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Journalist badly beaten, hospitalised following threats over her reporting on corruption

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has condemned a 22 June 2007 violent attack on investigative journalist Iren Karmen by two men that left her unconscious on the banks of the River Danube. She was found by a fisherman the next morning and is now hospitalised in Budapest with serious head injuries.

Karmen received several e-mail and telephone threats last winter, apparently prompted by her investigation into fraudulent dealings in petroleum products and other cases of corruption in the early 1990's. 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.

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