Turkey: over 10 journalists faced trial this week

Three years after the coup attempt of July 2016, the crackdown against Turkish journalists continues. This week, at least 10 journalists were facing trial over “terror charges” in Turkey. Three acquittals, four adjournments and three jail sentences were ruled from Tuesday 16 to Friday 19 July. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) stand in solidarity with the prosecuted journalists and call again on the Turkish authorities to drop all charges against the ones still facing trial on groundless charges. On 16 July, Deniz Yücel’s last hearing was adjourned, for the fourth time, until 17th October 2019. The correspondent…

Ukraine: IFJ/EFJ call on all political parties to commit to defending freedom of speech

On the eve of Ukraine’s July 21 extraordinary parliamentary elections, the International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) have backed the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine’s (NUJU) call on all political parties to sign a Declaration on the Defense of Freedom of Speech. The Declaration was prepared by Ukrainian journalists and experts from the International and European Federation of Journalists and comprises a list of obligations and commitments on freedom of speech, the protection of journalists’ rights and the fight against impunity. The text includes the following seven principles: Respect for freedom of speech and expression. Do not take…

Ukrainian soldier sentenced to 24 years in prison for the murder of Italian photographer Andrea Rocchelli in Donbas

An Italian court sentenced on Friday 12 July Vitaly Markiv, a Ukrainian former national guard commander, to 24 years in prison for the murder of photographer Andrea Rocchelli and his translator Andrei Mironov, in the early days of the conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the court’s decision, putting an end to five years of impunity. While on assignment, the pair were hit on 24 May 2014 by shrapnel from mortar shells during a firefight near the flashpoint of Slavyansk, in the rebel-held east. French photographer William Roquelon, who was travelling with the…

The EFJ-IFJ call for acquittal of Özgür Gündem guest editors

Update 17.07.2019: All charges against Erol Önderoğlu, Şebnem Korur Financı and Ahmet Nesin have been dropped by the 13th High Criminal Court in Istanbul on 17 July. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) call on the Turkish court to acquit journalist Erol Önderoğlu, facing 14 years and six months in jail over “terror propaganda”. Erol Önderoğlu was charged because of his participation in 2016 as temporary editor-in-chief to the production of Özgür Gündem daily newspaper as part of the Editors in Chief on Watch campaign. The verdict is expected on 17 July. The Editors in Chief on Watch…

TV channel ‘112 Ukraine’ Kyiv office targeted by a grenade

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Ukraine, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), in condemning the attack on private TV broadcaster 112 Ukraine. On 13 July, two unidentified persons targeted its office on Dehtiarivska street 21G, in Kyiv, using a grenade launcher. The attack happened at 3.27 am and was recorded by three CCTV cameras installed outside the media building. The incident caused damages to the facade and nearby parked cars, but didn’t injure anyone. At 3.40 am local residents alerted the police who found a spent tube used to fire a rocket-propelled grenade.…

New IPI platform collects best practices to tackle online harassment of journalists

The International Press Institute (IPI) launched a new platform on 9 July called Ontheline Newsrooms providing best practices to counter online harassment against journalists. The platform was designed for newsrooms and journalists in four principal areas: moderation for both on-site comments and social media posts; newsroom structures and mechanisms designed to promote a culture of safety around online abuse; protocols for assessing and responding to attacks; and the roles and responsibilities of newsroom actors involved in these areas. The data were collected through interviews with over 110 editors, journalists and media experts as well as visits to 45 leading newsrooms…

Labelled as “terrorist”, Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopieva had her bank accounts blocked

Russian authorities added journalist Svetlana Prokopieva on the official list of “terrorists and extremists”, on 4 July 2019. As a result, Prokopieva had all her bank accounts frozen and was placed under house arrest. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemned the Russian authorities’ decision and denounced harassment and intimidation actions against the journalist. Svetlana Prokopieva is a journalist based in the northwestern city of Pskov and working for the local branch of the independent Moscow-based radio station Ekho Moskvy, In November 2018, she was suspected of “justifying terrorism” following a radio commentary, in which she was questioning Russia’s repressive…

Turkish think-tank report escalates harassment of journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and 20 other human rights and freedom of expression organisations condemn a Turkish pro-government think-tank’s report that accuses leading international media of being biased against the government and singles out their correspondents for attack. The organisations regard the report as a dangerous escalation in the harassment of journalists. As mentioned in our prior joint EFJ-IFJ statement the report by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), a think-tank created by İbrahim Kalın, who is nowadays an adviser to President Erdoğan,  is billed as an academic study of the news coverage of the…

Greece: newsroom vandalised by anarchist group in Athens

Around 15 members of The Rouvinokas, a Greek anarchist group, ransacked the Athens Voice’s headquarters on 4th July following a publication that the group took offence at. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ – EFJ) joined the Journalists Union of the Athens Daily Newspaper (JUADN) in condemning this violent attack and all attempts to muzzle the media. According to media reports, the assailants used iron bars to smash furniture and equipment and threw black paint on the offices’ walls. No one was injured in the incident. The Rouvinokas, an anarchist and anti-establishment group, claimed responsibility for the attack in a post on the Indymedia…

Turkey: Union takes legal action against blacklisting of journalists

The Turkish Journalists’ Union (TGS), member of the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), and the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) are taking legal action against a think tank over the publication of a report which allegedly blacklisted journalists working for foreign news media. The IFJ and EFJ condemned the targeting of journalists as the latest attempt by the authorities to silence independent journalism and fully support the actions taken by the TGS. The Foundation for Political Economic and Social Research (SETA), a pro-government organisation, published on July 6 a 202-page report entitled “International Media Outlets’ Extensions in…

Montenegro: historic collective agreement improves employees’ rights at public broadcaster RTCG

The Trade Union Media of Montenegro (SMCG) signed an historic collective agreement with the public broadcaster Radio Television of Montenegro (RTCG) on 28 June, after three years of collective bargaining. According to SMCG, a valid collective agreement in the public broadcaster has not existed for almost 10 years. The document was signed by the Minister of culture Aleksandar Bogdanovic, the Managing Director of RTCG Bozidar Sundic, and the representatives of the trade unions Jadranka Drobnjak and Slavica Kruscic. It affects the daily work of more than 700 employees, out of which 300 are members of SMCG. The agreement is the…

Load more