CoE Secretary General Jagland warns Turkey on journalists rights violations

Following the visit of Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ in Strasbourg, the Council of Europe (CoE) Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland published a harsh press statement warning the member state on severe violations of journalists and parliamentarians rights. “It is imperative for Turkey and Europe that the judicial safeguards for all those who have been dismissed or are in prison are based on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights”, said the Secretary General. Making specifically reference to “the cases of journalists and parliamentarians that are in pre-trial detention”…

Greece: two journalists harrassed by far-right wing supporters

On 27 February 2017, the European Federation of Journalists submitted the following alert to the Council of Europe platform for the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists: On 20 February 2017, two journalists were harassed by far-right wing protesters while reporting live in Thessaloniki, Greece. Maria Travlou, who works for the public broadcaster ERT3, and Eleni Latrou, for the private station Skai TV, were insulted and stopped from doing their job by some men and women part of the so-called “Patriots’ Organisation” demonstrating outside a school. They were preventing refugee children from attending classes. The protesters covered the…

CoE Memorandum on media freedom calls Turkey to lift the state of emergency

“There is an urgent need to restore freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey. The closure of more than 150 media organisations since the coup attempt and the continuous detention of around 150 journalists had the huge chilling effect on the state of fundamental rights in Turkey”, said Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks who published today (15/02/2017) a detailed Memorandum on freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey based on the findings of two visits to the country in April and September 2016. In a interview with the EFJ, the Commissioner insisted that the…

CoE Commissioner Nils Muižnieks urges to strengthen public service broadcasting in Kosovo

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, is encouraging Kosovo authorities to safeguard media freedom in the country following his four-day mission to Kosovo. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Journalist’s Association of Kosovo (AGK) welcome the preliminary conclusions. In his report, the Commissioner recommends to strengthen Kosovo public service media, urging “the authorities to establish a sustainable, appropriate and transparent funding of the public service broadcasting organisation and to secure its editorial independence and institutional autonomy.” The Law on the Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK), the public service broadcaster, is currently being amended by the…

Ukrainian authorities must ensure the safety of journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today, in Kiev, calls on Ukrainian authorities to comply with their commitment to respect freedom and pluralism of the media. The EFJ joined the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic to call on Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists to increase efforts to ensure safety of journalists on the frontline of the war in east Ukraine. The General secretary of the EFJ, Ricardo Gutiérrez, is in Kiev today to attend the international conference “Safety of Journalists: An Imperative for Free Media, Freedom of Expression and Public Order” organized by the Ministry of…

12 journalists died reporting in 2016 in Europe, says IFJ

At the end of each year, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) publishes a list of all the journalists and media professionals killed in the course of their work over the previous 12 months. As part of its ongoing commitment to tackle impunity and campaign for greater safety for journalists, the IFJ is publishing The story behind the killings – a in-depth analysis of each region with an explanation of the victims and circumstances of each death. The report lists details of 93 media professionals killed in work-related incidents such as targeted murders, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents last year, a…

EFJ President: “We should cooperate more with Human Rights Institutions”

The Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) organised on 15 December in Strasbourg a high level seminar as a follow-up activity to the CoE Secretary General’s report on the State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe 2015. The EFJ was represented by its president. In his report, the Secretary General of the CoE, Thorbjørn Jagland, proposed a two-year Europe-wide programme to support national mechanisms to protect journalists, such as ombudsman institutions, press commissioners and non-governmental organisations. The programme pursues several goals: to strengthen the capacities of such…

Intimidation against journalists in San Marino

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is joining USGI, its Sammarinese affiliate, to denounce the attempt to censor journalists in San Marino. During the year 2016, two civil lawsuits were engaged against journalists associated with USGI, claiming damages following articles considered by the plaintiff as damaging his image. The plaintiff, a lawyer who has a leading position in the banking and financial world of the Republic of San Marino, is claiming 250.000 and 300.000 euros as damages after the publication of articles concerning the case. USGI highlighted in a press release the quality of the journalistic works in question and expressed great concerns…

EBU Conference urges Parliaments to protect PSM independence

Over 100 delegates from 19 countries in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and beyond came together in Prague last week to discuss the need to protect the independence and sustainability of public service media (PSM) in the face of numerous challenges. The conference was hosted by the Czech Parliament in Prague, and organized by the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Czech Television and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Public service broadcasters, Parliamentarians, regulators, diplomats, academics and experts from a range of organisations including the Council of Europe, Venice Commission, OSCE and the European Federation of…

Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks reiterates his commitment on media freedom

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) held a meeting on 9 November with the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks and his team at the EFJ headquarters in Brussels. The two teams discussed current threats to media freedoms in Europe especially the situation in Turkey and abuses of defamation laws against journalists in EU countries. EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez presented the main challenges and projects the EFJ is currently working on, namely the independence and the strengthening of public service broadcasting in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, the oppressive emergency situation in Turkey and the increase of self-censorship and hate speech in the…

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