European Federation of Journalists

Joint statement on Belarus: EU must reintroduce sanctions related to violations of media freedom

We call on Belarusian authorities to stop attacking, detaining and demonising journalists and media workers and work towards meaningful protections for media freedom. Following the disputed Presidential elections in Belarus, we are deeply concerned by the torrent of attacks on media freedom that have followed. This includes evidence of journalists and media workers being attacked, arrested, detained or disappeared solely for doing their jobs. Democracy is more than free and fair elections alone; a free, open and independent media that report in the public interest and hold power to account guarantees both democracy and democratic processes such as elections. Safety…

Belarus: State media journalists call for release of detained journalists

At least 16 journalists resigned from the state media in Belarus amid mass protests and detentions. They expressed their disapproval of the repression of journalists by the Belarusian security forces. Many others co-signed yesterday an appeal to the government demanding the release of all detained journalists and an end to the repression. In recent days, several journalists from Belarusian state media announced their resignation. Among them: ONT TV presenter and head of the presidential pool of journalists Dmitry Semchenko. Yesterday, at least 160 journalists from state-owned media co-signed an appeal to the Belarusian Minister of Information Igor Lutsky, asking the…

65 journalists arrested in Belarus since Sunday; EFJ calls on EU leaders to impose sanctions

Since Sunday’s elections, Belarusian law enforcement officials have arrested 65 journalists. Some have been released; some have been expelled; some have been sentenced to heavy fines. Dozens of other journalists have been harassed or abused. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on the foreign ministers of the European Union, who are meeting tomorrow, to take sanctions against those responsible for the repression of journalists in Belarus. The EFJ welcomes the statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemning the violent response of the Belarusian authorities to the peaceful demonstrations held across the country in the…

Repression targets journalists in Belarus: international community must respond

Dozens of journalists have been intimidated and beaten by security forces in Belarus. Many have been detained. Some are still missing. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) reiterates its call for intervention by the international community. In particular, we call on the European Union, the Council of Europe and the OSCE to take urgent measures to stop violence against journalists and citizens who are peacefully demonstrating. Today, journalists’ organisations from the region (see below) are showing solidarity with the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), which is monitoring the many press freedom violations in the country. The EFJ calls on its…

Repression is intensifying in Belarus: world leaders should take action

Repression of the media and journalists is intensifying in Belarus. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on world leaders and intergovernmental organisations to put pressure on the Belarusian regime to stop the violence against journalists and citizens who are peacefully demonstrating. On Monday, several journalists clearly identified by distinctive signs were targeted by rubber bullet fire from KGB military units. The internet has been cut off and many news sites have been blocked. The EFJ calls on the European Union, the Council of Europe and the OSCE to take action to stop the violence against journalists and citizens in…

Belarus: at least 22 journalists detained around election day

Many journalists were prevented from working while covering the Belarusian presidential election on Sunday. At least 22 journalists were detained, sometimes with violence, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) denounces the conditions under which journalists have had to do their work facing brutality and restrictions. According to BAJ live monitoring, at least 22 journalists were detained around election day in Minsk, Vitebsk, Mogilev and Grodno. Further to this, it was reported that: Journalists of the Russian TV channel Dozhd (TV Rain) Vladimir Romensky, Vasily Poklonsky and cameraman Nikolai Antipov were brutally detained…

Transparency of media ownership: Twitter started to label some “state-affiliated” media

Twitter introduced on Thursday new labels to identify accounts belonging to government officials and senior staff of state-backed media. Key government officials such as foreign ministers, ambassadors and official spokespeople will receive the label, as will accounts belonging to “state-affiliated” media entities, their editors-in-chief and their senior staff, Twitter said. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is in favor of transparency of ownership of all media, but is wary of labelling initiatives that do not appear transparent or that do not seem to be based on objective criteria. The Twitter label appears as part of an account’s bio and is…

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