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…

Turkish journalist Füsun Erdogan visits the EFJ/IFJ offices

Turkish journalist Füsun Erdoğan visited the IFJ/EFJ offices today to share the latest developments of her trial to be set in Ankara, Tukey’s capital on 23 March. On 2 November 2013, Füsun Erdogan was given a life sentence and charged with being a member of an alleged terrorist organisation. Her trial in the appeal court will take place on 23 March. The IFJ and the EFJ will ask the Turkish government to ensure a fair trial and set the journalist free. Founder of the radio station Özgür Radyo (Radio Free), Erdogan has often defended political, religious and ethnic minorities. On…

It was a terrible year for journalists in Europe

The General secretary of the European Federation of Journalists, Ricardo Gutiérrez, has been quoted today in Politico as stating: “It’s been an awful year. I must say, five years ago I was not suspecting such a bad evolution.” The title of the article is very clear: “2015, an awful year for Europe’s free media – A year of arrests, assaults, legal restrictions and murder”. “It was a terrible year for journalists in Europe,” writes Alex Spence, the author of the article. “Attacks by Islamic militants, unjustified arrests, assaults, harassment, threats and tougher legal restrictions made it harder for editors, reporters and photographers…

CoE Commissioner for Human Rights raises concerns over surveillance laws

The Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human rights Nils Muižnieks visited the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) on 3 November in Brussels to exchange on the threat of surveillance laws to press freedom in Europe. Commissioner Muižnieks , accompanied by Deputy Director Giancarlo Cardinale and Stefano Montanari , met with the EFJ Secretary General Ricardo Gutiérrez , IFJ press officer Pamela Morinière together with human rights and safety head Ernest Sagaga. The Commissioner said he has been assessing the impact of surveillance laws on journalism in Europe and wanted to consult the two journalists’ organisations…

EFJ and IFJ denounce beating of Serbian journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), denounce the beating of a Serbian journalist on 27 august and support their affiliates in Serbia, the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS), the Journalists’ Union of Serbia (SINOS) and the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS) in their call for the attacks’ perpetrators to be tracked down and brought to justice. Investigative journalist Ivan Ninic, 27, was beaten on August 27 in front of his home as he was locking his car in the parking lot. Two young men attacked him brutally using metal…

Turkey must release two UK journalists facing terror charges

Update (03/09/2015): the Vice News journalists arrested earlier this week in Turkey’s south-east on charges of having links to a terrorist organisation have been released today. But the journalists’ fixer, Mohammed Ismael Rasool, a journalist and translator who has worked extensively across the Middle East with VICE News, Associated Press, and Al Jazeera, has had his appeal of release rejected.  The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined Vice News today to call on the Turkish authorities for a swift end to this unjust detainment and to grant his immediate release. ———– The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists…

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