European Federation of Journalists

Fresh attacks worsen climate of hostility against journalists covering protests across Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners have raised further concerns about continued violence against journalists covering protests and demonstrations across European Union (EU) Member States and Candidates in 2020. The group calls for increased protection, police training and oversight, as well as broader respect for media freedom. In the first six months of the year, MFRR partners have documented over 31 separate cases of attacks and media freedom violations against at least 41 different journalists and media workers reporting from protests and demonstrations in 11 EU Member States and Candidate Countries. The figures, documented…

Stop use of SLAPPs: EFJ joins coalition to express concern about legal threats against EUobserver

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners, journalist bodies, free expression and journalist support organisations are concerned about the legal threats made against EUobserver in Luxembourg and Belgium and call to stop the use of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) actions across Europe. Left unreformed, such legal threats will be sufficient to silence media workers and outlets. We stand in solidarity with EUobserver and will continue to monitor developments around the case. In 2019, EUobserver published an article in the English language investigating the actions of a British PR firm, Chelgate, on behalf of the Maltese state. According to the…

Press Cartoonists in Europe must be protected

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins MFRR partners call for press cartoonists to be protected to ensure they can realise their right to free expression across Europe. Across the European Union and Candidate Countries, cartoonists have been targeted for their work by state and non-state actors from within and outside Europe. This includes online harassment and threats, attempted censorship and legal prosecution. The MFRR partners, joined by Cartooning for Peace (CfP) and Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI), condemn these attacks against press cartoons, which have grown in number as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and reiterate their…

Major step forward in push to scrap prison sentences for criminal defamation in Italy

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins MFRR partners in welcoming the decision by the Italian Constitutional Court to refer a decision on whether to abolish prison sentences for criminal defamation in relation to journalists and media workers to the Italian Parliament. On 9 June 2020, the Court held a long-awaited public hearing into the constitutional legitimacy of Article 595 of the penal code and Article 13 of the law on the press, ruling that while reform was necessary, it was the responsibility of Parliament to amend the legislation. The Court ruled that while a “complex balancing operation” was required…

Pivotal moment for Italy to abolish prison sentences for criminal defamation

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in call for reform ahead of court hearing On Tuesday, 9 June 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court will hold a public hearing into the legitimacy of laws that allow for jail sentences for journalists convicted of defamation. It comes after the Italian State Attorney submitted a memorandum to the Court on 31 March 2020 on behalf of the government, signalling its plans to retain tough legal provisions for journalists found guilty of publishing defamatory material in the press. The Ordine dei Giornalisti (National Council of the Order…

Threats against journalists in Northern Ireland must stop

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), as a partner of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), joined press freedom and freedom of expression organisations, journalists’ organisations, journalists and media workers to condemn threats against journalists in Northern Ireland. We, the undersigned, condemn the threats made by the South East Antrim Ulster Defence Association (UDA) against journalists at the Sunday Life and Sunday World in Northern Ireland. Early in the morning of 8 May, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) visited the homes of a number of journalists to warn them about credible threats, including threats of physical violence against their colleagues…

Media Freedom Rapid Response partners call for protection of all journalists and media workers when covering demonstrations and protests across Europe

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are concerned about the increased violence against media professionals at protests and demonstrations across EU Member States and Candidate Countries in the last months and call for increased protection. The recent violent attacks against media workers during demonstrations in Germany, three assaults in a few days, and similar threats witnessed across Europe, are establishing a worrying trend. The right to free assembly and association is a vital underpinning of a modern and pluralist democracy and has itself come under significant threat across Europe. However, threats against the press and media further weakens their ability…

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