Kosovo: Leaked draft law reinstates criminalisation of defamation

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) backs its affiliate, the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK), in opposing the draft law proposed by the Ministry of Justice aiming to criminalise defamation of the President and Kosovo state symbols. The amendments to Kosovo Criminal Code foresees that anyone who insults or expresses with ill intention contempt for the Republic of Kosovo, for its constitutional order or its anthem, is punishable up to three years of prison. In addition, the defamation of constitutional body, including the President, the Parliament, the Government and the Constitutional court, is punishable up to five years in…

Germany: A draft law to counter hate speech would threaten freedom of expression

The German affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists, the Deutscher Journalisten-verband (DJV) co-signed a “Declaration on Freedom of Expression” in response to the adoption of the Network Enforcement Law („Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz”) by the German Federal Cabinet on April 5, 2017, supposed to be adopted by the German Bundestag in the summer. With this declaration, the 18 German organisations expressed their concerns about the negative effects of such a law – aiming to force social media sites to delete hate speech and fake news – on public discourse and freedom of expression in Germany. They fear that platform operators will delete or block…

Media Against Hate: apply now for the media literacy training on freedom of speech and human rights!

Applications for the second international Media Literacy workshop co-organised by CMFE Community Media Forum Europe and COMMIT Community Medien Institut within the Media Against Hate Campaign are now open here! It will take place in Olsztyn, Poland, on 8-9 June 2017. The workshop will address the following topics: Freedom of expression and respect of human rights – where are the boundaries and what is hate speech? (training) Muslims in the Media – Round table discussion with local and international experts (in cooperation with OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) The trainers will be: Gordana Knezevic, award-winning journalist, “Balkans…

OSCE Representative condemns deterioration of media freedom in conflict-affected parts of Ukraine

The Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović condemned today the worsening situation with media freedom and safety of journalists in areas not controlled by the Ukrainian government. This comment followed the recent report by OSCE Chief Monitor, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, where among others he spoke about the limitation of freedom of expression in the region. The OSCE Chief Monitor mentioned ban of over 350 websites and restrictions against Ukrainian media outlets. Mijatović noted that threats and intimidation of media workers along with the arrest of bloggers Eduard Nedelyaev and Gennadiy Benitskiy are particular worrying cases. She added: Access…

European court rejects press freedom violation claim by Finnish photojournalist

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday afternoon that Finland did not violate a photographer’s right to freedom of expression. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its Finnish affiliate, the Union of Journalists in Finland (Suomen Journalistiliitto), consider this decision as a dangerous defeat for freedom of expression. The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has ruled by a majority (the President and three other judges expressed a dissenting opinion) that Finland did not violate the freedom of expression of photographer Markus Pentikäinen. This is a disappointing outcome to the nine-year legal battle and…

The EFJ welcomes the Croatian Center for the Protection of Freedom of Expression

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the launch of the Croatian Center for the Protection of Freedom of Expression. The Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND), in cooperation with the Union of Croatian Journalists (SNH), both members of the EFJ, will present this project in Zagreb, on 2 July. The Center will provide legal protection to journalists, in a context of increasingly frequent threats and intimidation. The new chair of HND, Sasa Lekovic, will present on Thursday, in Zagreb, the brand new Center for the Protection of Freedom of Expression (CPFE). The organisation will provide legal advice and representation to journalists…