Germany: EFJ supports constitutional complaint against new surveillance law

The European Federation of Journalists’ (EFJ) supports its German affiliates, the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and the dju in ver.di, in their statement of support for the constitutional complaint of foreign journalists against the Federal Intelligence Service (BND-G) law on “overseas surveillance” of telecommunications operations. The complaint by foreign journalists was filed in December, and presented publicly on 30 January 2018 in Berlin. It criticises the insufficient protection of fundamental rights of foreign journalists from surveillance measures. Among the plaintiffs are renowned investigative journalists, including the winner of this year’s Alternative Nobel Prize Khadija Ismayilova (Azerbaijan), Blaž Zgaga (Slovenia) and Richard…

Germany: Repeal NetzDG bill, deletion is not the answer

The German journalists’ association and affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV), has called on the members of the German Bundestag to abolish the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) as soon as possible. DJV federal chairman, Frank Uberall, said that “the censorship of the satirical magazine Titanic, by Twitter, has confirmed our fears that we have already put forward in the legislative process. The NetzDG pushes the power over the fundamental right of freedom of the press and freedom of private companies such as Twitter and Facebook. There is no sound legal consideration of the deletion of…

Press accreditations stripped and violence against journalists at G20 protests in Hamburg

At least 32 journalists have been deprived of their press accreditations by the German government during the G20 protests in Hamburg held on 7 July. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) join their German affiliates DJV and dju in ver.di in condemning the attacks against the press. Nine journalists have had their accreditations revoked with an additional 23 placed on a list detailing them as a security concern. Those listed were not present at the G20 Press Center, according to EFJ affiliates. Government spokesperson Steffen Seibert confirmed the removal of the accreditations but didn’t provide any justification for…

German parliament adopts controversial law on social media threatening media freedom

The German parliament voted last Friday on 30 June a law on social media forcing online platforms like Facebook and Twitter to remove illegal hate speech posted by users. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expressed concerns regarding the adoption of the law warning that the law would lead to widespread online censorship and limit media freedom. The law on “respect of the law by social network” has raised criticism regarding the excessive and hardly controllable infringement to freedom of speech. In April, the EFJ together with its German members (DJV and dju in ver.di) protested against the draft law and…

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

The German affiliates of the European Federation of Journalists, the Deutscher Journalisten-verband (DJV) and Dju in ver.di criticized 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. Dju in ver.di issued a statement on April 5: “Even if we strongly reject the use of fake news and hate speech in social networks, in case of doubt, the deletion of such content is not the right response,” said Cornelia Haß, national director of dju in ver.di. “Freedom of expression and diversity of opinions are fundamental to our…

Freelance journalist facing alone lawsuits after publication of articles on Italian businessman

Petra Reski, female journalist and author of several books, recently published as freelancer for Freitag magazine some articles on the relations of an Italian businessman operating in Germany. The businessman accused of being member of the Italian maffia launched lawsuits against the journalist who did not received support from Freitag magazine based on the argument that “redaction are not legal protection insurance against inadequate research work”. The freelancer felt let down by “Freitag” magazine. The German union Verdi couldn’t support her financially for technical reasons as to receive legal support from the union, a journalist is asked to contact the…

German Intelligence Agency spied on at least 50 foreign journalists, reveals Spiegel Online

On 24 February 2017, Spiegel Online reported in an article that the German foreign intelligence agency (Bundesnachrichtendienst, BND) apparently spied on at least 50 telephone and fax numbers or email addresses of journalists or newsrooms worldwide from 1999 onwards. According to documents seen by Spiegel, among the targets were the BBC in Afghanistan and London, the New York Times in Afghanistan, as well as mobile and satellite telephones of the news agency Reuters in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Spiegel Online doesn’t mention the nature of the journalists’ work and the length of the surveillance. Last October, the German Bundestag has…

German daily “Die Welt” correspondent in Turkey arrested!

UPDATE (28.02.2017): Deniz Yücel was jailed pending trial on terrorism related charges on Monday 27 February 2017. German daily Die Welt correspondent in Turkey Deniz Yücel was taken into custody on 14 February following reports on Turkish Minister of Energy Albayrak’s hacked emails. Mr Yücel, who holds both Turkish and German citizenship, is accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation, spreading propaganda and misusing information, charges refuted by the defendant as well as media organisations. Since the end of December, six other journalists working for Turkish news outlets have been arrested supposedly in connection to the RedHack leaks.…

German journalists concern over media concentration due to newspapers takeover

Journalists and their unions in Germany expressed concerns over the sale of newspaper Donaukurier to the larger publishing house Passauer Neue Presse (PNP). The Bavarian Journalists’ Association, a member of the German Federation of Journalists (DJV) warned that the deal will result in further media concentration and uncertainty for the journalists  working at both Donaukurier and PNP. In response to this development, the journalists’ unions in Germany including DJV, (dju) in ver.di and BJV will organise a protest on Saturday 24 November in the Passauer Fußgängerzone, Bahnhofstr. 2-4 (in the City Gallery). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports the action…

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