EFJ welcomes OSCE mission to Belarus

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the agreement reached on Thursday at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to send an international expert mission to Belarus. As requested by the EFJ and Human Rights Watch on 26 August, finally 17 governments of OSCE participating states agreed on Thursday evening to activate the so-called “Moscow Mechanism”, which allows the OSCE to send an international expert mission to a state suspected of human rights violations. Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United…

Call for applications: Exchange opportunity for young journalists in Cyprus

The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFOM) invites young Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot journalists, interested in experiencing and sharing stories of bi-communal life, to a week-long exchange project. The exchange project takes place within the framework of the on-going Cyprus Dialogue, launched by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media in March 2017, and in close co-operation with the Cyprus Journalists’ Union, Basin-Sen/Press Workers’ Union, and the Turkish Cypriot Journalists’ Union. Journalists are encouraged to apply and selected participants will travel to the neighboring community and work at a host media outlet for…

Former French minister Harlem Désir is the OSCE’s new representative on freedom of the media

Update (18/07/2017): The new OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir has just been appointed by the OSCE Foreign Ministers. He will start his mandate tomorrow. ——————– The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the deal reached on Tuesday by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz to ensure the appointment of the new Representative for Freedom of the Media in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The position, vacant since March 10, will be assumed by the former French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Harlem Désir. His appointment should be formalized on 18 July. The…

Urgent need for states to step up efforts to address safety of journalists

Journalists and human rights defenders, academics and civil society representatives gathered in Vilnius (Lithuania) on Monday to discuss with state officials and decision-makers how to guarantee the safety of journalists. The conference, The Safety of Journalists – New Challenges and Responses, was opened by Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was represented by its General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. “We should be far away from any censorship or prohibitions. We have to create conditions and we have to protect journalists because safety is important not only for the journalists themselves, but also for the statehood, for…

OSCE: States must urgently appoint new Representative on Freedom of the Media

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) join a coalition of freedom of expression organisations and journalists’ organisations urging OSCE Participating States to urgently appoint a new Representative on Freedom of the Media. The Representative on Freedom of the Media is an independent OSCE Institution, holding a unique mandate to protect and promote media freedom in all 57 OSCE participating States. The former mandate holder, Dunja Mijatović, left Office on 10 March 2017. There has been no announcement of her successor since. Continued failure to appoint a successor will weaken protections for freedom of…

Dunja Mijatović to journalists: “Never give in; never give up”

Dunja Mijatović, OSCE representative on Freedom of the Media, will leave office on Friday 10 March. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) would like to reiterate its call – defended in a letter on 16 February 2017 – to ensure continuity of the Office of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. The EFJ, as many media organisations, strongly believe in the high value and importance of this Office. Dunja Mijatović gave her final speech today during the presentation of her final report to the OSCE Permanent Council. She reflected on her seven years in office and highlighted the need…

Media Freedom coalition calls on the OSCE to appoint a new Representative on Freedom of the Media without delay

The Representative on Freedom of the Media, an independent OSCE Institution, has a unique mandate to protect and promote media freedom in all 57 OSCE participating States. The current mandate holder, Dunja Mijatović of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is due to leave the Office on 10th March 2017. To date, there has been no announcement of her successor. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), together with a wide coalition of freedom of expression organisations (including AEJ, Article 19, CPJ, Index on Censorship, IPI and RSF/RWB), sent today a letter to OSCE Participating states, urging them to press…

Ukrainian authorities must ensure the safety of journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today, in Kiev, calls on Ukrainian authorities to comply with their commitment to respect freedom and pluralism of the media. The EFJ joined the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic to call on Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists to increase efforts to ensure safety of journalists on the frontline of the war in east Ukraine. The General secretary of the EFJ, Ricardo Gutiérrez, is in Kiev today to attend the international conference “Safety of Journalists: An Imperative for Free Media, Freedom of Expression and Public Order” organized by the Ministry of…

The CoE adopted resolution on attacks against journalists

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Tuesday discussed the rising levels of violence against journalists, particularly in Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan. Ukrainian MP Volodymyr Ariev (EPP/CD), pictured above, presented the report, where he drew attention to the death of 16 journalists and the arrest of 150 media employees since January 2015 in member States. Mr. Ariev spoke about the deterioration of media freedom in Turkey and called for “release from detention all journalists who have not been indicted for actively participating in terrorist acts”. He also raised concerns on the media situation in Crimea and eastern parts of Ukraine.…

OSCE Representative condemns deterioration of media freedom in conflict-affected parts of Ukraine

The Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović condemned today the worsening situation with media freedom and safety of journalists in areas not controlled by the Ukrainian government. This comment followed the recent report by OSCE Chief Monitor, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, where among others he spoke about the limitation of freedom of expression in the region. The OSCE Chief Monitor mentioned ban of over 350 websites and restrictions against Ukrainian media outlets. Mijatović noted that threats and intimidation of media workers along with the arrest of bloggers Eduard Nedelyaev and Gennadiy Benitskiy are particular worrying cases. She added: Access…