Warren Richardson wins World Press Photo of the Year Award

Prize for photographer who was beaten up by Hungarian police – ECPMF investigates

by Balazs Nagy Navarro, leader of the ECPMF fact finding mission in Hungary
The black and white image of a small baby being passed by refugees under a razor-wire fence on the Hungary-Serbia border at Röszke won the prestigious World Press Photo award for 2015 as the Photo of 2015.

The photographer Warren Richardson, a Hungary-based Australian photographer took the image on  August 28 near the border crossing point of Röszke where the Hungarian authorities erected a fence along the border with Serbia in order to stop the influx of refugees entering Hungary.

Warren spent months in the area documenting the humanitarian crisis and on September 16 he also documented how he and seven fellow journalists were beaten up by the Hungarian police. Warren and the other journalists were attacked while they were covering the story as the police forcefully dissolved the refugee crowd at the border crossing.

ECPMF set up a fact finding committee to investigate the attack on journalists and Warren Richardson was one our key witnesses and victims of police brutality:

The TEK (special Hungarian antiterrorist unit) guy pushed me to the ground, I went down and on the ground I  stretched for the cameras he started to kick me on the back of my head. He probably kicked me on the back of my head  four times. When I turned around I said to him I am no threat to you I am a journalist there is no reason to do what you are doing to me. I said it very clearly in English I am no threat to you, there is no need for you to be kicking me, can you  please stop.

Warren was later detained for  hours by the Hungarian police with two other foreign journalists and  later all of them were released without charges.

We congratulate Warren Richardson for this prestigious award and condemn the police attack against him and his fellow journalist colleagues on September 16 and protest against his wrongful and illegal detention.

The whole report about the findings of the fact finding mission will be available in March at our website.