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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) - Hungarian civic groups are calling on companies to pull their ads from a newspaper that published a column in which a member of the governing Fidesz party made gravely disparaging remarks about the country's Roma minority.

The appeal from Amnesty International Hungary, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, and 21 other groups, including several advocating for the rights of Gypsies- or Roma, as they are also called- said the companies should boycott the Magyar Hirlap newspaper until it "most resolutely condemns" the Jan. 5 column by journalist Zsolt Bayer in which he wrote that "a significant part of the Roma ... are animals and they behave like animals."

Among the companies petitioned by the civic groups are Vodafone, FedEx, IKEA, Procter and Gamble, and Hungarian State Railways.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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