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.…

Russian editor threatened by government official in Chechnya

The Speaker of the Chechen Parliament, Magomed Daudov, tried to intimidate Gregory Shvedov, the editor-in-chief of Caucasian Knot (Kavkazsky Uzel), an independent online news site that covers the Caucasus, focusing on human rights violations. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemned this shameful intimidation. Daudov, aka Lord, posted his threats on the social media website Instagram on 4th January, calling for violence against “Shved”, a clear reference to Grigory Shvedov. The post, titled “How to untie the Caucasian Knot”, is accompanied by a picture of a dog, and calls “for a vet to pull out [Shved’s] wisdom teeth and cut his tongue to size”.…

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…

EFJ and IFJ discussed media freedom in Turkey with CoE Secretary General Jagland

The presidents of the European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) and the representatives of the other partner organisations of the Council of Europe Platform for the Safety of Journalists met with the Council of Europe´s Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, yesterday, in Strasbourg, to discuss the possible follow up to the media freedom alerts published on the Platform with regard to Turkey in the aftermath of the 15 July failed coup. The Secretary General briefed them on the Council of Europe actions so far and on-going co-operation with Turkey, as a member state of the organisation. Since the coup attempt, the…

Russia: publisher beaten up for publishing police misconduct

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) backs its affiliate, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), in calling on the Russian authorities to conduct swift investigation of the attack against weekly MK Nechernozemye publisher Denis Shaikin, in Kursk, Western Russia. On 20 September, Denis Shaikin was arrested and beaten up by policemen while he was leaving the Kursk police station with his lawyer. He was brought to the hospital and suffered from severe head injury. The RUJ believes that this attack is linked to the publication in his newspaper mid-september of an investigation accusing the deputy head of Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation in the Kursk region of being involved in alcohol-smuggling.…

Macedonian journalist Zoran Bozinovski must be released

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has called today in Skopje for the immediate release of detained Macedonian freelance journalist Zoran Bozinovski. Zoran Bozinovski has been spending five months in detention in Skopje, after his extradiction from Serbia where he had spent another 18 months detained. The prosecutor’s office in Skopje needed four months to deliver the formal indictment for alleged espionnage, blackmail and criminal association. The EFJ member organisations in the country, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM), consider that the case against Bozinovski is not based…

Macedonia: five journalists beaten by police during protests

A journalist and four photo reporters were gravely injured by armed police forces on 13 April in the capital, Skopje, while covering an anti-government rally, IFJ and EFJ Macedonian affiliates SSNM and ZNM reported. The protests were sparked by President Gjorge Ivanov’s dual announcement of early elections and a halt to the inquiry into the wiretapping scandal that broke in February 2015 when it was alleged the government was illegally wiretapping over 20,000 people including journalists. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Skopje, demanding the President either revoke his decision or resign. The Trade Union of Macedonian Journalists and…

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