Five international companies boycott newspaper for anti-Roma comment

Five firms with a presence in Hungary have agreed to withhold advertising in Magyar Hírlap until the newspaper rejects the opinions espoused by senior editor Zsolt Bayer in a January 5, 2013 editorial in which he wrote that Roma are “animals” who “shouldn’t be allowed to exist.”

At the request of a group of 24 NGOs, CIB Bank, Erste Bank, FedEX, GDF Suez and IKEA agreed to boycott Magyar Hírlap in an effort to pressure the right-wing daily to denounce the piece by Bayer, a founding member of the ruling Fidesz party, HVG reports. The group of NGOs contacted a total of 15 Hírlap advertisers, requesting them to boycott the paper, according to HVG.

Magyar Hírlap reportedly said that boycotting the paper over Bayer’s article is tantamount to restricting freedom of expression.