Mission to Turkey: press freedom remains in crisis

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined seven other organisations on a joint mission to Turkey, led by the International Press Institute (IPI). Despite some glimmers of hope, press freedom in the country remains in crisis. International press freedom groups and professional organisations reported today that press freedom and the rule of law in Turkey remain in crisis despite grounds for very cautious optimism, such as yesterday’s ruling releasing several former Cumhuriyet journalists. Over three days this week, the international press freedom delegation held meetings with journalists, civil society, the judiciary and the authorities to assess planned reforms and the…

Georgia: journalists’ resignations at Rustavi 2 TV reveal alarming decline in media freedom

Georgian main opposition TV channel Rustavi 2 faced mass resignations after the new management has fired several prominent journalists and producers in early September. The Independent Association of Georgian Journalists (IAGJ) warns against a clear attempt at political control over the media in Georgia and denounces the inaction of the international community to improve media pluralism in the country. Rustavi 2 is one of the most watched TV channels in Georgia and was once known as the main opposition television company, close to the United National Movement party. Since the new shareholder Kibar Khalvashi named his lawyer Paata Salia as…

Media Pluralism has become a priority for the European Commission

Together with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) believes that the distribution of European Commission portfolios is a hopeful sign that the European Union can deliver social progress over the next five years. The EFJ particularly welcomes the fact that media pluralism is mentioned as one of the EU Commission’s priorities. European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented on Tuesday the proposed new team of Commissioners, including some hopeful developments. As the ETUC has stated, Commissioners Nicolas Schmidt (Luxembourg) and Paolo Gentiloni (Italy), proposed for the jobs and economy portfolios, were both strong…

Spain: several journalists targeted while reporting demonstrations

During the last years, the tension in the political debate between Catalonia and Spain has moved to the streets and journalists are suffering the consequences. The last case occurred on September 11, the day of the festivity of Catalonia, when one of the pro-independence demonstrations of 300 people in front of the Catalan Parliament became the scene of violence and altercations with members of the police and some journalists who were reporting on the event. Journalist Ángela García Romero was reporting for TVE (Televisión Española) the demonstration when a group of hooded people attacked her TV crew, first throwing some…

Italy: journalists’ union calls on the profession to improve media coverage of femicides

The Italian Journalists’ Union (FNSI – Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana) yesterday called for greater awareness when reporting about gender violence and in particular, femicides. This important wake-up call was published by the FNSI ‘Commission for equal opportunities’ whereas the headlines and news regarding the murder of a woman has raised controversy in Italy. The case of the murder of Elisa Pomarelli, near Piacenza, reached national news when the body was found after two weeks of intensive search that ended with the confession of a man, who said to be Pomarelli’s friend. The reports in newspapers, TV, radio stations and digital…

Montenegro: EFJ joins call on the authorities to acquit journalist sentenced to 18 months in prison

EFJ and the undersigned organisations call on the Montenegrin authorities to acquit investigative journalist Jovo Martinović, convicted for marijuana smuggling and criminal association and sentenced to 18 months in prison despite overwhelming evidence that his only links with organised crime were those of a reporter. A specialist in covering organised crime for such leading international media as The Economist, Financial Times, NPR, BBC and a winner of the 2018 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism, Jovo Martinović was convicted to a 18-month prison sentence by the Montenegro high court on January 15, 2019 on charges of drug trafficking…

Turkey: EFJ and IFJ call on HRC to address Turkey crackdown against journalists

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) sent along with other journalists and human rights organisations a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council member and observer states to raise the ongoing crisis for freedom of expression in Turkey. Read the letter below or click here to download the full letter in PDF. Excellencies, Ahead of the 42nd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), we, the undersigned human rights and journalists’ organisations, call on your delegation to speak out and address the Turkish government’s repressive campaign against freedom of expression. The Council must…

Serbia: journalists physically and verbally attacked by football fans

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) condemned physical attacks & threats against TV journalists by football fans in Belgrade (Serbia), while they were reporting, on Wednesday. The IFJ and EFJ called on the Serbian authorities to identify and prosecute the perpetrators. On 28 August 2019, TV N1 crew, including journalist Mladen Savatovic, and Bosnian TV channel Federalna correspondant Dejan Kozul were attacked while reporting ahead of the football Champions League game between Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys in Belgrade. N1 journalists were shooting a news report outside stadium about a war tank installed by the Red…

Ukraine ends pre-trial detention of RIA Novosti journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have today welcomed the pre-trial release of RIA Novosti journalist, Kirill Vyshinsky, in Kyiv, Ukraine. The release came after the IFJ-EFJ have expressed several times their concerns over the long-lasting pre-trial detention of Vyshinsky. In May 2018, the Ukrainian security services raided the office of RIA Novosti in Ukraine and arrested its bureau chief and journalist, Kirill Vyshinsky, on charges of high treason. In July 2018, Vyshinsky was given additional charges of illegal handling of weapons. His pre-trial detention has been extended several times. On 19 July 2019, Vyshynsky appeared…

Serbian journalist and media owner on hunger strike to protest against economic pressure

UPDATE: After 19 days of hunger strike, Pavlović interrupted the protest after meeting with the President of Serbia, who promised to contact the relevant institutions in the next ten days to resolve the problems of the independent regional TV Kanal 9, in accordance with the law.   Maja Pavlović, the owner of the independent regional TV Kanal 9 in Serbia, has been on hunger strike for 14 days to protest against the economic pressure the station facing the broadcaster. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) join their Serbian affiliates UNS, NUNS, SINOS, in backing Maja Pavlović’s demands. With…

Turkey: at least seven journalists detained by police for reporting on the protests against trustees

UPDATE: The journalists Ahmet Kanbal, Mehmet Şah Oruç, Rojda Aydın, Nurcan Yalçın and Halime Parlak were released on August 26. Tunahan Turhan, a reporter for the Etkin news agency (ETHA), was detained while he was preparing to cover a demonstration in protest of the government-appointed trustees. Tunahan Turhan and Taylan Özgür Öztaş were released on August 23 under judicial control measures.   At least seven journalists were taken in custody on Tuesday 20 August after reporting on protests taking place in three southeast Turkish cities, Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van, as well as in Istanbul. The European and International Federations of…

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