Investigation of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder was inadequate, says the ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights released a judgement on 17 July, stating that the investigation of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya‘s murder “failed to look properly into who commissioned the crime”. The Court decided that the Russian government violated the Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights and therefore, is due to pay 20,000 euros. The case was brought to the court by the family of the journalist, who was murdered in 2006. The press release of the European Court of Human Rights states: The Court found in particular that while the authorities had found and…

Kosovo: Advanced draft law to protect whistleblowers adopted

While the European Union is currently discussing the details to better protect whistleblowers at the EU level, Kosovo steps out introducing one of the most advanced laws in Europe to protect whistleblowers. Government of Kosovo has passed the draft law to the General Assembly for adoption on 14 June this year. The General Assembly will be voting on adoption in autumn this year. Being one of the top countries in struggle against corruption, as reported by the Freedom House, the aim of this legislation is to safeguard the possibility to inform and report wrongdoings inside the companies while ensuring the possibility to…

Spain: Photojournalist Jordi Borrás attacked in Barcelona

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined their Spanish affiliates in condemning the physical attack against photojournalist Jordi Borrás on 16 July after his coverage of a political event in Barcelona. Both Federations demand an immediate investigation on the attack and hold the aggressor accountable. According to the Federación de Sindicatos de Periodistas (FeSP) statement, the photojournalist, working for the newspaper El Món, was walking through Barcelona’s city center after a political event, when a man recognised him and approached him shouting “viva Franco” and “viva España”. Then, the man assaulted the photojournalist and punched him in the face. Borrás…

Italy: Several journalists facing threats related to their stories

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) have raised their concerns over the repetitive attacks and acts of intimidation against journalists in Italy in the last few weeks. They stand in solidarity with their Italian affiliate, the Federazione Nazionale Della Stampa Italiana (FNSI), and the Italian journalists who are experiencing those threats. On 12th of July investigative journalist Marilù Mastrogiovanni of Apulian newspaper Il Tacco was targeted with death threats flooding her work email. Il Tacco reported that this was not the journalist’s first case of intimidation, and that the level of protection for her and her family had been increased. The local authorities are investigating the…

Examining and assessing PSM editorial guidelines of the Western Balkans

A new publication on editorial guidelines or codes of conduct in the public service media of the Western Balkans was drafted by Renate Schroeder, director of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and presented during a launching event of the EU-funded project “Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans” in Tirana, Albania, in June 2018. The project is managed by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in close cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), in collaboration with the EFJ, Austrian public broadcaster ORF, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Office of the Eurovision News Exchange…

Belarus: Freelance journalist Dzmitry Halko sentenced to four years in low-security prison colony

UPDATE 10.10.2018 Dzmitry Halko, the freelance journalist on trial after allegedly assaulting a police officer in November 2017, was sentenced to four years in a low-security prison colony and will have to pay a compensation of 850 Belarusian rubles to the victims, reports the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ). In July Halko appealed the decision and was released from pre-trial detention. However, yesterday the Minsk City Court ruled to send the journalist to a labor camp, upholding the 4-year prison sentence imposed on him this summer. The EFJ supports BAJ in strongly condemning the decision of Belarusian legislative authorities against the journalist Dzmitry Halko. ——————————————– Freelance journalist Dzmitry Halko…

Major questions about journalists in Portugal: Precarity, low wages, gender gap and early retirement

A survey in Portugal, performed by University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), aimed at analyzing the working conditions of Portuguese journalists, exploring the diversity of journalists, and identifying the main constraints and challenges. Almost 1 500 journalists were surveyed between 1st of May and 13th of June, 2016, with 78 questions on the current situation and their future, for the data to be comparable to international data. There are 6 161 journalists holding a professional licence or its equivalent in Portugal, according to The Comissão da Carteira Profissional de Jornalista (CCPJ), 16th March 2018, with 51.8% male and 48.2% female journalists. The survey…

“Words That Matter” – glossary by Cypriot journalists to address local issues

On 10th of July in Nicosia, the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFOM) in cooperation with the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), and several local journalists, including members of EFJ affiliates Basin-Sen and Union of Cyprus Journalists,  has published “Words That Matter“, a trilingual glossary in English, Greek, and Turkish, to list phrases and words, used by the journalists in communities, which may be taken sensitively. The glossary resulted from a common effort between the organisations to minimise hate speech in journalism, as well as trying to overcome the long-lasting tensions between Greek Cypriot and Turkish…

Turkey : Three newspapers and one TV station closed by decree-law

On July 9, 2019, the Turkish government issued a decree-law firing 18,632 civil servants due to their alleged ties to “terrorist groups” and closing 12 associations, three newspapers and one TV station. The decree also dismissed 199 academics, some of whom were among the signers of the Academics for Peace initiative, which called on the Turkish government to halt military operations in the country’s Southeast, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and some hundred thousand displaced people. Among the closed newspapers, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi had been seized by the government in March when trustees were appointed to the board. Özgürlükçü Demokrasi,…