Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and partner shot dead

In order to honor their memory, a silent vigil will be organized by Jan Kuciak and Martina Kušnírova’s friends and colleagues outside the International Press Center at Residence Palace, rue de la Loi 155 (Brussels) on Thursday (1st of March 2018) from 12:30 to 13:30.  The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) are deeply shocked to learn of Jan Kuciak‘s death, a 27-year-old Slovakian reporter working for “Aktuality.sk” news portal. His body was found on 25 February alongside his partner Martina Kusnirova at their home in Velka Maca, some 65 kilometres from the capital Bratislava. Slovakian police launched a murder probe on Monday 26 February 2018. Kuciak’s reporting focused…

Six MEPs call for new EU directive against lawsuits targeting journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the letter sent to Frans Timmerman, the vice-president of the European commission, initiated by six Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)  on 19 February 2018 who called for the introduction of a new EU directive that addresses Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) towards journalists. The letter was signed by the following MEPs: David Casa (European People’s Party), Ana Gomes (Socialists and Democrats), Monica Macovei (European Conservatives and Reformists), Maite Pagazaurtundúa (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats), Stelios Kouloglou (European United Left, GUE/NGL), and Benedek Jávor (Greens). The proposed EU Anti-SLAPP directive would aim to protect journalists from vexatious, abusive lawsuits and other…

CoE Commissioner for Human Rights concerned about safety of journalists in Serbia

“Serbia has to establish an adequate environment for media work” said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights, following a four-day follow-up visit to the country carried out from 19 to 22 February 2018. As concerns freedom of the media, the Commissioner noted the agreement of all media actors that he met that Serbia has a solid legislative framework governing this field. ”Serbia also has great investigative journalists, some of whom have been presented with prestigious international awards. The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, whose importance for investigative journalists’ work cannot be overstated, is a…

EIJC18 & Dataharvest in May 2018

The 8th European Investigative Journalism Conference & Dataharvest will be held from May 24th to 27th 2018 in Mechelen near Brussels. The European Investigative Journalism Conference & Dataharvest, organised by Journalismfund.eu, is the most relevant networking event for investigative and data journalists in Europe. Join the EIJC in Mechelen, Belgium from 24 to 27 May 2018 for the most interesting edition yet!  #EIJC18 & Dataharvest offers hugely inspiring investigative journalism cases, ample opportunities to meet interesting colleagues and coders, and tons of training sessions to brush up your skills hands-on. Check out our programme outline. This is the one conference you do not want to miss! Register now and take advantage of our early bird rates. Deadline 28th of February. Also don’t…

Free European Media: Let’s join forces for freedom of the press!

Over 120 journalists, representatives of journalists’ organisations, national media regulators and press councils, as well as academics, politicians, and civil society activists gathered on 15-16 February at the Solidarność Centre in Gdansk, Poland, for a conference on “Free European Media”. The event has concluded with a number of proposed steps, including the need to strengthen partnerships between all stakeholders. The event has been organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in cooperation with the Council of Europe (CoE), the Nordic Journalism Centre, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the International Press Institute (IPI), with the support…

Journalist Philippe Bertinchamps threatened with expulsion in Serbia

On February 2018, Philippe Bertinchamps, a Belgrade-based Belgian journalist working for various French-speaking media outlets is threatened with expulsion after the Serbian interior minister (MUP) rejected his second request for a temporary residence permit. If deported, the journalist will be separated from his family living in Serbia. The authorities is vaguely accusing him of being an “obstacle to public order and national security”. M.Bertinchamp’s application for a temporary residence permit on preservation of family unity grounds was rejected by the MUP in April 2017 and again on 8 January 2018 with no explanation. A Serbian administrative court ruled in his…

Deniz Yücel released after one year of detention in Turkish prison

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the release of Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yücel, correspondent for the German daily newspaper Die Welt, who spent 366 days in pre-trial detention without indictment. His lawyer, Veysel Ok, confirmed on 16 February that the court in Istanbul ordered Yücel’s release, pending trial. He does not face any ban from leaving the country. On 14 February 2017, Yücel was first taken into custody upon accusations of being a member of a terrorist organisation, spreading propaganda and misusing information and subsequently jailed. His conditions of detention had deteriorated in March 2017, when he was put in…

Turkey: Six journalists and media workers sentenced to life over coup attempt

A Turkish court jailed on Friday 15 February three journalists, Mehmet (65) and Ahmet (67) Altan as well as Nazli Illicak (73) for life over allegations of involvement in the 2016 coup attempt. A similar punishment was handed to three other suspects: Zaman newspaper marketing manager Yakup Simsek, police academy instructor Sukru Tugrul Ozsengul and Zaman layout designer Fevzi Yazici. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is appalled by this verdict which confirms Turkey’s disregard for rule of law. The Altan brothers and Nazli Ilicak were detained since September 2016 on charges including “attempting to overthrow the Turkish Grand National Assembly”,…

Matthew Caruana Galizia’s speech at Free European Media

This is the keynote speech given by Matthew Caruana Galizia, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist at ICIJ, at the conference “Free European Media” which took place in Gdansk, 15-16 February 2018. What are ethics? What is self-censorship? My father, brothers and I spent our first Christmas without my mother together, in a cottage hidden away in rural England. We cooked, played Monopoly and watched cowboy films by Sergio Leone. It reminded me why my mother liked them so much- her first regular column was called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In life, like in these parables disguised as films, there are the good…