Whistleblowers need EU protection: sign the petition #whistleEU

On 17 October, a platform initiated by Eurocadres (Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff) calling for an EU-wide whistleblower protection was launched by the first 48 signatories of a joint statement, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). The EFJ is encouraging individuals and organisations to sign the petition. At a press conference at the Brussels Press Club , representatives of Eurocadres, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), Transparency International and the EFJ all emphasised the importance of joining forces on this crucial issue. Following the debate before summer of the trade secrets…

Workshop: Investigative journalism and defamation law in Greece, 18-20 October

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European Center for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the International Press Institute (IPI) invite journalists and unionists to a three-day workshop on Investigative journalism and defamation law, to be held in Thessaloniki (Greece) from 18 October to 20 October. On Days 1 and 2, trainers and contributors from Greece and other European countries will work together with participants to describe the working environment for investigative journalists in Greece, and identify challenges and possible opportunities for them to develop their work. They will also present financial tools and funding models for investigative journalism, as well…

LuxLeaks verdict gives the wrong signal for potential whistleblowers

Suspended jail sentences for whistleblowers (12 months and 1.500 EUR penalty for Antoine Deltour and 9 months and 1.000 EUR penalty for Raphaël Halet) and acquittal for the investigative journalist (Edouard Perrin), that’s the verdict of Luxembourg court in the LuxLeaks case. Judges in Luxembourg delivered today (29/06/2016) a verdict in LuxLeaks case related to the prosecution of two whistleblowers and a journalist for disclosing confidential documents from auditing firm PwC that showed how 340 multinational companies used secret tax deals to avoid paying into the public coffers. A European Parliament’s study estimates that EU countries lose 50 billion to 70 billion EUR in tax…

Legalislative framework for investigative journalism need improvements

The Institute of European Media Law (EMR), consortium partner of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), has recently conducted a study on the state of media freedom and investigative journalism in Europe. The results published on 17 May 2016 show that restrictive rules for the development of press freedom remain a major obstacle in all countries. 1. Decriminalisation of journalism = Hungarian model Journalists might infringe the law while trying to obtain information. According to the report, all legal frameworks know limits to the freedom of obtaining information. Even though in many states courts take into consideration the importance of press freedom…

Serbia must avoid creating hostile environment for investigative journalists #BIRNunderFire

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has received worrying reports concerning a smear campaign against independent and investigative journalists working for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), the Centre for Investigative Journalist (CINS) and the Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) in Serbia. According to BIRN Serbia, the Serbian Prime minister Aleksandar Vucic publicly supported “the theory that independent investigative centres in Serbia are paid by foreign donors to destabilise the government” and the prime minister “is using his position to dismiss opponents, qualifying them as mobsters, thieves and criminals despite no evidence or opportunity for them to defend themselves. This creates an…

Investigative journalism in an age of Wikileaks?

How has Wikileaks changed investigative reporting? The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) represented by its President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård will participate in the  the Fourth Journalism Symposium on “Investigative Journalism in age of Wikileaks” in Geneva on 28 October. The conference will feature famous investigative journalist Angelo Mincuzzi who was one of the journalists reported on the scandal of the HSBC banks last year. Detailed programme is: 10h30 : Press conference  With Hervé Falciani, former employee of the HSBC bank and Angelo Mincuzzi, investigative journalist at Il Sole-24 Ore 12h : Welcome & registration 13h30 : Symposium opening By Christian Campiche,…

Azerbaijan sentences journalist Khadija Ismayilova to 7.5-year imprisonment

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have today condemned the sentencing of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova to 7.5 years in jail in the capital, Baku, in a case said to be retaliation for exposing state corruption. On 1 September, the Baku Court of Grave Crimes convicted Ismayilova, the award-winning investigative journalist at a closed trial on charges of libel, tax evasion, illegal business activity and abuse of power. Prosecutors had asked the court to sentence the reporter to nine years. “We strongly condemn the outrageous sentence handed down to Khadija Ismayilova,” said IFJ…

IFJ and EFJ reject the Prosecutor’s 9 years imprisonment request against Khadija Ismayilova

Update (01/09/2015): Khadija Ismayilova has been sentenced today by Baku Court to 7,5 years in prison. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), together with ARTICLE 19 and the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), have urged the Azerbaijani authorities to reject the Prosecutor’s request made today against the investigative journalist Khadija Ismaylova and to immediately free her. Ismayilova’s trial began in capital Baku on 7th August and has been adjourned until Wednesday 26th August, when the verdict is likely to be delivered. Following the request, the four media organisations have together submitted…

Bulgaria: recruitment, working conditions, investigative journalism among top priorities for journalists

The Union of Journalists in Bulgaria (SJBP Podkrepa, EFJ affiliate) has successfully held its 9th national conference on 25/06/2015 at the conference hall of the Confederation of Labour Syndicate in Sofia (Bulgaria). Reneta Nikolova, TV journalist, author and presenter of the rubric We and the Law at the Bulgarian National Televison, has been re-elected as President of Podkrepa with an absolute majority, she will work in tandem with her deputy Yavor Simov, an investigative journalist. The SJBP Podkrepa has 187 members and the main objectives of the new leadership are the following : recruitment of new members improving working conditions for journalists support investigative journalism sharing European best…

Press freedom in Slovenia embarking in a new era

Regarding press freedom “we are certainly embarking in a new era in Slovenia. When the criminal police was asking me questions back in 2013, my case was the first where the Slovenian State decided to prosecute a journalist for publishing allegedly classified information. Today, there are three more cases in pre-trial procedures where four colleagues are now facing similar charges referring to the articles in the criminal code which prohibits the publication of classified information”, explains Anuška Delić (investigative & data journalist at the daily Delo) in an exclusive interview in Brussels with Ricardo Gutiérrez (EFJ General Secretary). In 2011, Anuška Delić wrote…

#FreeKhadija in Azerbaijan becoming a major issue in Europe

Update (21.08.2015) – The Azerbaijani state prosecutor is asking today nine-year jail term for investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, on trial in Baku. The European Federation of Journalists firmly condemns this outrageous request. She should be immediately released. The trial is due to continue on August 26. The verdict could come on that day. ——————— The international support to free Khadija Ismayilova, a jailed female Azerbaijani investigative journalist, is growing around Europe and is expected to be a top embarrassing issue for the EU and Azerbaijani authorities during the first European Games to be held in Baku (Azerbaijan) from 12 to 28 June 2015.…

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