OSCE Representative calls on authorities in Hungary to ensure the safety of journalists covering the refugee crisis
VIENNA, 17 September 2015 – Hungarian law enforcement authorities must stop threatening and obstructing the work of journalists reporting on the refugee crisis, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said today.
“I call upon Prime Minister Orban to instruct law enforcement to respect the rights of journalists to report on issues of public interest and ensure their safety,” Mijatović said.
"Hungarian police beat reporters with batons, forced journalists to delete heir footage, broke their equipment, and threw teargas," Mijatović said. “Such behaviour is totally unacceptable, as it disregards the essential role of the media, and endangers the safety of journalists.”
On 16 September Hungarian police attacked cameraman Vladan Hadži Mijailović, and sound engineer Miroslav Djurašinović, both from Radio Television of Serbia, at the Horgoš border crossing. Their colleague, reporter Jovana Djurović, suffered a hand injury. The crew was attacked while they were filming between the police cordon and a group of refugees at the Hungarian-Serbian border, even though they had identified themselves as journalists.
Also on 16 September, journalist Jacek Tacik from Poland's public broadcaster TVP was beaten by the police. He received medical assistance from Hungarian doctors for head injuries before he was arrested for illegally crossing the border. On the same day a crew with the Serbian media outlet B92 suffered from tear gas fired at the refugees by the police, while they were covering the events.
On 12 September, Associated Press cameraman Luca Muzi reported that he was briefly detained near the border town of Roszke by Hungarian police who forced him to delete photos he took of a police dog threatening a Syrian refugee. He said police did not allow him to call his colleagues. This incident is disputed by the Hungarian authorities.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more atwww.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.