CoE launches online platform on journalists’ safety and media violations

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Following months of preparation and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on 4 December 2014 with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and other media partners, the Council of Europe (CoE) has officially launched today an online platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.

The platform aims to improve the protection of journalists, better address threats and violence against media professionals and foster early warning mechanisms and response capacity within the Council of Europe.

Whenever there is a physical attack on journalists or legal threat to media freedom, such violations will be recorded and submitted by the partner organisations (EFJ, IFJ, RSF, AEJ and Article 19). Following the submission of the case, an alert level will be issued on the case depending on the level of violations.

“The safety of journalists is essential in maintaining a free and independent media in our democracy. We appreciate this significant step taken by the CoE to commit member states to respect media freedom,” said Mogens Blicher Bjerregård.

When a member state is directly referred to in a case submitted by partners, they can update on the platform any action or progress taken by the respective national organisations or institutions.

“We encourage our affiliates to report to us immediately whenever there is any media violation. This will help put pressure on member states which violate media freedom to act in accordance with international standards on media freedom,” added Blicher Bjerregård.

What is considered as a media violation?

If you or your fellow colleagues experience any of the following threats and violations, please report it to us immediately at efj@ifj.org.

  • Attacks on physical integrity of journalists

Killings, violence, threats or other attacks to the physical integrity of journalists, their family members and other media actors, bloggers, writers, human rights defenders communicating in the public interest

  • Harassment of journalists

Harassment of journalists and other media institutions or actors, threats to journalists’ privacy, attack to property, loss of employment, psychological abuse, bullying/cyberbullying

  •  Impunity

Impunity in the abovementioned cases, failures to investigate and prosecute crimes against journalists and other media actors

  •  Threats to journalists sources

Alleged threats to the confidentiality of journalists’ sources or threats to their physical integrity and security because of their collaboration with journalists, media or human rights defenders or organisations

  • Acts having chilling effects on media freedom

Acts having chilling effects on media freedom including judicial and political intimidation and legal framework limiting media freedom:

a.     Judicial intimidation (opportunistic or abusive use of defamation, anti-terrorism laws, national security, hooliganism or anti-extremism laws)

b.    Political intimidation (including hate speech)

c.     Legal framework limiting media freedom

  •  Other

Abusive or unjustified blocking of media-related websites or social media platforms, censorship, hacking, etc.

 

The platform only covers cases of violations taking place in the CoE member states. All EFJ affiliates are in the CoE member states apart from Belarus.

Partners of the CoE online platform include: European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Border (RSF), Article 19 and Association of European Journalists (AEJ).

 

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