EFJ and IFJ call for the immediate release of journalist Vladislav Yesypenko

Freelance journalist Vladislav Yesypenko has told a court he was tortured and forced to confess after he was arrested in March by the Federal Security Service (FSB) officers in Crimea on fabricated charges. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) call for his immediate release and the withdrawal of all charges against him. Vladislav Yesypenko’s lawyer, Aleksei Ladin, said his client testified during a closed-door hearing on 6 April that he was tortured and threatened with death: “They tortured him with electric shocks and by beating his legs, his genital area, his body. They beat him to obtain confessions and forced him to incriminate…

Belarus: Authorities ban Euronews

Belarussian authorities have banned pan-European news media Euronews from broadcasting in the country, alleging it violated legislation by running advertisements in English. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) join the Belarussian Association of Journalists (BAJ) in condemning this new attack on freedom of information and act of censorship by the Belarussian government. The Belarussian media regulator said in a statement that it had removed Euronews from the list of international media which can operate in the country and announced it would be replaced by Russian programming. The authorities said they did not renew Euronews’ license, which expired on 12 April, because they did not…

EFJ Webinar: Countering political interference in the media

On 19 and 20 April, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will be hosting a series of two webinars as part of the project “Building independent media to counter political interference” funded by Open Society Foundations. With a great line-up of members of the European Parliament dealing with media freedom, the European Commission, the Center for Media Pluralism and Freedom, the OSCE and experts like Dr. Vaclav Stetka and Elda Brogi as well as journalists’ organisation leaders speaking from their field experience and showcasing campaigns and resilience, these two mid-day webinars, free and open to all upon registration, shall allow…

10 measures for platforms to tackle disinformation online

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned media organisations and academics in a statement which puts forward ten confidence building measures for platforms to deliver verifiable and tangible actions to tackle disinformation online. The undersigned members, which are mainly members of the Sounding Board (“SB”) of the Multistakeholder Forum (*) on disinformation online (representatives from media, civil society, journalists, and academia) thank the European Commission for highlighting the crucial role of free and independent media, journalists and academia in the fight against online disinformation during the Covid-19 crisis. On 13 April, the European Parliament Special Committee on Foreign…

Greece: Crime journalist killed outside his home

Giorgos Karaivaz, a veteran Greek television journalist who specialised in reporting on crime was shot dead on April 9 near his home in Athens. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) have expressed their alarm at the cold-blooded murder of a journalist and urged the authorities to investigate what appears to be a planned ambush and targeted killing. According to preliminary reports, Giorgos Karaivaz, who worked for private TV station Star and also ran news blog bloko.gr, was shot several times by two men on a motorbike after parking his car near his home, in Athens, at…

Newsbreak: A journalists’ safe space to fight mental health stigmas

During the coronavirus pandemic, where journalists are put under unprecedented strain, BBC journalist Tom Hourigan founded the site “Newsbreak“, where journalists can discuss their mental health, exchange ways to handle difficult news or share advice on how to improve one’s mental well-being. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) believes this to be a great initiative to destigmatise mental health issues and urges employer organisations to adapt to journalists’ needs. The practice of journalism can take an enormous toll on journalists’ mental health and the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated this: anxiety, uncertainty, stress, sleeping problems, burnout or endless scrolling on…

France: Journalist’s car sabotaged

Journalist Morgan Large discovered last week that her car had been sabotaged, with two bolts removed from a wheel. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) have strongly condemned the attack and urged the French authorities to investigate the case immediately and take measures to ensure the safety of journalists and freedom of information in the region. Morgan Large works for the bilingual French-Breton Radio Kreiz Breizh and is known for her investigations into the agriculture sector in the Brittany region. The sabotage of her car parked close to her house is the latest act of intimidation against her…

Italy: massive violation of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources

In March 2021, three NGOs, Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Jugend Rettet, have been probed by the prosecutors department in the Sicilian city of Trapani for aiding illegal immigration. In the course of this investigation, the police and prosecutors engaged in a massive violation of the confidentiality of sources of dozens of journalists. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Italian affiliate, the FNSI, in demanding an explanation from the Italian authorities. According to reports in the Italian press on 2 April, investigators seeking to establish links between migrant rescue operations at sea and traffickers apparently…

Netherlands: New violent attacks against journalists around church services

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined today the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in condemning the violence directed at journalists and media workers on Sunday 28 March in several Dutch cities and calling for increased protection. On Sunday 28 March, several journalists were reporting from churches in the towns of Krimpen aan den Ijssel and Urk about the gathering of hundreds of churchgoers despite strict anti-coronavirus regulations. Hostile and aggressive behaviour from individual churchgoers, sometimes leading to physical violence, soon followed and made it very difficult for journalists to continue their reporting. In Krimpen, Jacco van Giessen, a…