Statement in support of the mandate of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

We, the undersigned organisations, are deeply concerned by the decision of the representatives of Azerbaijan and Tajikistan to block the renewal of the mandate of Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFOM). We respect the need for a consensus vote of all member states of the OSCE on the mandate renewal as an important commitment of all OSCE participating States to abide by their commitments to freedom of expression and free media. We understand the move by Azerbaijan and Tajikistan is an attempt to weaken the essential watchdog function of the mandate. Our organisations have worked closely…

Malta: Renewed call for justice 1,000 days after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia

12 July marks 1,000 days since the assassination of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. On this anniversary, we, the undersigned organisations, once again demand justice for all those involved in her murder and the corruption she exposed. In recent weeks, yet more disturbing revelations of state corruption and impunity related to the case continue to emerge, underscoring the weaknesses in Malta’s rule of law, and entrenched impunity for both the murder of Caruana Galizia and the high-level abuses of power she investigated. During a June 2020 hearing to compile evidence against murder suspect, Yorgen Fenech, the Magistrate ordered the…

Serbia: violent attacks against journalists during two consecutive nights of protests

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) are extremely concerned by violence against journalists during the protests currently taking place in several cities in Serbia since the 7th of July. In two days, we have been informed of at least 14 attacks against journalists and media workers who were on the field to report in the public interest. The Federations condemn the brutal attacks by police forces as well as by demonstrators, and join their affiliates in Serbia, UNS, NUNS and SINOS, in calling on the police to respect the work of the journalists. Thousands of protesters took to…

Russia: Union expresses concern over treason charge arrests

Russian security forces arrested former journalist and current adviser of the head of the Russian space agency Ivan Safronov on 7 July on charges of “treason” for allegedly sharing military secrets. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) join their affiliate, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), in expressing grave concerns over his arrest and the detention of journalists who protested against it. Ivan Safronov was one of the most prominent and respected journalists reporting on defence issues in Russia. He worked until May 2020 for two major Russian newspapers before becoming an adviser for the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Safronov is now accused…

New handbook on Trade Union Organising in the Media, Arts and Entertainment Sector

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with the four European trade union federations in the Media, Arts and Entertainment sector, namely: the International Federation of Actors (FIA); the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), UNI Europa – Media, Entertainment & Arts (EURO-MEI), has today launched a handbook on Trade Union Organising. The handbook is the outcome of a joint project, entitled “Reaching the Full Potential of Social Dialogue for Atypical Workers” that addressed the challenge of union representation of workers in the Media, Arts and Entertainment sector, who are freelance, self-employed or otherwise atypical workers. It contains good practices on…

Support to Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland who has received over 55 threats of legal action

The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a mechanism to monitor and respond to threats against journalists and media workers in EU Member States and Candidate Countries, has responded to the unprecedented legal threats made against Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza by contributing €15,000, it’s largest grant to date, to support the outlet’s legal defence. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), a MFRR partner, backs grant toward legal defence of newspaper.  Since 2015, Gazeta Wyborcza has received over 55 legal threats, including civil defamation actions and alleged infringement of personal interests by a number of actors including Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of…

Russia: Svetlana Prokopyeva found guilty of “justifying terrorism” and fined 6000€

Radio journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva has been found guilty of “justifying terrorism” and fined 500,000 rubles (around 6.000 €) over a column she wrote about a suicide bomb attack targeting the FSB security service in 2018. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) join their affiliate, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), in calling for her complete acquittal. In November 2018, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva wrote a column about a suicide bomb attack against a local FSB building, linking it to the repression of political dissent under Putin’s rule. She said her article was merely…

Fresh attacks worsen climate of hostility against journalists covering protests across Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners have raised further concerns about continued violence against journalists covering protests and demonstrations across European Union (EU) Member States and Candidates in 2020. The group calls for increased protection, police training and oversight, as well as broader respect for media freedom. In the first six months of the year, MFRR partners have documented over 31 separate cases of attacks and media freedom violations against at least 41 different journalists and media workers reporting from protests and demonstrations in 11 EU Member States and Candidate Countries. The figures, documented…

Croatia: Prime minister publicly undermined journalist and union leader Maja Sever

Croatian Prime minister Andrej Plenkovic accused journalists’ union leader Maja Sever of collaborating with his political opponent ahead of a pre-election TV debate. The European and International of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) have strongly condemned the accusations. PM Plenkovic insinuated that Sever had worked with the opposition to “prepare” his political rival, during a pre-election TV debate on 29 June on private RTL channel – which showcased the two main candidates for Prime Minister, Plenkovic for the ruling conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Davor Bernardic for the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Sever is a long-time journalist working for the Croatian public broadcaster Hrvatska radiotelevizija (HRT) and the President of the Trade Union…