Journalists detained in Dresden after complaint by far-right protester

Members of a TV crew working for German public broadcaster ZDF´s investigative political magazine programme Frontal21 were detained by police during 45 minutes, on 16 August, after a complaint by a participant at a Pegida (far-right) demonstration in Dresden. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its German affiliates, DJV and dju in ver.di, in condemning the Saxon police action. Footage shot by the camera team, which included broadcast journalists Ulrich Stoll and Arndt Ginzel, shows a procession of demonstrators including one man shouting “Lügenpresse!” (“lying press”) while looking and pointing at the camera team. The footage also shows the…

EFJ calls again for immediate release of Donetsk journalist Stanislav Aseev

Russian television channel Rossiya 24 has aired on August 17 an interview with kidnapped journalist Stanislav Aseev, in which he “confesses” to working for Ukrainian intelligence in Donbass. The interview has raised concerns that Aseev, who has been illegally imprisoned in Donetsk for over a year, was coerced into confessing to false espionage charges. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has said it considers the “confession” of spying for the Ukrainian government given by Stanislav Aseyev “to be highly questionable”. “We question the circumstances of this purported confession. We have no idea when it was made, or under what conditions or duress,” said…

European journalists stand in solidarity with US journalists

At this time of an unprecedented assault on the free press of the United States by the Trump administration, the European Federation of Journalists stands in solidarity with US journalists as they do their crucial work. Yesterday, 16th August 2018, around 350 American newspapers published coordinated editorial responses to President Donald J. Trump’s repeated attacks on free media. Professor Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (Reuters Institute) commented for the European Journalism Observatory that “Trump professes a strong dislike for much of the media, labelling those who have the temerity to offer anything other than unconditional support “the enemy of the American people”, and…

Serbia: Administrative harassment against Juzne Vesti news portal

Series of administrative intimidation acts have been taken by the local authorities against Serbian news portal Juzne Vesti, with an increasing pressure in the last six months. The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) reported that the long lasting intimidation against the news portal works as a model for putting pressure on media critical to the government in Serbia. The last investigation of Juzne Vesti resulted in a legal notice against the news portal obliging it to pay a million dinars (more or less 8,400 EUR), even though no irregularities in tax activities were found. During the last five years, Juzne Vesti were subjected to…

Romania: Journalists beaten by riot police during Bucharest protest

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) join their Romanian affiliate MediaSind in firmly condemning the violent clashes in Bucharest which left many demonstrators and journalists injured, on Friday evening, August 10. The clashes left 452 wounded, including journalists. Romanian gendarmes assaulted and verbally attacked with no reason journalists covering the protest around Victoriei Square, in Bucharest. Cases of physical attacks were reported by journalists Robert Mihăilescu (Hotnews.ro), Cristi Stefanescu (DW) and Vlad Ursulean (Casa Jurnalistului), by photojournalists Ioana Moldovan (Documentaria.ro) and Silviu Matei (Agerpres), and by reporter Cristian Popa and cameraperson Cristi Ban (Digi24 news TV). A camera operator of the Austrian…

Macedonia: Election Commission authorised to fine media for ‘Unbalanced Reporting’

Several amendments to the Electoral Code were passed  by the Macedonian Parliament on 25 July 2018 in a fast-track procedure, as a result of a political agreement between the leaders of the four main political parties. An amendment to the Electoral Code empowers the State Election Commission to register and monitor online media reporting on the elections. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports its Macedonian affiliates, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM-ZNM), the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM), joined by the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia, in criticising the new Electoral Code, as the…

Belarus: The IFJ/EFJ condemn Police raid on independent media agencies

UPDATE 10.08.2018 The Investigative Committee announced releasing all journalists related to the so called “BelTA” case from detention or questioning on August 10th, EFJ’s affiliate the Belarusian Union of Journalists (BAJ) reported. Investigative Committee announced that Maryna Zolatava, chief editor of news portal TUT.by, allegedly admitted that her staff was using single subscription to BelTA announcements. Zolatava has been charged with official negligence under Article 425 Part 2 of the Criminal Code. The maximum punishment under this charge is imprisonment for a term of five years with or without confiscation of property and deprivation of the right to occupy certain posts or engage in certain…

Croatia: Court rejects charges for death threats against journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) in condemning the decision of District State Attorney of Split to reject criminal charges for death threats on Facebook against journalists of Index. The rejection of charges raises concerns on protection of journalists against intimidation and harassment in Croatia, which by all means should be secured for journalists to be able to continue their work. The court decision was announced after a complaint made by Index journalists against a former veteran, who left a comment on the Facebook page of the news site, stating “these Index journalists should be…

Serbia: Commission to solve wartime journalists’ murders expanded

Over 40 journalists have disappeared or been killed in the territory of Serbia since the break of former Yugoslavia in 1992, but only few investigations were concluded, even with interference and support from international organisations. The Commission for the Investigation of Murders of Journalists in Serbia has been working in solving the cases since 2012. The decision to expand its capabilities and resources to further the fight against impunity for murders of journalists was announced by the president of the Commission Veran Matic, on 2 August. The scope now is set to include murders of journalists on the territories of Kosovo and…

Hungary: Hir TV news channel taken over by the government

Hír TV, one of the last independent television broadcaster in Hungary, announced significant changes in the editorial and management teams on 1 August 2018, following its purchase by pro-government businessman Zsolt Nyerges in July. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is alarmed by this new attempt to control the media in Hungary. The announcement on the channel’s website stated that Hír TV “returns to its old values, continuing where it was left in 2015“. The TV channel used to follow a pro-governmental line until 2015, when the relationship between Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the former owner Lajos Simicska deteriorated, which then modified the editorial policy.…

Central African Republic: EFJ and IFJ condemn murder of Russian journalists

The European Federation of Journalists joined the International Federation of Journalists in strongly condemning the murder of three Russian journalists in the Central African Republic, in what local authorities said was an ambush by an unidentified group of armed men. The reporters were investigating the activities of so-called Wagner group, a group of private military contractors. In response to the killings, which happened on 30 July, the IFJ demanded that the Central African authorities carry out a thorough investigation to bring the material and intellectual perpetrators of this crime to justice. Kirill Radchenko, Alexander Rastorguyev and Orkhan Dzhemal, who worked for…

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