Parliament committee adopts draft trade secrets directive

Following months of debates and Trilogue negotiations on the Commission’s proposal for a Trade Secrets Directive, the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs today has finally voted the final draft proposal on trade secrets. It improves the legal certainty as regards the exception for exercising the right to freedom of expression and information but journalists and media associations will remain vigilant. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) takes note of the generally positive amendments made to the initial draft Directive on Trade Secrets. Throughout the negotiations, the EFJ together with other media organisations’ representatives (including the European Broadcasting Union, European…

Europe shocked by life sentences demanded against journalists in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have been shocked by the indictment of a Turkish prosecutor demanding on 27/01/2016 during a court hearing in Istanbul “aggravated life imprisonment and imprisonment up to 30 years” for Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, two prominent journalists working for the daily Cumhuriyet in Turkey. According to Turkish media reports, the 473-page indicment against journalists read by the prosecutor İrfan Fidan was solely based on opinions and articles published by the newspaper. Can Dündar, editor in chief of Cumhuriyet and Erdem Gül, the newspaper’s bureau chief in Ankara have…

Greek journalists hold strike against social security overhaul

Greek journalists will join a 24-hour strike tomorrow 28 January at 6am protesting recent government plans to overhaul the social security system initiated by workers in private and public sector as well as farmers, which is going on since 8th January 2016. Members of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in Greece (PFJU, JUADN, ESIEMTH and ESPIT) called on the government to engage in dialogue with the workers’ organisations before overhauling the entire system. They also called for the autonomy of the sector’s social insurance funds and guaranties of their financial resources as well as all press workers rights that…

Turkey must allow supporters to meet with imprisoned journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

Leading international free expression and press freedom groups condemn government’s refusal to allow supporters to visit pair jailed for their reporting, call for their release A coalition of leading international free expression and press freedom groups condemns the Turkish government’s refusal to allow supporters to visit journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, who are behind bars for reports claiming that Turkey’s intelligence agency secretly armed Islamist rebel groups in Syria, and calls for their immediate release. Dündar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, and Gül, the newspaper’s Ankara bureau chief, are being held at the high-security Silivri Prison, west of Istanbul, reportedly awaiting…

Belarus detains and fines journalist for filming police attacking protesters

Paul Dabravolski, a reporter working for the Belarusian news website TUT.BY was arrested and given a fine of 9.450.000 Belarusian rubles (420 EUR) for filming police beating two protesters during a court hearing on a graffiti case on 25 January. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) have today condemned the arrest and urged the authority to withdraw all charges against Dabravolski. Dabravolski is a member of the BAJ. He was arrested while he was covering a hearing where two supporters were protesting in the court with a banner saying “stop political prosecution”. In a…

CoE Human Rights Commissioner intervenes for Khadija Ismayilova

Arrested since December 5, 2014, female investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova was sentenced in September 2015 by an Azerbaijani court to 7,5  years in prison. The journalist, member of the OCCRP and known for her investigative work exposing state-level corruption in Azerbaijan, was first accused of incitement to suicide which have been replaced by new charges related to tax evasion, abuse of power and illegal business activities. The case is believed to be retaliation for exposing state corruption in her reports, which involved senior government officials including the presidential family. The RFE/RL contributor was also financially fined for legal expenses and barred from holding…

ECPMF Media Freedom Resource Centre is online !

Developed by Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso (OBC) and the European Center for Press and Media Freedom Centre (ECPMF), the Media Freedom Resource Centre is a free and ever-growing online repository that gathers, selects, and categorise relevant content on media freedom and pluralism in Europe. In addition to ensuring systematic access to relevant and up-to-date publications, the Resource Centre includes also sections devoted respectively to legal instruments for the protection of media freedom in Europe, support centres for journalists under threat, training opportunities as well as multimedia and awareness campaigns on freedom of the press throughout Europe. You can browse all the…

Italian journalists protest against attacks on press freedom in Turkey

The Italian National Press Federation (FNSI, EFJ-IFJ affiliate) together with USIGRai, Articolo 21, RSF Italy, Amnesty Italy and other press freedom groups organised a demonstration today (21/01/2016) in front of the Turkish embassy in Rome  to protest against grave attacks on press freedom in Turkey. This includes the ongoing prosecution of journalists Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya in Turkey for publishing the cover of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The two journalists working for the daily Cumhuriyet are accused by 11 plaintiffs (including family members of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan) of “deliberately willing to humiliate the religious values of the big part…

