Bulgaria: Deputy PM threatened TV journalist Viktor Nikolaev

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) are concerned about threats from politicians on Bulgarian TV journalist Viktor Nikolaev. The EFJ and IFJ join the Union of Bulgarian Journalists (UBJ) in its call to end harassment of journalists and support freedom of expression in the country. Viktor Nikolaev, journalist for NOVA TV, was threatened by Member of Parliament Anton Todorov and Deputy Prime Minister Valeriy Simeonov (our picture) during live broadcast of his morning show last Friday. Todorov and Simeonov threatened the journalist to lose his job if he continued to ask questions about the purchase of fighter aircraft for the…

Russian journalist deported and banned from Ukraine

Russian journalist Anna Kurbatova was deported from Ukraine to Russia on Wednesday 30 August and barred from returning for 3 years, accused of spreading anti-Ukrainian propaganda. The EFJ and IFJ join their affiliate the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in condemning the deportation of Kurbatova and call on the Ukrainian authorities to lift the ban. “Russian propagandist Anna Kurbatova, whose forcible expulsion has been decided, has crossed the Ukrainian-Russian border”, said Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) spokesperson Olena Hitlayanska. “She has been banned from entering our state for three years”. According to Russian news agencies, Kurbatova has been given an official…

Azerbaijan offers journalists free apartments

On 17 July 2017, the European and International Federations of Journalists submitted the following alert to the Council of Europe’s platform for the safety and protection of journalists The State Fund for the “Support of Mass Media Development in Azerbaijan” will provide to journalists free government housing grants on 22 July 2017, National Press Day in Azerbaijan. A first “Journalists’ House” built in the Bibiheybat settlement of Baku by state budget funds was commissioned in 2013. A total of 156 journalists were allotted apartments there. The second “Journalists’ House” will host 255 journalists. The apartments will be distributed on 22…

Polish journalist receives death threats after public Polish TV classifies her remarks as “harmful to Poland”

Dorota Bawolek, a Polish journalist working in Brussels for Polish private TV channel Polsat TV, was targeted by hundreds of hateful messages on social media after the Polish public TV station TVP reproached her of having asked the European Commission an “upsetting” question on Thursday 13 July 2017. That Thursday, during the daily press conference of the European Commission in Brussels, Dorota Bawolek asked for explanations on the state of democracy in Poland. On that same day, the Polish Parliament had adopted a draft law that would weaken the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and of the Supreme Court…

Media freedom NGOs and professional organisations ask Polish defence minister to drop complaint against journalist

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the European Magazine Media Association (EMMA), the European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Freedom house, Global Editors Network (GEN), Index on Censorship, International Press Institute (IPI) and South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) have written to Polish defence minister Antoni Macierewicz urging him to withdraw his criminal complaint against Tomasz Piatek, the author of a new book about the minister’s alleged network of questionable Russian contacts. An investigative reporter for the independent newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, Piatek is facing a possible two to…

Urgent need for states to step up efforts to address safety of journalists

Journalists and human rights defenders, academics and civil society representatives gathered in Vilnius (Lithuania) on Monday to discuss with state officials and decision-makers how to guarantee the safety of journalists. The conference, The Safety of Journalists – New Challenges and Responses, was opened by Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was represented by its General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. “We should be far away from any censorship or prohibitions. We have to create conditions and we have to protect journalists because safety is important not only for the journalists themselves, but also for the statehood, for…

Our letter to CoE Secretary General: Include Belarus to the Platform

Partners of the Council of Europe Platform for the Promotion of Journalism and the Protection of Journalists are deeply concerned by the aggravating current situation in Belarus regarding mass detention of journalists. They urge Council of Europe to include Belarus to the list of the countries addressed by the Platform. Since the beginning of March 93 journalists were detained by the police, while covering protests across the country. While the majority was released the same day, at least 8 journalists were sentenced to 5-15 days in jail. The Association of European Journalists (AEJ), Article 19 (A19), the Committee to Protect…

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…

Safety of Journalists: an imperative for free media

Safety of Journalists: an imperative for free media Conference co-organised by Ukrainian MFA, OSCE, Council of Europe, UNESCO, Institute for Mass Information. The general secretary of the EFJ Ricardo Gutiérrez will attend the meeting. He will present the outcomes of the Council of Europe Platform for the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists. Draft agenda: 09.00-09.30 Registration 09.30-10.15 Opening remarks (Moderator:  Mariana Betsa) Sergiy Kyslytsya, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Svyatoslav Tsegolko, Administration of the President of Ukraine Vaidotas Verba, OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine Dunja Mijatović, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Mårten Ehnberg, Head of the…

The CoE adopted resolution on attacks against journalists

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Tuesday discussed the rising levels of violence against journalists, particularly in Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan. Ukrainian MP Volodymyr Ariev (EPP/CD), pictured above, presented the report, where he drew attention to the death of 16 journalists and the arrest of 150 media employees since January 2015 in member States. Mr. Ariev spoke about the deterioration of media freedom in Turkey and called for “release from detention all journalists who have not been indicted for actively participating in terrorist acts”. He also raised concerns on the media situation in Crimea and eastern parts of Ukraine.…

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