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…

Cyprus: Journalist Costas Constantinou receives death threats

Cypriot journalist Costas Constantinou has filed a complaint to Chief of Police after receiving death threats on social media. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports its affiliate the Union of Cyprus Journalists in condemning this act of intimidation against journalists and media freedom in Cyprus. The threat to journalist’s life was posted in a comment section of a Facebook group “Dimokratiki Paremvasi” (eng. Democratic intervention) under shared post of Constantinou which he made on 20th of July, commemorating day of Turkish Invasion in Cyprus. The post was along the same lines as discussion on Politis radio show, where Constantinou shared critical views concerning…

The EFJ asks the Council of Europe to declare Pavel Sheremet’s murder a case of impunity

Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sheremet was murdered on 20 July 2016. On the second anniversary of his death, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) believes that the investigation into his assassination failed to look properly into who committed and commissioned the crime. “Two years after his assassination, we should consider the journalist’s murder as an impunity case. That is why the European Federation of Journalists asked the Council of Europe platform for the protection of journalism to change the status of the alert on Pavel Sheremet’s killing to the category of “impunity”. Ukraine will become one of the worst European States…

Meeting of the CoE Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI)

The EFJ GS Ricardo Gutiérrez will attend next meeting of the CDMSI (the EFJ is an observer member of the CDMSI). The CDMSI will consider the Draft Strategy for the Implementation of the CM Recommendation on protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, prepared by the secretariat. Discuss and approve it. Consider and comment on the Draft Implementation Guide to Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4, prepared by the Secretariat Valuable practices in the area of safety of journalists will be presented, including: the Action plan on Defending Free Speech, by the CDMSI representative of Sweden, and the Audit of Freedom…

IFJ and EFJ condemn threats against journalists in Ukraine

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) condemned today the increasing verbal and online violence against journalists in Ukraine. On 30 May 2018, Larissa Sargan, spokeswoman of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine, posted on her Facebook profile a list of 26 so-called “traitors” who criticized the law enforcement authorities after the so-called “murder” in Kyiv of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko. The “murder” was in fact an operation in which Ukrainian security services (SBU) faked Babchenkos’s assassination. Two journalists appear in Larissa Sargan’s list of so-called traitors: Myroslava Gongadze and Sergiy Tomilenko, who is the President of the National Union…

EFJ and IFJ condemn ban on Russian media in Ukraine

The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) today condemned the updated sanctions list signed on 14 May by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and published yesterday which bans for three years Russian media organisations based in Ukraine, including Russian news agencies RIA Novosti, Rossiyasegodnya.rf, Sputniknews.com, Rsport.ria.ru, 1prime.ru, Realty.ria.ru and rian.com.ua. Russian TV channels rtr-planeta.com, russia.tv, vesti.ru, tvkultura.ru, digitalrussia.tv are also banned. The move comes a week after a RIA Novosti journalist was detained in Kiev and accused of treason. The decree introduces measures such as blocking of assets, limiting or stopping the provision of telecommunications services and the use of public telecommunications networks,…

EFJ calls for investigation into death of Russian journalist Maksim Borodin

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls again for an investigation into the suspicious death of Russian journalist Maksim Borodin. From Ekaterinburg (Ural, Russia), where he is attending the EU International Conference on Professional Standards and Ethics of Journalism in the Digital Age, the EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez calls on Russian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of Maksim Borodin. He died a month ago, after falling from the balcony of his fifth-floor apartment, on 12 April in Ekaterinburg. “It is not the first time we face such a “mysterious” death in Russia. Public authorities should…

Journalist Philippe Bertinchamps threatened with expulsion in Serbia

On February 2018, Philippe Bertinchamps, a Belgrade-based Belgian journalist working for various French-speaking media outlets is threatened with expulsion after the Serbian interior minister (MUP) rejected his second request for a temporary residence permit. If deported, the journalist will be separated from his family living in Serbia. The authorities is vaguely accusing him of being an “obstacle to public order and national security”. M.Bertinchamp’s application for a temporary residence permit on preservation of family unity grounds was rejected by the MUP in April 2017 and again on 8 January 2018 with no explanation. A Serbian administrative court ruled in his…

Assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia: Demand for Close International Scrutiny

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is pleased to be an official partner of the discussion “Assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia – Demand for Close International Scrutiny”, held as a side event to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Jan. 22, 2018. Three months to the day after Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination, MPs Anne Brasseur (ALDE, Luxembourg), Pieter Omtzigt (EPP, Netherlands) and Frank Schwabe (SOC, Germany) announce an event to be held in her honour on the margins of the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Jan. 22,…

EFJ and Partner Organisations Urge Close International Scrutiny over Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Murder

The undersigned organisations, partners of the Council of Europe Platform for the Promotion of Journalism and the Protection of Journalists, are deeply concerned over the lack of progress in the investigation into the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The authorities have announced the arrests of three suspects in connection with her murder, but there remains a widespread belief that those who ordered this crime have not yet been identified. Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in a car bomb explosion on October 16, a few meters away from her home. Her death raised concerns not only about protection of…

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