Stop threats and violence against journalists and acamedics in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly condemn physical attacks today (20/01/2016) against IMC TV reporter and cameraman Refik Tekin and other press correspondents who were reporting from Cizre (Southeast of Turkey) about the ongoing state of emergency. According to local reports, 10 persons including IMC TV reporter and cameraman Refik Tekin have been gunned by unidentified special operations police forces and members of gendarmerie special operations active in Cizre. Tekin, who was reporting along with other colleagues the situation from the ground for the last 38 days, is now suffering from bullet in his left leg. The EFJ-IFJ wish quick recovery for affected journalists and…

One year in jail: free Ukrainian journalist Maria Varfolomeyeva

Ukrainian journalist Maria Varfolomeyeva has been held under arbitrary detention since 9 January 2015 in Luhansk city by the authorities of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR). The journalist has been accused of spying for the Ukrainian nationalist movement (Right Sector) and threatened with a 15-year jail sentence, IFJ and EFJ affiliates reported. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), representing around 600,000 journalists in the world, have backed their Ukrainian affiliates in condemning such an unlawful detention and urge for her immediate release. According to reports, Varfolomeyeva, working for local news website Svobodny Reporter and as…

Polish journalists wiretapped by secret police between 2014 and 2015

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has backed its affiliate in Poland, the Association of Polish Journalists (SDP)’s call for investigation and preventative measures following the wiretapping scandal on journalists and leading political figures in Poland. A recent internal audit has revealed that around 80 individuals were under surveillance by two secret police units in Poland, including journalists and lawyers reporting on the affair, as well as their family members. According to media reports, one of the units oversaw the tapping and infiltrating the journalists and their contacts while the second looked into whether secret services (ABW and CBA agencies)…

Albanian National Theatre Director attacks a journalist

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined the Association of Professional Journalists in Albania and the Union of Journalists of Albania condemning the attack of television journalist, Eni Shehu, by the Director of the National Theater, Hervin Çuli, on 15 January in Tirana. The attack took place on Friday when Shehu and his collegues went to the premiere of a play shown in the National Theater. It was not known why Çuli attacked Shehu. Following the attack, Shehu has reported the attack to the police. He suffered from minor injuries. The two journalists’ organisations was outraged by the attack and have demanded the Prime Minister, Edi Rama, and the Minister of Culture, Mirela…

Time Out Lisboa terminates contract with freelance journalist following payment claim

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has backed a case of a Portuguese freelance journalist whose contract with Time Out Lisboa was terminated because he stood up for his rights to claim payment for his work. The journalist who is also a member of the board at the Portuguese Union of Journalists (SJ) has been working for the last eight years as a freelance journalist Time Out Lisboa. However, the journalist was recently informed by the management of Time Out Lisboa that they will not continue working with him.  The journalist believed that the reason for the termination was due to…

Belarus fines freelance journalist for working with “foreign media”

Belarus continues its bad practice by handing over the first fine of the year on 13 January to freelance journalist, Larysa Shchyrakova, for working with “foreign media”.Following the ruling, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) have called for an immediate appeal of the ruling and urged the government to scrap the existing law. Shchyrakova, was fined 4 620 000 Belarusian rubles (around 225 EUR) by the Homiel District Court for breaking Article 22.9 of Belarusian Code on Administrative Offenses which forbids freelance journalists in the country from working with foreign media outlets. With…

Commission launches action against Poland following EU-wide protest

Journalists, broadcasters and media freedom organisations have gathered this morning (13/01/2016) in front of the Polish Embassy in Brussels protesting against new attempt by the Polish government to control the media while the European Commission was discussing possible action against Poland. The EFJ has been heavily criticising the new law in the past weeks accusing Poland of violating European law on media freedom. It has written to the European Commission calling for prompt action against Poland. Today, the European Commission has discussed the first time at its college meeting the case of Poland and decided to launch action against Poland under…

Three journalists attacked in broad daylight in Tbilisi

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemns an attack that occurred yesterday, 12 January, in the capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi. The three journalists, Levan Sutidze, Irakli Kiknavelidze, Nino Macharashvili, and Avto Koridz, working for the Georgian TV and website Tabula were attacked at a restaurant. The journalists suffered from minor injuries. Following the attack, Sutidze issued a statement on his Facebook page claiming that three unknown individuals attacked him and his colleagues. He believed that the reason for the assault was motivated by the critical view of Georgian TV towards the Georgian Church. Allegedly, one of the attackers was…