Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Pro-government journalist denied US diplomatic entry visa

September 15th, 2023

Government-friendly outlets vituperate against the US Embassy for denying a diplomatic entry visa to György Szöllősi, editor-in-chief of Nemzeti Sport, the only nationwide print sports daily in Hungary.

Szöllősi was appointed ‘special travelling ambassador for football’ by the Foreign Ministry in 2017, and as such was due to give the opening address at the annual football tournament of the North American Hungarian diaspora in Chicago. On Wednesday evening the US Embassy replied to a query by various news outlets on the matter, stating that the United States only issues diplomatic visas to government officials, not to private individuals. The embassy also noted that they have recently notified the Hungarian government that there has been a growing number of people who wish to travel to the United States with diplomatic passports, although they are not officially affiliated with the state.

In a first angry reaction before the statement of the US Embassy was released, Magyar Nemzet online published a comment by Tamás Pilhál, who wrote that people in Washington cannot accept other countries taking views different from theirs. ‘We will see it out, even standing on one leg, until Trump gets back,’ to the White House, he wrote in his concluding remark.

‘Mr David Pressman and the rest of you, so far and no further. Hands off György Szöllősi’, runs the headline of a Mandiner column by Zsuzsa Csisztu, a former gymnast and now sports journalist. As a member of the Praesidium of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) she writes that US entry visas have been often denied to journalists from undemocratic countries, but this time, the US authorities have made a great leap – downwards, by denying an entry visa to a journalist of an ally.

Tags: , ,