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Journalist of Index banned from Parliament until 2020

Our colleague, Tamás Fábián was banned from the Parliament until the end of the year because of a corridor interview. Fábián was trying to ask questions from State Secretary Pál Völner and Justice Minister candidate Judit Varga following her committee hearing last Thursday.

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Fotó: Index

Tamás Fábián tried to get answers from Judit Varga about the ongoing constitutional revision which he covered earlier. There is no official information about the process, and the topic did not come up at the hearing either, and after our colleague mentioned that fact to her, she said "then it will not come up now either." She didn't even say whether or not she is in fact on the constitutional revision committee.

Pál Völner said that when the constitutional amendment is ready, it will be made public, but he refused to tell our colleague about the areas affected by the revision.

According to the Office of the National Assembly, Tamás Fábián "tried to make an interview using bodily contact, pushing people" on the corridor of the Parliament, while the politicians "sternly refused the violent attempt." The letter barring our colleague from entering the Parliament mentions a "physical insult" and reminds that "Tamás Fábián had previously violated the Parliament's rules of reporting," therefore his right to enter has been suspended until 31 December 2019. (By the way, on the previous two occasions, our colleague was banned for recording a video where that is forbidden. Regulations enacted in recent years gradually reduced the area where journalists are allowed to interview politicians to a short corridor, the press room, and the location of press conferences.)

The position of Index is that our colleague did not push or insult anyone, he was not violent, he held his phone in front of Pál Völner in order to ensure that he can records their exchange in good quality as he walked beside the politicians. Völner pushed our colleague's hand away multiple times, then they argued about who is pushing whom.

Index will appeal the decision.

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