Northern Ireland: two investigative journalists arrested for theft of confidential documents

Investigative journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey were arrested on the morning of 31 August after police search was held in their houses and offices. The journalists were accused of theft of confidential documents related to the Loughinisland massacre. The laptops and possessed information were confiscated. Both journalists were released from custody on bail on the same night. Trevor Britney and Barry McCaffrey were involved in a documentary “No Stone Unturned”, which investigates the massacre of six people on 18 June 1994, when a loyalist gunmen opened fire on the customers in a bar in Loughinisland, Co Down. After shift…

BBC and The Guardian taken to court over Paradise Papers

Following the release of Paradise Papers, offshore company Appleby has taken legal action against two British news organisations, the BBC and The Guardian. The BBC and The Guardian are two out of 94 news organisations that reported on the controversial Paradise Papers, a leak of financial documents that showed how hundreds of politicians, multinationals, celebrities and individuals with a high net worth use complex structures to avoid paying higher taxes. Appleby has since initiated breach of confidentiality proceedings against the two British news organisations. The law firm is seeking damages for the disclosure of what it says are confidential legal…

Ireland: Unions celebrate victory over competition authority

Irish freelance workers will be allowed the right to collective bargaining. On the evening of 31 May, the Irish Parliament adopted the Labour Party proposed Competition Amendment Bill 2016, which aims to introduce exemptions from competition law for certain self-employed workers. Since a competition ruling was handed down thirteen years ago, agreements  negotiated with  artists unions on minimum tariffs  have been considered as breaches of competition  law. To avoid the competition law a union has to prove either that its members are false independent workers (in a subordinate relationship, obliged to follow instructions,  do not share the same business risks…

UK : Stop the Murdoch media takeover

The European and International Federations of Journalists are calling for action to stop the proposed merger of 21st Century Fox Inc and Sky plc, claiming it would ”undermine media plurality and be against the public interest”. The EFJ and IFJ joined forces with the National Union of Journalists in the UK and Ireland and the UK Trades Union Congress and the European TUC to welcome the decision of the European Commission to examine the bid and urged it to consider the impact on media diversity and plurality in the UK. In its submission to the investigation the IFJ called for action to…

Journalists might face up to 14 years in jail in the UK

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) back their British affiliate, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), in its concerns over the proposals to update the Official Secrets Act in the United Kingdom. Due to the new way of defining espionage, including “obtaining sensitive information”, as well as “passing it on”, journalists, whom are simply working on their stories, can potentially face up to 14 years in prison by receiving some secret information. These proposals completely ignore the right of journalists to disclose information in the public interest and would also punish severely whistleblowers,…

Irish government urged to back demands for action on O’Hagan murder

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland, calling on the Irish government to apply pressure on British prime minister Theresa May for a new investigation into the murder of Sunday World journalist and NUJ activist Martin O’Hagan.  On the 15th anniversary of his death, the NUJ has called on the Irish foreign affairs minister, Charlie Flanagan, to support the call by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for the authorities in the UK to intensify their efforts to find the killers. Dunja Mijatović, an…

Belgian Journalist Philippe Leruth elected as IFJ President

Delegates of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) meeting at the 29th World Congress in Angers elected Philippe Leruth, member of the Belgian Association Générale des Journalistes Professionnels de Belgique (AGJPB) as president of their organization on 9 June 2016. Journalist at the daily L’Avenir, Philippe Leruth was vice-president of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European organisation of the IFJ, from 2004 to 2013, and AGJPB president from 1995 to 2005. He is taking over from departing British President, Jim Boumelha, who headed the IFJ from 2007 to 2016. “The first challenge is to restore IFJ unity” said the newly elected…

Irish government must restore freelance rights for collective barganing

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), joining its affiliate in Ireland the National Union of Journalists, is welcoming the decision of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to challenge Ireland’s failure to treat freelance workers in accordance with the rights enshrined in the organisation’s convention. Following a complaint by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) the Irish government faces questions at the ILO assembly in Geneva about the treatment of freelance workers, who are denied the right to be collectively represented by unions as a result of the actions of the former Competition Authority in Ireland. The complaint was lodged…

BBC journalist’s laptop seized by UK police under Terrorism Act

The European Federation of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists joined their member union in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), to condemn the use by the UK police of special powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 to seize the laptop of a BBC journalist and have access to his sources. Detectives served an order obtained from a judge on the BBC and Secunder Kermani, a Newsnight reporter who has produced extensive reports on jihadis born in Britain. It is understood that the police wanted to read communications between Kermani and a man who…

Workshop: Collective bargaining for atypical workers, 8-9 September 2015 Dublin

In the framework of the project “Reaching out to atypical workers” funded by the European Commission, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Ireland will organise a workshop on “Collective bargaining for atypcial workers” on 8 & 9 September in Dublin.  Workshop discussion summary EFJ calls for stronger rights for freelance workers Agenda The workshop is part of the joint project with partners FIA, UNI-MEI and FIM to address the challenges facing by unions in the sector to represent freelance workers and defend their rights. Key issues include: Collective bargaining…

UK High Court rules against data retention rules

The UK’s High Court has ruled that parts of the controversial surveillance law, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA), violated article 7 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the personal data protection laws. The EFJ affiliate in the UK, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), has long been campaigning against DRIPA to ensure that the right of journalists to protect their confidential sources is protected. On Friday 17 July, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales found that UK surveillance laws are incompatible with the European convention on human rights and the EU charter…

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