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Further dispute over Migration Aid

March 23rd, 2018

A liberal commentator finds unrealistic the dismissal by Migration Aid of Magyar Idők’s accusations concerning alleged illicit data collection and cooperation with foreign governments.

Migration Aid’s András Siewert has denied the accusations leveled against his organization by Zsolt Bayer (see BudaPost March 23). Siewert said that he suspected that foreign intelligence agents want to provoke Migration Aid, and so he recorded the full discussion with an alleged sympathizer who said he wanted to offer money to Migration Aid. Siewert also claimed that he reported the issue to Hungarian counter-espionage agencies. He has not yet published his own recording of the meeting or the name of the agency that he contacted. He also denied that Migration Aid illicitly collected personal data on the migrants in transit zones. Siewert suspects that the whole stunt was orchestrated by Zsolt Bayer and the pro-government Magyar Idők in order to help Fidesz in the April election. After Siewert’s press conference, Zsolt Bayer announced that he would sue Siewert for defamation.

In Index, Attila Rovó finds Migration Aid’s explanation controversial and even suspicious. The liberal columnist wonders why Siewert agreed to meet the alleged sympathizer if he suspected that he was a foreign agent who wanted to deceive Migration Aid.  Rovó also finds it strange that Siewert has not yet published the tape which according to Siewert would disprove Bayer’s accusations and bolster his claim that the stunt was staged by Magyar Idők.

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