Turkish government shuts down 15 Kurdish media outlets

The Turkish government issued on Saturday 29 October a decree shutting down 15 Kurdish media outlets: 11 newspapers, two news agencies and three magazines. The latest closures bring the number of media outlets shut down under state of emergency in Turkey to 168. The Turkish government declared a state of emergency on 20 July, following the failed coup attempt on 15 July. This situation allows the government to close any media organization by issuing a cabinet decree. Here is the list of media outlets targeted by the decree issued on Saturday: Newspapers: Özgür Gündem, Azadiya Welat, Batman Çağdaş , Cizre Postası…

Demonstration of solidarity with Hungary’s newspaper NÉPSZABADSÁG

We will be gathering for a demonstration of solidarity with Hungary’s main opposition newspaper NÉPSZABADSÁG which was unexpectedly and viciously shut down, fueling concerns over a government crackdown on critical media. Since the paper’s suspension, its journalists are not allowed to publish in any other media. The paper’s archives are also inaccessible. Employees of NÉPSZABADSÁG are practically hostages of the publisher Mediaworks, which is suspected to be sold soon to a government-friendly investor. We need to show solidarity with NÉPSZABADSÁG. We also need to raise our voices for press freedom, a fundamental principle of the EU. No Member State have…

Latvia shuts down Russian Sputnik’s website for propaganda

On 29 March, the Latvian government shut down the local website of Russia’s foreign news channel Sputnik, describing the state media outlet as a “propaganda tool” and questioning the credibility of its reporting on the Ukraine conflict. The EFJ and the IFJ warn that any forced closure of a media outlet is a breach of press freedom. Sputnik describes itself as “a provider of alternative news content and a radio broadcaster” and produces news in multiple languages. Launched in 2014 it operates under Russian government control. On 29 March, the Latvian Internet registry NIC suspended Sputnik’s right to hold the…

Total media ban imposed following deadly explosion in Istanbul

A least 10 people have been killed and dozens injured today (12/01/2015) in the historical center of Istanbul (Turkey) in what appears to be a suicide bomb attack by suspected member of the Islamic State (IS), group has killed 10 people, official reports say. Following the explosion, the Turkey Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) have ordered a broadcast ban interviews related to an explosion. The broadcast ban was followed by a total information ban decided by the 7th Chamber of the Istanbul Court of Peace which forbid the publication of any opinion, interview, images, information – including comments published…

EFJ and IFJ condemn ‘Foreign Agent’ labelling of leading Russian Media Freedom group

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) have today joined their affiliate, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), in condemning the decision of the Russian government to add the Glasnost Defense Foundation (GDF), a Russian media non-governmental organisation, to the Justice Ministry’s list of so-called “foreign agents” last 19 November following an unscheduled inspection. The labelling of GDF follows a 2012 law which requires Russian-based NGOs that receive funding from abroad and engage in “political activity” to register as “foreign agents”. Under this law, organisations added to the list – around 100 groups, according to the OSCE…

Welcome to Brussels, Mr Erdoğan

The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was greeted with honour at the Brussels Royal Palace this Monday morning. After the warm welcome of the Belgian King and Queen and the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, Mr Erdoğan was pleased to receive accolades from the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the European Council President, Donald Tusk. All of those who welcomed him to Brussels should know that they gratify one of the worst censor of press freedom in Europe. In only two days, the International and the European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) submitted five serious violations of press freedom…

Ukraine bans 38 European journalists and bloggers

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today strongly condemned the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s decision to ban at least 38 international journalists and bloggers from the country for one year. The President’s decree, which was signed yesterday and published on the presidential website, names 388 people representing an “actual or potential threat to national interests, national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” The IFJ and the EFJ call on the Ukrainian government to remove the journalists’ names from this list. Poroshenko said the list targeted people involved in Russia’s 2014 annexation of…

Turkey: IFJ and EFJ welcome the counter-censorship website “engellenemez.org”

Article 19, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) today reported to the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism the new wave of censorship targeting certain media outlets’ websites in Turkey (read our submission here). On 25 July 2015, the Ankara Gölbaşı Penal Court of Peace ruled to block 96 Kurdish websites in Turkey, many of which were news websites, after receiving a complaint from the Turkish Communications Authority that the websites were spreading terrorist propaganda. Among the blocked news websites were ANF (Ajansa Nûçeyan a…