UK: Assange prosecution threatens press freedom

“The ongoing prosecution of Julian Assange jeopardises media freedom everywhere in the world”, says the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), in a joint statement ahead of his appeal hearing in London on 20 and 21 February. The IFJ and EFJ, which represent nearly 200 journalists unions’ and associations, have opposed Assange’s extradition since the publication of the US incitements under the US Espionage Act. The charges relate to Wikileaks publication in 2010 of the Iraq and Afghan War Logs. These provided an extraordinarily detailed account of US military actions between 2004 and 2009.…

Russia: foreign correspondents targeted by new intimidation practices

The Russian authorities have taken intimidation of foreign correspondents to a new level: recently, the police began visiting journalists’ homes to dissuade them from covering demonstrations in Moscow by the wives of soldiers mobilised for the war in Ukraine. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its Russian affiliate JMWU denounce this new form of censorship. After the mass arrests of journalists covering a rally of the wifes of Russian soldiers mobilised in Ukraine near the Kremlin on 3 February, the Russian authorities have moved on to a new form of pressure, which until now they have reserved for activists:…

OSCE Safety of Journalists Toolbox

The Safety of Journalists Toolbox presents national instruments and initiatives from across the OSCE region and makes them accessible to interested stakeholders. It is a practical instrument to showcase existing measures on the safety of journalists from across the entire OSCE region and thereby encourage further action. The Toolbox is the result of the work carried out in the framework of the OSCE RFoM project on the Safety of Journalists | OSCE and builds upon longstanding OSCE commitments. It provides an accessible and user-friendly set of tools to guide not only participating States, but also media outlets, journalists and civil…

Serbia: Court of Appeals acquits suspects of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija’s murder

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined the Safe Journalists network (SJN) and others partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in deploring the Belgrade Court of Appeals’s decision to acquit the four suspects for the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. On Friday 2 February 2024, the Belgrade Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Special Department for Organized Crime of the High Court in Belgrade, and acquitted the four suspects for the murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. This disappointing development constitutes a grave backslide to the fight against impunity and further undermines journalists’ safety. This final…

Azerbaijan: Abzas Media’s journalist Elnara Gasimova arrested by the government

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is calling on the Azerbaijan authorities to release journalist Elnara Gasimova and her colleagues from the independent investigative outlet Abzas Media, arbitrarily detained on suspicions of corruption. All charges held against them should be immediately dropped. Summoned by the Baku City Main Police Department as a witness in a criminal case involving her colleagues from Abzas Media, 29-year-old Elnara Gasimova was arrested in 13 January 2024, becoming the sixth journalist involved in the “Abzas Media” case that started in November 2023. On 15 January, the Khatai District Court ordered her pre-trial detention for a…

The EFJ calls on the EU to take attacks on rule of law in Greece seriously

On Tuesday 6 February, 17 organisations, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), who actively monitor and defend press freedom, the rule of law and human rights in Europe sent a joint letter to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. In the letter, they express their deep concern about the ongoing deterioration of fundamental rights in Greece. The organisations, including EFJ, note serious violations of Greece’s rule of law obligations under European Union (EU) treaties including a major ongoing surveillance scandal, government interference in media, abusive lawsuits against journalists and activists, and an overall unsafe working environment…

Serbia: hundreds protest acquittals in journalist’s murder

Hundreds protested in Belgrade today over a court ruling that acquitted four former intelligence officers jailed for the 1999 murder of journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) stands in solidarity with the demonstrators gathered to demand an end to impunity. The protest was organised by the Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation, together with the EFJ affiliates in Serbia (UNS, NUNS, KUM Nezavisnost), NDNV, Media Association, AOM, Local Press and ANEM. An appeals court ruling published on Friday overturned the 2021 convictions and lengthy jail terms for four intelligence officers. The long long legal process has been marked by dramatic twists.…

Serbia: EFJ condemns acquittals in Slavko Ćuruvija murder case

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports the demonstration organised today at 2pm in front of the Belgrade Court of Appeal to denounce the outrageous acquittal of the alleged killers of Serbian journalist Slavko Ćuruvija. We call on the Serbian authorities to put an end to impunity in this case. “The murder of journalist Slavko Curuvija, which was ordered and organised by the state, remains an unpunished crime, 25 years after it was committed and nine years after the start of the trial,” the Slavko Curuvija Foundation said, noting that the Court of Appeal acquitted four members of the State…

Bosnia and Herzegovina must not become the only European country without a public service media

Bosnia and Herzegovina Radio and Television (BHRT) is facing catastrophic financial difficulties and risks being shut down, leaving 800 employees with no job, if a funding agreement is not reached. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) appeals to the BHRT management and politicians to find a solution as a matter of urgency. The national public broadcaster was deprived of its only source of income, when the state-owned electric utility company Elektroprivreda BiH did not collect the TV licence fees from the citizens along with their January electricity bills. The contract with Elektroprivreda BiH was not renewed last December…