Journalist beaten by police officer in Serbia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have today called on the Serbian authorities to investigate the recent attack on journalist Predrag Blagojevic who was repeatedly beaten by a policeman on Saturday 15 August. The affiliates of IFJ and EFJ – the Independent Journalists’ Association (NUNS), the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Journalists’ Union of Serbia (SINOS, in Serbian) have also condemned the attack and urged the authorities to investigate the case immediately. Blagojevic is the editor for the news portal, Juzne Vesti. He previously received threats while on a journalistic assignment.…

EFJ asks Mogherini to raise the case of journalist Ali Lmrabet with Morrocco

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is calling today (20/07/2015) the EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini to raise the case of the Moroccan journalist Ali Lmrabet during her first visit to Morrocco on July 21 where she will hold meetings with government officials, members of Parliament and civil society. Mrs Mogherini, who is also the vice-president of the EU Commission, will discuss the EU-Morocco partnership and other areas of mutual cooperation related to trade, migration, security and climate change issues. “As the representative voice of European journalists, the EFJ is asking the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs…

Turkey: State prosecutors attempt to ban opposition media during election

According to several media reports, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has urged the Communications Ministry to hamper all media communications linked to the Gülen movement by withdrawing state means used to facilitate the broadcasts. If executed, the general request will lead to forbid specific opposition TV channels to use satellite infrastructure controlled by the state. The office’s Bureau for Crimes against the Constitutional Order sent the Ministry a written request on April 26 to target the broadcasting and publication of TV channels, radio stations, print media outlets and websites owned by the Gülen movement claiming that the US-based preacher Gülen…

Mapping media freedom project extended by the EU

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Index on Censorship are delighted to announce that Index project to map media freedom in Europe has received funding from the European Commission – one of just two projects selected. Mapping Media Freedom (#ecpmf)– launched as a pilot project in 2014 by Index on Censorship – records threats to media freedom throughout the European Union and EU candidate countries. In the last 12 months, more than 750 violations have been reported, including threats of violence, harassment, intimidation and legal penalties. The map includes threats faced by journalists and media groups at local as well…

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…

Journalism is persona non grata in Turkey

A new documentary called Persona non grata*, directed by Tuluhan Tekelioğu and supported by the Platform for Independent Journalism (P24), puts the lights on the poor working conditions of journalists in Turkey. From the basic court reporter to the star columnists of mainstream newspapers, all journalists in the country are currently struggling between legal harassments, political pressures, increasing self-censorship, pressures to quit jobs for covering sensitive issues or pressures to avoid affiliation to a professional trade union movement. In this 41 minute documentary officially presented in Istanbul at the Swedish Consulate for World Press Freedom Day, Mustafa Kuleli (General Secretary of the…

Verhofstadt: “EU Progress Report does not say much about press freedom”

“The annual Progress Reports produced by the European Commission does not say much about the situation of press freedom and freedom of expression in the candidate countries. Therefore, I call the Commission to better focus on those topics as we need a deeper analysis and development on those important topics, specially regarding the situation in Turkey”, said Guy Verhofstadt, member of the European Parliament and leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe of (ALDE) , during a seminar on Press Freedom in Turkey co-organized on 22/04/2015 by ALDE and the Greens. The liberal MEP’s call to…

Turkish cartoonists sentenced to jail for insulting Erdogan

Turkish cartoonists Bahadir Baruter and Ozer Aydogan, from the Turkish satirical magazine Penguen, have been found guilty of insulting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a cartoon on the cover of the magazine’s August issue. The court sentenced both cartoonists to 11 months and 20 days in prison on March 24. That sentence was subsequently commuted to a fine of 7,000 Liras (2,500 euros) each. The cartoon depicted newly elected Erdogan arriving at his presidential palace and saying: “What a bland celebration. We could have at least sacrificed a journalist.” The prosecutor alleged that the cartoon was insulting in that one…

EU Enlargement Commissioner: “further progress needed on press freedom”

In a meeting with delegates of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on Friday 20 March 2015, the EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr. Johannes Hahn, has called for more progress made on press freedom in the West Balkans and Turkey. Commissioner Hahn expressed his concerns about media freedom in West Balkans and Turkey and pointed out that it was not satisfactory to see these countries receiving the same critical comments every year. He confirmed that the Commission considers media freedom as a fundamental right and as a key element in the transformation of countries into democratic…

IFJ and EFJ condemn repressive actions against journalists in Crimea

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its regional organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), today accused the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in Crimea of harassment and intimidation against independent media after journalist Natalya Kokorina (pictured on the left) was detained last Friday for six hours and denied access to legal assistance while her colleague Anna Andrievska (pictured on the right) is facing anti-state charges in relation to an article she wrote in 2014. The two journalists have worked at the news portal of the Crimean Centre for Investigative Journalism, in charge of providing journalistic training. After the…

Putin’s war on NGOs threatens the Mass Media Defense Centre

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its Russian affiliate, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), are deeply concerned by the new threats against the Mass Media Defence Centre (MMDC), which is the only Russian NGO specialising in media law, as well as providing legal assistance and protecting media rights on a daily basis. Over the past two years, an unprecedented number of laws have been adopted in Russia which dramatically restrict the activities of all independent non-governmental organisations (NGOs). According to a law passed in 2012, Russian NGOs that receive foreign funding must declare themselves as “foreign agents”. This law threatens…