Pre-trial detention extended for Cumhuriyet journalists despite clear demonstrations

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) condemn the court’s decision to maintain the five Cumhuriyet journalists and media workers in pre-trial detention, after a 13-hour long hearing at Silivri prison, on 11 September 2017. The court ordered their detention despite clear demonstration by the defendants’ lawyers that the accusations of “without being a member of that organisation, spreading propaganda on behalf of an illegal terrorist organisation” were completely baseless. An international delegation including the EFJ-IFJ, IPI, PEN International, Norsk PEN, PEN Vlaanderen, RSF, foreign consulate representatives, foreign press correspondents and MEP Rebecca Harms has attended the hearing and shared solidarity…

Turkey: Press freedom on trial

The EFJ is closely following the proceedings that started on Monday 24 July in Istanbul against 17 prominent journalists, editors and board members of Cumhuriyet newspaper, including Can Dündar, Kadri Gürsel, Murat Sabuncu and Ahmet Şık. EFJ president Mogens Blicher Bjerregård participated in the court case on 24-25 July and met several journalists and EFJ affiliates. Below a personal account of his impressions: Press freedom must be protected, and not put on trial as it has happened this week in Istanbul with the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet. 17 journalists and executives are accused in a completely political and fabricated way for…

Turkey: first criminal trial against journalists over attempted coup

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) yesterday sent an observer to Istanbul to monitor the first trial against journalists accused of participating in the 15 failed coup of last July. The trial, which may shed light on how the courts will approach numerous cases concerning the right to freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial under the state of emergency, has amplified international concerns over press freedom in Turkey. Raffaele Lorusso, General Secretary of the affiliate Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI) and an IFJ Executive Committee member, yesterday attended the trial of…

Trial against Montenegrin journalist Martinovic to continue on April 11

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Montenegro expressing their grave concerns on the ongoing trial against investigative journalist Jovo Martinovic. “Together with our affiliate the Trade Union of Media of Montenegro (SMCG), we wish to recall our letter of 2 September, in which we raised our concern over the arrest of detention of Mr. Martinovic for membership of a criminal organisation and drug offences, despite compelling evidence which shows he was only doing his job as an undercover investigative journalist.” At the beginning of the year Martinovic received…

Mass detentions of journalists in Belarus

Update (28.03.2017): Aliaksandr Barazenka, Belsat cameraman, who was sentenced to 15 days in jail yesterday, announced a hunger strike. On March 25 he was detained by the police, while covering the protests in Minsk. Despite repeating several times during the detention that he is a journalist, he was charged with “minor hooliganism”. More journalists were prosecuted in Belarus today: Dzianis Ivashyn was sentenced to 5 days in jail, Kanstantsin Mardzvintsau to 15 days in jail, Syarjuk Kijko to 12 days in jail and Viktar Stukau was fined. In Belarus, since Friday March 24, 2017 the law enforcement agencies detained 55 (totally…

EFJ and IFJ demand the review of Macedonian journalist Kezarovski’s trial

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), together with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), have today demanded in a joint letter to Macedonian Prime Minister, Mr. Nicola Gruevski, the review of the Macedonian journalist Tomislav Kezarovsi’s two year jail sentence. The reporter, sentenced allegedly for revealing the identity of a witness in a murder case, was recently granted release from prison on health grounds until next 18 February, which IFJ and EFJ find insufficient. By a public letter, they called on the Macedonian authorities to reconsider Kezarovski’s innocence and to grant him the permanent release. (Photo credit: Tomislav Georgiev.)