Ambassador of Canada to the EU: “Journalists are modern heroes”

On 14 June, the UK Representation to the European Union (EU) and the Mission of Canada to the EU hosted the event “Thought is free: Protecting and promoting media freedom”. In two panels, six discussants shared their thoughts on media freedom, fact checking, safety of journalists, the loss of trust in media and the daily struggles of female journalists. The event was organised in the lead of the Global Conference for Media Freedom to take place on 11-11 July in London. In his opening statement, the Ambassador of Canada Dan Costello quoted journalists to be “modern heroes”, listing a worrying…

Ahead of European games in Minsk, EFJ urges Belarusian authorities to respect press freedom

Ahead of the European Games to take place in Minsk from 21 to 30 June 2019, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) reiterates its call on Belarusian authorities to respect press freedom and journalists’ right to work in complete freedom. The EFJ further calls on the European Olympic Committee to advocate for press freedom in Belarus, its host for the European games. At the moment, the situation is particularly worrying for freelance journalists working in Belarus for foreign media outlets, who are denied accreditation and therefore imposed unjustified bans to carry out their journalistic activities. Since April 2014, freelance journalists…

Russia: around ten journalists detained in new protest wave

Russian authorities detained on Wednesday 12 June hundreds of people, including at least 10 journalists, following a protest in Moscow in support of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined their affiliate in Russia, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), in asking for immediate release of all detained journalists. Today’s march was initially organised to press for the release of Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov who was freed on 11 June. Demonstrators were calling for punishment of police officers involved in Golunov’s arrest on 6th June on drug-dealing accusations. Golunov always denied the allegation and…

EFJ-IFJ welcome drop of charges against Russian journalist Ivan Golunov

Journalist Ivan Golunov was arrested in Russia on 6th June on drug-dealing accusations, causing a public outcry that prompted the authorities to drop all the charges against him on 11th June. While welcoming this decision, the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) call on the government to stop harassing journalists. Ivan Golunov is a reporter for the independent Meduza news website. He is well known for his work investigating corruption among Moscow city officials. He showed how relatives of Moscow’s deputy mayor Pyotr Biryukov earned billions on city contracts, amassing a fortune in real estate. Police said Golunov was carrying several…

The EFJ calls on the Russian authorities to immediately release journalist Ivan Golunov

Update (11.06.19): On Sunday 9 June, a Moscow court released Golunov into house arrest. Despite the fact that his trial is still ongoing, the decision was celebrated as a first victory, because the standard procedure in drug-related cases is to keep people in custody. Golunov reported about beatings during his investigation. An ambulance determined a concussion, bruising and possible broken ribs. Meanwhile the case caused a public outcry followed by a wave of solidarity from a wide range of newspapers and media houses. According to BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg, “in the world of Russian media, acts of solidarity are rare”.…

France 3 journalist hit and locked up in a mosque in Normandy

On 3 June, a 50-year old journalist working for the public broadcaster France 3 Normandie was attacked while filming in front of the mosque As-salam in Petit-Couronne, a city near Rouen. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in France in strongly condemning the attack. The cameraman was alone taking background footage of the mosque for a report on the imam who was facing trial the same day, when suddenly a man, followed by a group of around 20 men, asked him to stop filming. The journalist was hit, thrown on the ground and had his camera broken.…

Journalists’ organisations on the front line to tackle gender equality and online harassment

Around 30 journalists and journalists’ representatives from 20 European countries attended the workshop on “Increasing gender equality and diversity in the workplace” on 28 and 29 May in Istanbul, Turkey. Co-organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), the workshop aimed to provide best practices and concrete tools to improve equality between male and female journalists, improve diversity in the newsroom and counter growing online harrassment. Journalists’ unions and professional associations are best placed to initiate the change when it comes to closing the gender pay gap, improving work-life balance, fighting stereotypes in…

Guidelines for foreign journalists covering the upcoming European Games in Belarus

From 21 to 30 June 2019, the second European Games will take place in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus. The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) published some guidelines for journalists covering the sports event related to accreditations, security measures and safe communications. The memos are available in English and Belarusian. “We hope, the guidelines will contribute to better safety of our colleagues who may face problems covering the games,” said Aleh Aheyeu, BAJ deputy chairperson and head of BAJ Legal Center for Protection of the Media. “We would also like to offer BAJ services and assistance to foreign journalists…

Italian minister Salvini threatened journalist Roberto Saviano with withdrawal of his police protection

On May 29th, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini published a video on Facebook in which he threatened the journalist Roberto Saviano with the withdrawal of his police protection from mafia. Saviano has been under constant police protection since 2006, after he published the book “Gommora”, denouncing the practices of the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia. In the video, Matteo Salvini sends a kiss to the camera, saying “A kiss to Saviano. I’m working on a revision of the criteria for the escorts that every day in Italy commit more than two thousand law enforcement workers.”.…

Assange indictment threatens media freedom

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) join their Norwegian affiliate Norsk Journalistlag in condemning the US government’s decision to prosecute WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act. “Uncovering secret or classified information relevant to the debate in society is at the heart of media’s public mission. By publishing information that powerful stakeholders want to keep undisclosed, media can contribute to keep those in power accountable. It is therefore crucial that the publication of such material lies within the freedom of the media, even when authorities wish to keep the information undisclosed,” says a statement issued today by…

EFJ welcomes PACE report on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination

The failure of Maltese authorities to identify the masterminds behind the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia raises questions about the rule of law in Malta, according to a report adopted today in Paris by the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). PACE appointed a Special Rapporteur on this matter, Pieter Omtzigt (EPP), who has compiled a report titled “Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the rule of law, in Malta and beyond: ensuring that the whole truth emerges”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the adoption of this…

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