Friday 18 September 2015
Hungary fires tear gas, water cannon at refugees.
“Hungarians are standing strong on their pledge to not allow refugees into Hungary. They have now criminalised illegal crossings into Hungary and we suspect that’s the reason why they deployed the water cannons...”
Hungary triggered outrage from the international community on Wednesday after firing gas canisters and spraying water at crowds of frustrated refugees who had briefly broken through a border gate in protest at being prevented from crossing from Serbia. With their path north from Serbia into Hungary – and the European Union – blocked since Tuesday, many migrants and refugees have simply turned west to the Croatian frontier. More than 5,000 people have entered since Hungary’s crackdown...
EU should impose sanctions against Hungary government for their inhumane treatment of the refugees.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled to learn that the Hungarian police have obstructed foreign media coverage of the refugee crisis on the border between Hungary and Serbia and, in particular, that they have on three occasions in the past week used force against foreign journalists.
RSF condemns these unacceptable violations of media freedom and calls on the Hungarian authorities to guarantee the safety of media personnel. It also voices concern about the medical consequences for the journalists who were beaten and demands that those responsible are punished.
“These incidents are intolerable, Reporters Without Borders editor-in-chief Virginie Dangles said.“ The Hungarian authorities must allow journalists to operate on the ground and they must prevent the police from engaging in threats and violence of this kind.
“This disgraceful police behaviour is consistent with Hungary’s frequent violations of media freedom, especially since the adoption of draconian media laws in 2010 that have been condemned by Hungarian civil society and by international and inter-governmental organizations.”
Democratic standards have declined steadily in Hungary since Viktor Orban’s party, Fidesz, won the 2010 elections. Hungary is now ranked 65th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index after falling 46 places in just four years.
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