Estonia: Criminal fines for journalists over public interest reporting send dangerous signal

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing concerns about the imposition of fines on two journalists and a news outlet in Estonia after they published information about pre-trial criminal proceedings without seeking permission or informing the prosecutor’s office. On 25 March 2022, journalists Tarmo Vahter and Sulev Vedler published an article in the weekly newspaper Eesti Ekspress which named former management at Swedbank Estonia who had come under suspicion of money laundering activities between 2014 and 2016. On 14 April, following a complaint by the prosecutor’s office, the Harju County Court…

Digital Services Act: EU agreement reached

On 23 April, European Union co-legislators (European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of Ministers – national governments) reached a provisional agreement on the Digital Services Act (DSA), a new set of rules for online platforms, search engines, online marketplaces and other significant providers of digital services. The DSA will fully enter into force in the first quarter of 2024, and for very large online platforms already four months after the publication of the final text in the EU official journal. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed this agreement as an indeed overdue set of regulation to nail down…

WPFD: a message from our affiliates in Ukraine

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the President of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), Sergiy Tomilenko, asked the EFJ to share the following message on behalf of Ukrainian journalists. Journalists are important! It is our responsibility to support colleagues who are dedicated to their profession and who are examples of courage for us! “We are hidden underground and we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves. I send information to the national TV station, without ever naming myself. It’s too dangerous.” These are the words of a professional journalist from Kherson, a regional correspondent for…

Barys Haretski: “This award is another opportunity to remind the world of the situation of journalists in Belarus”

To mark World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) has been awarded the Difference Day Honorary Title for its vital work in Belarus in times of repression. BAJ was established in 1995 as a non-governmental association of media workers with the aim of promoting freedom of expression and independent journalism in Belarus. It brings together more than 1300 journalists and media workers. As part of the crackdown following Lukashenko’s fraudulent election, the Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of the association in August 2021, forcing it to cease its activities in the country and relocate…

WPFD: EFJ calls on European governments to protect journalism

On World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) on Tuesday 3 May, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has stressed the need for concrete actions from European governments to defend and protect media freedom. 85 journalists are currently in prison in Europe, just for doing their job. And 44 journalists have been killed in Europe since 2015. The EFJ calls on states to fulfil their commitments and obligations to protect journalists and media independence and pluralism. The EFJ also joined the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to combat journalists’ surveillance. Cases of spying on journalists and media workers using sophisticated spyware programs…