France: Investigative media outlets under attack in five gagging lawsuits

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Media Freedom Rapid Response organisations in expressing concerns over the recent wave of gagging lawsuits initiated by companies against several independent media outlets in France, and denounce the clear message sent to the French journalistic community to not report information of public interest. We join the French journalists’ unions in expressing solidarity with the media outlets and their journalists and call for the cases to be quickly dismissed. On 21 September 2022, the group Altice sued the media outlet Reflets for “breach of trade secrets”. Altice is owned by Switzerland-based billionaire Patrick Drahi,…

Albania: Media must not face criminal prosecution for public interest reporting

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned media freedom and freedom of expression organisations in expressing concerns over the blanket publication ban issued by Albanian prosecutorial authorities regarding a trove of hacked data, and stress that no journalist or media outlet should face criminal sanctions for publishing information in the public interest. While our organisations recognise the sensitive nature of these leaks and urge all media in Albania to handle the material in a strictly ethical and responsible manner, it is vital that Albanian authorities proceed with caution and full consideration for journalistic freedoms protected under both domestic and…

MFRR Monitoring Report: 311 media freedom violations recorded in first half of 2022 in Europe

Amidst the unprecedented attack on democratic freedoms in Ukraine, serious violations of media freedom have continued to take place all over Europe in the first six months of 2022, according to a report published today by the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR). The report was compiled by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF). The MFRR monitoring report – available to download – documents violations and attacks on media freedom across European Union Member States and Candidate Countries between January and June 2022. It illustrates the increasing…

Albanian Flag

Albania: Press freedom groups call for a fair trial in defamation lawsuit by former top prosecutor against Isa Myzyraj

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned media freedom and freedom of expression organisations in expressing concerns about the defamation lawsuit filed against journalist Isa Myzyraj, who works for Ora News, by Elizabeta Imeraj. Formerly Tirana’s top prosecutor, Imeraj was fired in April 2022 as part of the justice reform process for causing a loss of trust in the justice system and inability to justify or explain her assets. On the occasion of yesterday’s hearing, we call for a fair trial with full respect for all due process rights and in which the importance of free speech, press…

Sign "Journalism is not a crime"

Turkey: Twenty journalists including TGS leadership blacklisted by police

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing solidarity with the twenty journalists blacklisted by the Turkish General Directorate of Security (EGM) for their writing and joined Turkey’s Journalists Union (TGS) in denouncing an apparent attempt to intimidate independent journalists and trade unionists. On 5 September, the Mezopotamya News Agency (MA) revealed that the General Directorate of Security (EGM) had blacklisted 20 journalists in relation to their writings for the online magazine Journalist Post, a periodical run by journalists living in exile. No legal proceedings have yet been initiated…

Ukraine: MFRR partners reiterate call for safety and support of media 6 months after invasion

Today, 24 August, marks both the Ukrainian day of Independence and six months since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression. On this occasion, the partners in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) reiterate our continued solidarity with the journalists and media workers who risk their lives and safety to bring the world independent, balanced, and accurate information from the frontlines. The killing, kidnapping, and other attacks on journalists must stop and those responsible must face justice for their crimes under national and international law. The safety of media workers is essential to inform the world about the realities…

Germany: Misuse of funds at RBB highlights need for greater accountability in publicly funded media

The partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) denounce the obvious misuse of public funds by Patricia Schlesinger, former director of Berlin’s public broadcaster Radio Berlin Brandenburg (RBB). We welcome her instant dismissal while demanding a thorough investigation and calling for improved accountability in publicly funded media. On 15 August, the Rundfunkrat, which supervises the broadcaster, decided to instantly dismiss Ms. Schlesinger following her decision to step back from her position as director on 7 August. The dismissal was made in response to a wave of allegations related to mismanagement of public funds. Among the allegations are the allocation…

EFJ calls on German authorities to get to the bottom of allegations of corruption at public broadcaster RBB

German public broadcaster RBB has been rocked by a scandal surrounding its former director, Patricia Schlesinger, who is accused of embezzlement and misuse of her position as head of the Berlin-based media group. On Sunday, Schlesinger stepped down after accusations that included a questionable use of funds, including controversial allocation of consultancy contracts. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) called on the German judicial authorities to carry out a proper investigation into the suspicions of corruption. The allegations go back a number of weeks to when the German news portal Business Insider wrote about “inconsistencies” in the business dealings of…

Greece: EFJ demands full disclosure on illegal surveillance of journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the legal actions aimed at muzzling and intimidating the press in the context of the scandal of illegal government practices in Greece, in particular the tapping of journalists and politicians. The EFJ condemns the abusive legal proceedings launched on Friday 5 August by Grigoris Dimitriadis, resigning adviser and nephew of Greek Prime Minister Kyriákos Mitsotákis, against journalists Thanasis Koukakis, Nikolas Leontopoulos and Thodoris Chondrogiannos, as well as against the website Reporters United and the newspaper EfSyn. “We demand the immediate withdrawal of these complaints, which are only intended to intimidate the press and…