Fact Check: Student Protests In Hungary Are NOT Organized By A Left Wing Background Person


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: Student Protests In Hungary Are NOT Organized By A Left Wing Background Person Not Busted

Are the student protests organized by a left wing background person, Zoltan Somogyi, who met Lili Pankotai, a well-known protester, in a bistro in Budapest to give her a briefing? No, that's not true: Somogyi met a part of Lili Pankotai's high school class to have a burger together, as he invited them for a school trip to Budapest.

A paparazzo followed Lili Pankotai to the meeting to take the photos shown in the video. Both Somogyi and Pankotai denied talking about the recent demonstrations, and both confirmed that the meeting was part of a school trip with a dozen other high school students, it is unknown if they ever took part in any student protests.

The claim first appeared on Daniel Bohar's social media sites including his TikTok channel (archived here) on April 27, 2023. with the caption "Itt a lebukás!". Which translates to "They got busted!" It opened:

Stop! I have the proof that perfectly shows that the destruction of the cordon and the "student protest" are actually part of the left-wing pro-war dollar campaign.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue May 9 17:17:19 2023 UTC)

Students and teachers are protesting against the government's new education regulation plans. The so called "státusztörvény" would introduce more working hours and stricter strike laws for teachers. On April 24 and May 4, following peaceful protests, some demonstrators marched to the office of the Prime Minister, where they tried to destroy the fence around it and clashed with police.

Lili Pankotai is an 18-year-old high school student from Pécs, who says she was forced to change schools after speaking on an opposition event on Oct. 23, 2022. In an interview, she told Szabad Pécs - a local newspaper - that her teacher told the class that he was unwilling to take the class on a trip if Lili was present. Lili attended both mentioned protests and reportedly she called the protesters to the PM's office after the formal demonstration.

Zoltán Somogyi is a Hungarian businessman, a former politician and political advisor. He recently appeared in headlines again after he admitted in an interview that his PR agency organized a billboard campaign about the war in Ukraine. After learning about Lili's school trip case, he invited her entire class to Budapest for a trip. Ten of them came and he met them at a restaurant in Budapest, where they ate a hamburger together. The meeting took place a few days after the first protest. Lili shared the case in a brief interview with Telex.hu. She said a photographer followed her to their school event. After Daniel Bohar posted photos of his meeting with Lili, claiming that Somogyi was behind the student protest, he shared a post on his FB page.

Both protests were organized by a student group, the Egységes Diák Front. Lili Pankotai is not a member or a leader of the group. There is no publicly available evidence that Somogyi gave orders, a briefing or even talked about the protests with Lili. According to Zoltan, they didn't talk about politics but about the future of the students.


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