Northern Cyprus: Basin Sen union leader faces heavy jail charges for criticising Turkish politics

Update (27.12.2023): the trial has been postponed to 24 December 2024. Ali Kişmir, president of the Cyprus Turkish Journalists’ Union (Basin-Sen) will face on 28 December a trial for an opinion article he published on social media back in 2020 in which he criticised the politics of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”  Accused of  “insulting and mocking” the security forces, he faces up to 10 years in prison. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) both stand with Kişmir and urge the authorities of Northern Cyprus to withdraw charges against him. In 2020,…

Journalists in Turkey facing more and more imprisonment

November was a difficult month again for imprisoned and prosecuted journalists in Turkey. More and more professional journalists and media workers are facing imprisonment or threats for reporting information or simply for being affiliated to specific media outlets, wrongly considered by Turkish authorities as criminal acts. On 21 November 2017, journalist Oğuz Güven, editor-in-chief of the online version of Cumhuriyet daily newspaper, was sentenced to 3 years and 1 month of imprisonment due to a temporary tweet which Mr Güven had sent and quickly deleted regarding the accidental death of a public prosecutor. Mustafa Alper, the Chief Public Prosecutor of Denizli, died…

Azerbaijan: EFJ/IFJ welcome release of Mehman Aliyev and Alexander Lapshin

The European and International Federations of Journalists welcome the release of two Azerbaijani journalists, Mehman Aliyev and Alexander Lapshin, on the 11th of September 2017. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev today pardoned Russian travel blogger Alexander Lapshing. He was arrested in Minsk in December 2016 and extradited to Azerbaijan, after the Supreme Court in Belarus decided to send him to Baku despite the objections from Moscow. Lapshin was accused of illegally visiting Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and calling for independence of the region. The second journalist, Mehman Aliyev, editor-in-chief of the Turan news agency, has been released today from pretrial detention, on condition that he…

EFJ’s plea to save Public Service Media in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has initiated a call backed by the international community, including the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), to save public service media (PSM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Urgent measures need to be taken to secure adequate and sustainable funding for PSM in BiH. It has been almost a year since the previous model for collecting the licence fee – through telephone bills –  expired. The two telecoms operators in BiH, Bhtelecom and M:tel, have been voluntarily collecting the fee for PSM ever since but this is now under threat and, this month, the amount of funding collected via this…

Russia: 13 journalists detained, more beaten during protests

The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) have today condemned the detention of at least 13 international and local journalists by Russian authorities during nationwide anti-corruption protests on 26 March. The demonstrations were not officially authorised in many Russian cities including Moscow and Saint-Petersburg which led to the detention of hundreds of people. Six journalists – among them two international correspondents – were detained in the capital Moscow, three in Saint-Petersburg and four more in other Russian cities. Reports added that the police also threatened and hit some reporters to prevent them from covering the demonstrations. Journalist…

UK : Stop the Murdoch media takeover

The European and International Federations of Journalists are calling for action to stop the proposed merger of 21st Century Fox Inc and Sky plc, claiming it would ”undermine media plurality and be against the public interest”. The EFJ and IFJ joined forces with the National Union of Journalists in the UK and Ireland and the UK Trades Union Congress and the European TUC to welcome the decision of the European Commission to examine the bid and urged it to consider the impact on media diversity and plurality in the UK. In its submission to the investigation the IFJ called for action to…

International support for the strike of workers at Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) have backed calls by striking workers at one of Italy’s top financial newspapers for the editor to resign. The EFJ-IFJ joined its affiliate, the Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI), in supporting the stoppage by Il Sole 24 Ore workers which started today. The strike, backed in a vote on Friday by 90% of union members, is demanding the resignation of the paper’s editor, Roberto Napoletano, following a police raid on the paper’s headquarters and claims senior managers, including Napoletano, issued false statements about the company’s position. Reports said that Napoletano and two former…

Ukraine: about 100 jobs at risk following revocation of Radio Vesti’s licenses

The National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine revoked license of the Ukrainian broadcasting company “Radio Vesti” in Kharkiv city. The council also refused to extend the radio’s license in the capital, Kyiv. Radio Vesti, the largest national professional radio channel in the country, insists they sent the required documents on time in order to renew the licenses, which expired in February. Despite this, the National Council decided to revoke the licenses out of concerns that the ultimate beneficiary of the station was the former Minister of Revenue and Fees, Oleksandr Klymenko. Reports said that as a result,…

Journalists might face up to 14 years in jail in the UK

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) back their British affiliate, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), in its concerns over the proposals to update the Official Secrets Act in the United Kingdom. Due to the new way of defining espionage, including “obtaining sensitive information”, as well as “passing it on”, journalists, whom are simply working on their stories, can potentially face up to 14 years in prison by receiving some secret information. These proposals completely ignore the right of journalists to disclose information in the public interest and would also punish severely whistleblowers,…

12 journalists died reporting in 2016 in Europe, says IFJ

At the end of each year, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) publishes a list of all the journalists and media professionals killed in the course of their work over the previous 12 months. As part of its ongoing commitment to tackle impunity and campaign for greater safety for journalists, the IFJ is publishing The story behind the killings – a in-depth analysis of each region with an explanation of the victims and circumstances of each death. The report lists details of 93 media professionals killed in work-related incidents such as targeted murders, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents last year, a…