EFJ demands immediate release of Andrei Alexandrov and other journalists imprisoned in Belarus

Criminal prosecutions of journalists are increasing in Belarus. Journalby editor Andrei Alexandrov was arrested on 12 January. Eight other journalists are still behind bars in Belarus, just for doing their job. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) once again calls on the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the European Union to intervene with the regime of disputed President Lukashenko to secure their immediate release. Andrei Alexandrov was detained as part of a criminal case initiated by the Minsk City Investigation Committee. He is considered as a suspect under article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for “organization and preparation…

Germany: Expert report recommends class action lawsuits for copyright infringements of freelancers

The German Association of Journalists (DJV) and ver.di recently published an assessment report authored by law professor Caroline Meller-Hannich on possible instruments of collective legal protection in copyright law. The report concludes that, when implementing the EU directive on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market, German legislators should not renounce the instrument of a class action law suit or collective litigation.  A class action lawsuit of trade unions or associations is an important aspect of the copyright directive, and is particularly critical for the protection of freelance journalists. Authors regularly have difficulties in enforcing their legal claims to appropriate remuneration.…

Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot journalist harassed by the Turkish government

Turkish Cypriot journalist and publisher Sener Levent is the target of a harassment campaign by the Turkish authorities for his critical reporting on the Turkish government policies in Cyprus. The European Federations of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) join their affiliates, the Union of Cyprus Journalists and the Turkish Cypriot Trade Union of Press Workers Basin Sen in condemning the Turkish attempts to shut down press freedom. Journalist Sener Levent, the editor-in-chief of Afrika newspaper, has been targeted by official and unofficial means by the Turkish government and faces numerous court proceedings because of his reporting. The Turkish government…

Portugal: four journalists under illegal police surveillance

UPDATE (14/01/2021): On 14 January, daily newspaper Sabado revealed that Lisbon prosecutor Andrea Marques also tried to identify the sources of two journalists from the Portuguese public broadcaster RTP. One of these journalists was heard as a witness by the prosecutor’s office in August 2020. —————————— Four Portuguese journalists have been placed under police surveillance, at the request of Lisbon public prosecutor Andrea Marques, as part of the investigation into leaks related to the “e-Toupeira” corruption case, launched in March 2018. Without prior authorisation from an investigating judge and in order to identify the sources of the journalists, Prosecutor Marques…

EFJ/IMS open letter to International Ice Hockey Federation President René Fasel

The 2021 Ice Hockey World Championship will be played in Minsk (Belarus), but the event should be held in an environment conducive to media freedom. Here is our open letter to International Ice Hockey Federation President René Fasel. Dear President Fasel, We, the undersigned press freedom and journalists’ organisations, are writing to express our deepest concern about the organisation of the 2021 Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk, the city in Belarus which has become a centre of unspeakable repression, human suffering and human rights abuses. We welcome the statements from the Ice Hockey Championship participating countries, raising concerns over…

Slovenia: Radio Študent threatened to lose its funding

Radio Študent will lose funding of its founder the Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana (ŠOU), the radio announced in a press release on 8 January 2021. According to Radio Študent, the reason put forward is the critical reporting on the ŠOU structure and management. Europe’s largest and oldest independent student radio fears for its existence. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates, the Union of Slovenian Journalists and the Slovenian Association of Journalists, in condemning ŠOU’s withdrawal and supports Radio Študent’s calls for the provision of funding at least until 2022. This would enable a two-year…

Takeaways from webinar “Media councils in the digital age: how to regain trust and ethics in journalism”

After a successful year regarding the EU-supported Media Councils projects, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) hosted an online webinar on 11 January 2021 to talk about the achievements and the next phase. Three members of the European Parliament, Petra Kammerevert, Ramona Strugariu and Alexandra Geese, Deputy Head of Unit (DG Connect) Audrius Perkauskas and four consortium members discussed and exchanged respective insights and best practices. The EFJ is the coordinating partner bringing together several European press councils and two universities. Renate Schroeder, Director at the EFJ, moderated the event, which she kicked off by emphasising that self-regulation and press…

Online webinar “Media councils in the digital age: how to regain trust and ethics in journalism”

As to discuss last year’s achievements regarding the EU supported EFJ Media Councils project and to talk about the next phase, on 11 January 2021, an informal online webinar will take place from 11 AM until 12:30 PM Brussels time. Together with three members of the European Parliament, Petra Kammerevert, Ramona Strugariu and Alexandra Geese, four consortium members will highlight some of their respective results in the panel. The European Federation of Journalists is the coordinating partner bringing together several European press councils and two universities. The speakers and their respective topics are listed in more detail in the agenda…

Women journalists imprisoned during protests in Ankara

Three women journalists were detained and another was beaten by police on 5 January during a protest in the Turkish capital Ankara against the disappearance of a Kurdish student a year ago. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and their affiliate, the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) condemned the violence and demanded the immediate release of the imprisoned colleagues. Habibe Eren and Oznur Deger, journalists from feminist news agency Jin News, and freelance journalist Eylul Deniz Yasar, were among the 18 women detained while covering the rally that marked the first anniversary of 22-year-old Kurdish student…