Greece: journalist Stratis Balaska under coordinated online threats

RES-MPA correspondent Stratis Balaska has been under online and verbal attacks by members of neo-nazi movement “Golden Dawn” after publishing an editorial on August 15th. The publication covered history of Mytilene’s Chapel of Virgin Mary and its significance to the refugee women. Death threats, harassment and incitement to “punishment he deserves” were sent to journalists on Facebook. The threats online were a part of series of threats against Stratis Balaska because of his journalistic work. He was verbally attacked by three men, who he said to be extremists, on the street at the port of Mytilene, Lesbos, on August 12th. After…

Italy: Journalist Roberto Saviano sued for defamation by Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini

Italian journalist and writer Roberto Saviano has been sued by the Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini on 20 June under allegations on defamation. The lawsuit was a result of a Twitter thread about the reconsideration of the journalist’s police escort and Salvini’s migration policy, calling for reaction from the Minister to a recent incident where a refugee woman and a child were found drowned in the Mediterranean sea. Saviano named him “a buffon” and “minister of the underworld”. Matteo Salvini, minister of interior, deputy prime minister and the leader of the right-wing League party, has been receiving critics from local and…

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…

Serbia: EFJ denounced the intimidation campaign against its affiliate NUNS

On 7 February 2018, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) denounced on the platform of the Council of Europe for the safety of journalists and protection of journalism the following case: On two separate occasions (04/02/2018 and 05/02/2018), the Belgrade office of the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (NUNS or IJAS) has been the target of insults and intimidation with a printed flyer describing IJAS as an “Unhappy Association of Enemies of Serbia”. The flyers were glued into the glass entrance of the House of Journalists where the head office of the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia is located. It…

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 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: IFJ and EFJ welcome the counter-censorship website “engellenemez.org”

Article 19, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) today reported to the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism the new wave of censorship targeting certain media outlets’ websites in Turkey (read our submission here). On 25 July 2015, the Ankara Gölbaşı Penal Court of Peace ruled to block 96 Kurdish websites in Turkey, many of which were news websites, after receiving a complaint from the Turkish Communications Authority that the websites were spreading terrorist propaganda. Among the blocked news websites were ANF (Ajansa Nûçeyan a…