EFJ’s Mustafa Kuleli: New disinformation law could erase last remnants of freedom in Turkey

Turkey’s parliament on 13 October 2022 approved a tough new media law that provides for up to three years in prison for journalists and social media users spreading false or misleading information. The Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) denounced the law as a move by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to stifle critical voices ahead of the general elections in June 2023. We spoke to EFJ Vice-President Mustafa Kuleli about the impact on journalism and free speech in Turkey. What will the law passed yesterday change for Turkish journalists? The purpose of this law is not to fight disinformation but to…

MATTHEW MIRABELLI / AFP.

Vigil for Daphne Caruana Galizia: Still no justice five years on

The 16th of October will mark five years since the brutal assassination of Malta’s best-known investigative journalist and anti-corruption campaigner, Daphne Caruana Galizia. To honour her memory and to continue calling for justice, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) organise a vigil in Brussels on 14 October 2022. We invite you to join us to send a clear message that we want to know who killed Daphne and why. We want truth and justice. What: A vigil to pay tribute to the courage of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and to call for justice Where: Outside…

Czech Republic: We urge MPs to pass media act amendment

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joins the undersigned media freedom and journalists organisations in urging the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic to vote to pass a draft bill which would amend the law on public broadcasting to strengthen the institutional independence of Česká televize (Czech Television) and Český rozhlas (Czech Radio). Our organisations have previously called for and supported the development of this bill, which we believe will play a crucial role in limiting the ability of political forces to influence Czech Television’s oversight council and help future-proof the broadcasters against any attempts by governments to erode editorial independence. The…

Slovenia: New assault on trade union rights at RTV as 38 striking journalists received pre-layoff notices

Thirty-eight journalists working for public broadcaster Radiotelevizija Slovenija (RTV SLO) received pre-layoff notices after conducting acts of solidarity with fellow colleagues. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Slovenian Association of Journalists (DNS) and the Union of Slovenian Journalists (SNS) in expressing support to the journalists as well as urging the broadcaster’s management to stop any kind of pressure and meet employees’ numerous and repeated requests. The 38 journalists received pre-termination letters from RTV SLO management on Friday 7 October in reaction to showing their support to the strike movement that started on 13 May 2022. They physically stepped twice…

MATTHEW MIRABELLI / AFP.

EFJ joins visit to Malta on five-year anniversary of Daphne’s murder to push for reforms

Between 13 and 17 October 2022, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will join international press freedom mission in Malta, five years after the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia on 16 October 2017. The country visit follows up on similar missions held in previous years. Representatives of ARTICLE 19 Europe, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the International Press Institute (IPI), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) as well as the EFJ have requested a meeting with the Prime Minister of Malta Robert Abela and relevant ministers in an attempt to…

Malta: Government must withdraw the media bills until formal public consultation

In a letter to the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela, the Institute of Maltese Journalists (IGM) denounced “disappointing” and “weak” proposals in the media protection reform presented on 28 September 2022. For several months, the IGM and civil society groups have been urging the government to be transparent in the drafting process and openly consult the public before submitting any bill to the parliament. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) backs the IGM’s demands to withdraw the media bills until formal public consultation is launched. In the letter sent on 10 October 2022, the IGM indicated that it does not support…

Slovakia: Deputy PM’s attacks undermined government’s broader efforts to strengthen press freedom

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned international media freedom and journalists organisations today in expressing dismay over the recent attempts by deputy Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič to denigrate the country’s media and warn they were undermining wider efforts by the government to improve the landscape for media freedom. In recent weeks, Matovič, the former prime minister and current finance minister, launched numerous verbal attacks on the media, including insulting posts on Facebook which personally attacked the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Denník N, Matúš Kostolný, over a critical opinion piece. Speaking in parliament, Matovič, who is also leader of…

EFJ and IFJ back global mobilisation on October 8 to free Julian Assange

On October 8th, at 1PM a human chain will surround the Houses of Parliament in London, UK, to oppose the extradition of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, and urge the US government to drop all charges against him. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) call on journalists unions, press freedom organisations and journalists to mobilise and express their solidarity. More than 3.600 people will form a human chain to demand Assange’s freedom. Members of the IFJ and EFJ affiliated union in the UK, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), will join the rally. “Criminalising investigative journalism enables every…

EFJ and IFJ call on Turkey’s parliament to reject the “disinformation and fake news” bill

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) call on the Turkish government to immediately dismiss the “disinformation law”, expected to be turned into law by the end of the week. The law was submitted to the parliament on May 27 by the governing alliance of Justice and Development Party (AKP), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s Islamic party, and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), their ultra-nationalist allies. The draft will be presented at the Parliament General Assembly this week, and is expected to be voted on and passed promptly after. Such a bill, giving very vague definitions of “disinformation” and “intent”, would, if implemented, enable the government…