Vienna, 11 March 2018 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemned the conviction of investigative journalist Gergely Nyilas on Tuesday, 6 March.
Following the surge of immigrant asylum seekers during the summer of 2015, Nyilas, who works for news site Index.hu and at the time reported about migration, entered Hungary in disguise, claiming he was an immigrant from Kyrgyzstan. After he revealed his true identity, he was accused of misleading authorities and forging public documents.
On Tuesday, a court in the city of Gyor (Győr) convicted the journalist and sentenced him to cover the costs of the lawsuit against him.
SEEMO harshly condemns the decision of the court against Gergely Nyilas and reminds authorities in Hungary that it was prohibited for journalists to enter refugee camps at the time, despite many requests from a majority of media outlets in Hungary. SEEMO supports Nyilas´ statement that he wanted to inform the public about the situation within the camps and the treatment of asylum seekers by authorities.
Prohibiting them from informing the public about relevant issues is detrimental to both media freedom and human rights.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe