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Court orders removal of Holocaust-denying article in Hungary

BUDAPEST: A Budapest court has ordered a US-based internet service provider (ISP) to remove an article after ruling it denied the events of the Holocaust, a crime in Hungary, the news agency MTI reported Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the article, published in July 2013 on the Hungarian-language news portal Kuruc.info, called into question the deaths of Jews at Nazi Germany’s notorious wartime death camp Auschwitz.

“The anonymous writer of the article made statements publically denying the facts of the Holocaust,” Bettina Bagoly, spokeswoman for the Budapest Investigative Prosecutors Office, said on state radio.

Holocaust denial has been a criminal offence in Hungary since 2010.

The Municipal Court of Budapest ordered the website’s US-based hosting company to block access to the article or delete it within one working day, court spokesman Peter Pota told the radio.

Hungarian authorities have several times failed to shut down Kuruc.info which is registered in the US where freedom of speech legislation is more liberal than in Hungary.

In 2013, Facebook removed an official fan page of the website, which is linked to the far-right party Jobbik, Hungary’s second largest party, and often posts anti-Semitic content.

The ruling is the first case in practise of a 2012 law allowing Hungarian courts to order websites hosted abroad to remove content, MTI said.

According to Pota, the Hungarian foreign ministry will turn to the US authorities if the hosting company fails to comply.

If the article still remains online, Hungary’s media authority will order all local Internet service providers to block access to the content- AFP

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