Reporters Without Borders fear Coronavirus is being used as justification for media repression.

This week, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published an open letter to the European Union (EU), along with eight other organisations for the defence of media freedoms, expressing their concern that the COVID-19 pandemic is being used by governments to undermine fundamental rights and the free flow of information.

They specifically drew attention to a draft law, currently being discussed in Hungary, which they believe represents a step towards a complete repression of press freedom.

They note: “It is little surprise that Hungary, with its record of undermining media freedom, should be the first EU member state to make such an extreme and opportunistic power grab. The few remaining independent media outlets in the country are regularly attacked and accused of spreading “fake news” for raising simple questions about the government’s preparedness and strategy for tackling the pandemic. If approved, this new law would grant the Hungarian government a convenient tool to threaten journalists and intimidate them into self-censorship. We fear this is a step toward the complete repression of media freedom in Hungary that could outlive the pandemic."

Read the letter in full:

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