Repression targets journalists in Belarus: international community must respond

Dozens of journalists have been intimidated and beaten by security forces in Belarus. Many have been detained. Some are still missing. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) reiterates its call for intervention by the international community. In particular, we call on the European Union, the Council of Europe and the OSCE to take urgent measures to stop violence against journalists and citizens who are peacefully demonstrating. Today, journalists’ organisations from the region (see below) are showing solidarity with the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), which is monitoring the many press freedom violations in the country. The EFJ calls on its…

Repression is intensifying in Belarus: world leaders should take action

Repression of the media and journalists is intensifying in Belarus. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on world leaders and intergovernmental organisations to put pressure on the Belarusian regime to stop the violence against journalists and citizens who are peacefully demonstrating. On Monday, several journalists clearly identified by distinctive signs were targeted by rubber bullet fire from KGB military units. The internet has been cut off and many news sites have been blocked. The EFJ calls on the European Union, the Council of Europe and the OSCE to take action to stop the violence against journalists and citizens in…

Belarus: at least 22 journalists detained around election day

Many journalists were prevented from working while covering the Belarusian presidential election on Sunday. At least 22 journalists were detained, sometimes with violence, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) denounces the conditions under which journalists have had to do their work facing brutality and restrictions. According to BAJ live monitoring, at least 22 journalists were detained around election day in Minsk, Vitebsk, Mogilev and Grodno. Further to this, it was reported that: Journalists of the Russian TV channel Dozhd (TV Rain) Vladimir Romensky, Vasily Poklonsky and cameraman Nikolai Antipov were brutally detained…

Transparency of media ownership: Twitter started to label some “state-affiliated” media

Twitter introduced on Thursday new labels to identify accounts belonging to government officials and senior staff of state-backed media. Key government officials such as foreign ministers, ambassadors and official spokespeople will receive the label, as will accounts belonging to “state-affiliated” media entities, their editors-in-chief and their senior staff, Twitter said. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is in favor of transparency of ownership of all media, but is wary of labelling initiatives that do not appear transparent or that do not seem to be based on objective criteria. The Twitter label appears as part of an account’s bio and is…

Turkey: “Journalism still resists and survives here”

This article was originally published on 5 August by Nieman Reports, and is reprinted here with the kind permission of the author, Emre Kizilkaya, a 2019 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow who is currently the editor of journo.com.tr. Original title: “As Erdoğan Cracks Down, Turkey’s Independent Journalists Need Digital Skills and Business Acumen” – “Turkey’s mainstream media has imploded, and it will not come back even after Erdoğan” Shooting a glance at the uncanny paraphernalia on my desk feels like watching a “Breaking Bad” teaser: A fist-sized rock near my monitor, a half-burnt tear gas canister on the rock, holding a…

EFJ calls on Belarusian authorities to release Vitali Shkliarov

A columnist for “Novaya Gazeta” and high-profile political analyst has been detained in Belarus ahead of a tense election. Belarusian journalist and writer Vitali Shkliarov has been arrested on 29th July. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on Belarusian authorities to release immediately Vitali Shkliarov. Vitali Shkliarov was detained after the State security service KGB announced it had arrested 33 so-called “Russian mercenaries” allegedly plotting to destabilize the country ahead of the presidential election. According to media reports, he was arrested because of his close cooperation with one of the presidential campaign candidates, Sergey Tikhanovsky, a popular 41-year-old YouTube blogger,…

Serbia: Journalists’ associations targeted by a financial probe

The Serbian Finance Ministry’s Money Laundering Prevention Department sent a request on 13 July to banks asking them to provide information related to bank records of 37 civil organisations, media and 20 individuals. The affiliates of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) appear on this list. The request is about all Serbian dinar and foreign currency accounts and transactions from January 2019 and is aimed “to establish whether the NGOs and individuals are connected to money laundering or terrorism”. The list, which also includes Balkan Investigative…