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Hungary: UN expert to visit to assess freedom of opinion and expression

GENEVA (11 November 2021)  ̶  The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan, will visit Hungary from 15 to 22 November 2021.

She will examine the enjoyment of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in Hungary, including the implementation of laws and policies and systemic barriers that affect the work of the media, civil society and academics.

“I look forward to fruitful, substantive discussions on issues related to media freedom, digital rights, and academic freedom, among other issues, with representatives from all branches of the State, representatives of the media and civil society actors,” Khan said.

This visit takes places a few days after the third Universal Periodic Review of Hungary at the Human Rights Council.

“In light of the commitments made by the Government of Hungary to the Human Rights Council, I will focus particularly on the measures taken and envisaged by the Government to fulfil its human rights obligations relating to freedom of opinion and expression, and will provide advice and recommendations as needed to address the concerns of all stakeholders,” she said.

At the end of her visit on Monday, 22 November, Khan will share her preliminary observations at a news conference at the Mercure Budapest City Center Hotel at 10:30 local time. Access to the press conference will be limited to the media.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report on her visit at the 50th session of the Human Rights Council to be held in June 2022.


Ms. Irene Khan was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression on 17 July 2020. Ms Khan is the first woman to hold this position since the establishment of the mandate in 1993. She teaches at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and was previously Secretary General of Amnesty International from 2001 to 2009 and head of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) from 2012 to 2019. 

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.

Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

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Mr. Jeremy Laurence (+41 22 917 9383 /jeremy.laurence@un.org) 

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