Reporters Without Borders
Hungary25 June 2007
Journalist who probed fuel rackets hospitalised after being badly
Reporters Without Borders today condemned a physical attack on
investigative journalist Iren Karmen, who was badly beaten by two men
in Budapest on 22 June and was left unconscious on the banks of the
River Danube, where she was found by a fisherman the next morning. She
is now hospitalised in Budapest with serious head injuries.
Karmen receiving several email and telephone threats last winter
apparently prompted by her research into fraudulent dealings in
petroleum products and other forms of corruption in the early 1990s.
The authorities are investigating the attack.
"We strongly condemn this attack on Iren Karmen and we call for a very
thorough investigation so that light is shed on all aspects of the
case," Reporters Without Borders said. "There can be no impunity when
press freedom is threatened."
The Association of Hungarian Journalists (MUOSZ) said it was "shocked"
by the attack, while Miklos Haraszti, the Organisation for Security
and Cooperation in Europe's representative for media freedom,
condemned "all criminal attacks that obstruct free expression."
Such a violent physical attack on a journalist is rare in Hungary and
has been condemned by the entire political class. Government spokesman
David Daroczi said the National Security Bureau would help the police
with the investigation.