States must continue to lead with our democratic values that are so critical to our own national security. If we do not stand by our values, we undercut the foundation of our enduring strength. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the State Department to promote and ensure U.S. engagement on freedom of the press, and other democratic principles.”

 

Read more about the news here:

 

New York Times: “Hungary’s Leader was Shunned by Obama, but Has a Friend in Trump

Wall Street Journal: In Orban’s Hungary, a Glimpse of Europe’s Demise

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