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…

International alliance against the surveillance of foreign journalists in Germany

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined an international alliance of human-rights organisations, journalists’ associations and media, to protect foreign journalists from surveillance by the German Federal Intelligence Agency (Bundesnachrichtendienst –BND). The campaign, launched on 4 August by Reporters without Borders, aims to include in the revised BND law a clause protecting journalists. The signatories of the appeal consider the global mass surveillance by the BND to be a violation of human rights and they regard the surveillance of foreign journalists in particular as a serious encroachment on press freedom worldwide. A multi-lingual online petition is available for signature.…

Germany prosecutes a comedian on Turkey’s request

The DJV (Deutscher Journalisten-Verband) and Dju in ver.di (Deutsche Journalistinnen und Journalisten Union in ver.di) (EFJ affiliates in Germany) critised today (15/04/2016) the declaration of German Prime Minister Angela Merkel regarding the request of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to file a criminal complaint against Germany’s most popular comedian Jan Böhmermann. “This decision of the Chancellor would not have been necessary because the Turkish President Erdogan has already filed a criminal complaint with the public prosecutor in Mainz” DJV Chairman Frank Überall said. Ms Merkel had previously announced that the German Federal Government would give an authorization to prosecute…

Journalists attacked by far-right groups in Germany

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has expressed extreme concerns over recent ”witch hunt” and attacks on journalists who cover the refugees and migrants crisis. Since last Friday 30 October, two journalists were attacked during the anti-migrants protest called “Pegida demonstrations” launched by the German far-right groups in Berlin. Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, the EFJ President said, “the witch hunt on journalists covering the crisis is worrying. Journalists shall not become the target for telling the truth.” Helmut Schümann, a journalist working for the daily Tagesspiegel in Berlin was one of the journalists who were attacked. According to Schümann, he was tracked down by far-right…

Media should speak out against hate speech

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined the Italian organisation on Carta di Roma welcoming the new initiative launched by the Italy newspaper La Stampa to counter hate speech. The EFJ has called on media professionals to be aware of the danger of discrimination being furthered by the media through hate speech following recent debates and media coverage on “migrant crisis” in Europe. Ricardo Gutiérrez, the EFJ General Secretary said, “Journalists should dare to denounce and confront hate speech publicly. They have the ethical responsibility to counter racist and discriminatory messages and comments that incite hatred, violence or insult…

Cyprus must improve access to information law, says EFJ

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined Access Info Europe (AIE) in calling the Cypriot Government to improve its draft access to information law in order to meet international transparency standard. According to the global Right to Info Rating, the Republic of Cyprus freedom of information bill is set to become one of the worst in Europe. Access Info Europe (AIE) and the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) studied the draft text using the 61 indicators of the Right to Information Rating and found that Cyprus scores a dismal 57 points (out of 150) which positions itself near the buttom…

Germany shall drop investigation against journalists over treason

updated (04/08/2015): Latest on netzpolitik treason scandal: German Justice Minister Heiko Maas effectively sacks Federal Prosecutor Harald Range. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have today called on the German government to immediately drop the investigation launched against two journalists, Andre Meister and Markus Beckedahl, over suspicion of treason. Following widespread criticism of the decision, the German prosecutor General Harald Range said on Friday that he was suspending the investigation, pending external expertise, “for the good of press and media freedom”. However, the IFJ and the EFJ are demanding that charges be…

Germany shall drop investigation against journalists over treason

updated (04/08/2015): Latest on netzpolitik treason scandal: German Justice Minister Heiko Maas effectively sacks Federal Prosecutor Harald Range. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have today called on the German government to immediately drop the investigation launched against two journalists, Andre Meister and Markus Beckedahl, over suspicion of treason. Following widespread criticism of the decision, the German prosecutor General Harald Range said on Friday that he was suspending the investigation, pending external expertise, “for the good of press and media freedom”. However, the IFJ and the EFJ are demanding that charges be…

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