Miklós Haraszti

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19 June 2009

In God's name

By adopting the language of human rights, a new UN proposal condemning “defamation of religion” cements oppressive governments’ control of free speech while still sounding compatible with the advanced multiculturalism of liberal democracies, writes Miklós Haraszti.

Hungary’s media law could lead to a depoliticisation of the media the likes of which exists in Russia and in other post-Soviet democracies, writes the former OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. The alterations to the law on the basis of the agreement with the European Commission will do little to this halt this tendency.

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In his time, Miklós Haraszti has been writer, journalist, human rights activist, politician and academic. Under the communists, he co-founded Hungary’s Democratic Opposition Movement and was editor of a samizdat magazine. After participating in the round table negotiations that led to the country’s first free elections, he became a member of parliament. Today, he is the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. On the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, he speaks to Judith Vidal-Hall about the shifting media landscape in the post-communist countries of Europe.

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