World, Europe

EU dodges issue of Dutch journalist fleeing Greece over threats

Journalist Ingeborg Beugel faced 'intense hate campaign' after confronting Greek premier about migrant pushbacks

Selen Temizer   | 19.11.2021
EU dodges issue of Dutch journalist fleeing Greece over threats Dutch journalist Ingeborg Beugel (C) takes part in a demonstration as she plans to leave Greece out of concern for her safety in Athens, Greece on November 17, 2021. On Nov. 9, Beugel confronted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at a press conference, accusing him of lying about migrant pushbacks. ( Ayhan Mehmet - Anadolu Agency )

BRUSSELS

The European Union has refused to comment on the case of Dutch journalist Ingeborg Beugel, who is being forced to flee from Greece amid threats by pro-government Greek media and far-right groups.

Beugel, who recently confronted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for lying about migrant pushbacks, said this week that she is “being targeted and threatened by pro-government media and extreme right factions.”

A European Commission spokesperson declined to comment on the issue when questioned by Anadolu Agency during a news briefing on Friday, saying they did not have enough information on the matter.

A statement sent to Anadolu Agency later in the day said the commission would not comment on individual cases of threats to journalists.

It said authorities of countries where such incidents take place are responsible to investigate and follow up on the cases.

“We take all threats and attacks against journalists very seriously. Journalists should be able to do their work in safety,” read the statement, which did not even mention Beugel’s name.

It said the European Commission has issued its first-ever recommendation on journalists’ safety and is working with EU member states to implement it.

“We will also continue to analyze the safety of journalists in all the Member States as part of the annual Rule of Law Report,” the statement said.

Beugel’s case

During a press conference in Athens on Nov. 9, Beugel accused Mitsotakis of lying about migrant pushbacks and “about what is happening with refugees in Greece.”

Mitsotakis, who was with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the briefing, refuted the allegations, saying he would not allow anyone to insult him and the Greek people.

Less than a week later, Beugel told several international media outlets, including Anadolu Agency, that she was facing an “intense hate campaign” and had been advised by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and embassy in Athens to leave Greece.

The journalist said she was also physically threatened by a man who threw a rock at her, called her “a Turkish spy and told me to go to (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan."

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