Investigative journalist physically attacked in Kosovo

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK) in condemning the physical attack against investigative journalist Parim Olluri in Pristina on 16 August 2017. Parim Olluri, who is also the executive director of Insajderi.com portal, was attacked by three unknown men while he was going home with his partner around 10 at night. The attack happened in front of his apartment in Bajram Kelmendi street in Pristina. Olluri was beaten up causing light injuries. His partner was not harmed but lost consciousness as a result of the attack. Both were taken to the hospital for…

Ukraine: Journalists’ union attacked by pro-government MP

The EFJ/IFJ has strongly condemned accusations by a Ukrainian MP that the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) was guilty of implementing “Russian media projects” and supporting anti-Ukrainian media. The astonishing claims came after the union opposed government raids on a prominent Ukrainian news website. The EFJ/ IFJ vowed to stand shoulder to shoulder with its affiliate in Ukraine in defending its actions in representing the country’s journalists and defending press freedom. The politician, Dymtro Tymchuk, a member of the People’s Front faction has claimed the NUJU leadership was “working against information security of the country”. He also accused…

Russia: investigative journalist convicted for website administration

Investigative journalist Alexander Sokolov has been sentenced on Friday (10/08/2017) to three and a half years by a Russian court. Sokolov has been convicted with involvement in a banned extremist group.  The EFJ/IFJ joins its affiliate the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in condemning the ruling which is being used to silence and intimidate Sokolov and other Russian journalists. “Sokolov’s conviction is a blatant attack by the authorities on transparency and the truth in Russia,” said the EFJ/IFJ. “We demand his immediate release.” Journalist Sokolov maintains his innocence, stating the actual intent behind the prosecution is in retaliation for a…

Bosnia and Herzegovina: journalist Dragan Bursać receives death threats

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is supporting the Western Balkans Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety in condemning recent death threat against Dragan Bursać, a journalist from Banja Luka, who was threatened because of his article “I was silent while Bihać was shelled” (Šutio sam dok je Bihać granatiran). The EFJ  welcomes the swift reaction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republika Srpska, who arrested the person who threatened him. In the article, Bursać recalls memories of the three-year siege of the town Bihać that was surrounded by two Serbian armies and the action Storm…

Turkey: 35 warrants to detain journalists and media workers

Turkish authorities have arrested 9 journalists and media workers and issued warrants to 26 others accusing them of ties to the Gulenist movement blamed by the government for orchestrating last year’s attempted coup. According to Turkish state media Anadolu Agency, Turkish police carried out raids today issuing warrants and arresting media workers suspected of using an encrypted messaging app called ByLock, which is supposedly favoured by Gulenists. Journalist Burak Ekici, who works for opposition newspaper Birgun, is among those arrested, accused of “membership of an armed terrorist organization”.  The IFJ and EFJ denounced the repeated accusations of “terrorism” by the…

Spain must release Swedish-Turkish journalist #HamzaYalçin!

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) together with its affiliates in Spain and in Sweden have strongly condemned the arrest of Swedish-Turkish journalist Hamza Yalçin by Spanish authorities. The arrest occurred last week in Barcelona following an international warrant issued by Turkey through Interpol over alleged terrorist plots. The EFJ/IFJ urges the Spanish authorities not to hand Hamza Yalçin over to the Turkish authorities as the safety of the journalist and the judicial independence of a trial would not be guaranteed for him in Turkey, where around 160 journalists remain behind bars, according to IFJ/EFJ statistics. According to…

Belgian Ministers asked to help release French journalist Loup Bureau

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined an initiative launched by the journalism school attended by the French journalist Loup Bureau calling on the Vice Prime Minister and the Minster of Foreign Affairs to help free the arrested journalist in Turkey. Bureau’s fellow students at the Brussels School of Journalism and Communication (IHECS) together with the EFJ, the Professional Journalists’ Association of Belgian and other educational institutions  has written to the Belgian government today for their help to release Bureau. Bureau was arrested on Wednesday 2 August by the Turkish police following five days of detention in southeastern Sirnak…

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to sustainable funding

Public service media in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has signed an agreement with the electric company Elektroprivreda – JP EP on the collection of TV license fee through the electricity bills starting this month. With this agreement, the Radio and Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) will be provided with a steady income of independent funding and will be able to start investing in new technology and programming. The other domestic electric companies will be offered the same contract and the BHRT expects a positive outcome. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) welcomes…

Newsweek Serbia ceases publishing

Adria Media Group (AMG), a major Serbian publishing house, announced on 1 August that it would cease publishing the Serbian edition of the popular US-owned Newsweek magazine. AMG’s National Bank of Serbia accounts were frozen by the Serbian government in early July, the group reported. AMG quoted the Tax Administration Office saying in a statement on 6 July that the blocking of AMG’s bank accounts was made “to secure the collection of public revenue for which the control process is in progress, as there is a risk that the taxpayer will hurt, disable or make it ineffective”.  Requests for further…

French journalist Loup Bureau arrested in Turkey

French journalist Loup Bureau was arrested on Wednesday 2 August by the Turkish police following five days of detention in southeastern Sirnak province on the Iraqi-Turkish border. He is detained on charges of “assisting a terror organisation”. Loup Bureau, 27, is a freelance journalist who worked for Arte, TV5 Monde, Slate. French news agency AFP reported that his charges are related to a report he had done in 2013 with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria – considered by Ankara as a terrorist organisation – which was broadcasted on TV5 Monde. According to Le Monde, Bureau wanted to report…

Turkish court frees seven jailed journalists

The trial, which began on Monday 24 July, involved 17 Cumhuriyet journalists and executives wrongfully accused of secretly supporting the PKK – a militant Kurdish organisation and FETO, the group allegedly responsible for last year’s failed coup. The Cumhuriyet employees on trial are editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, columnist Kadri Gürsel, CEO Akin Atalay, printing administrator Önder Çelik, attorney Bülent Utku, cartoonist Musa Kart, columnist Hakan Karasinir, attorney Mustafa Kemal Güngör, reporter Ahmet Şık, editor Turhan Günay, columnist Güray Öz, columnist Hikmet Aslan Çetinkaya, former editor-in-chief Can Dündar, columnist Aydin Engin, financial manager Bülent Yener, accounting manager Günseli Özaltay and columnist Orhan…

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