European Federation of Journalists

Russia: business daily Vedomosti targeted by pro-Kremlin censorship

Journalists at Vedomosti, one of Russia’s most prominent business publications, have demanded the removal of editor in chief, Andrei Shmarov, for pro-Kremlin censorship. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) to urge Vedomosti’s ownership to protect the independence of media professionals and respect press freedom. In March, Vedomosti was sold to Konstantin Zyatkov, the publisher of Argumenty i Fakty, a weekly newspaper owned by the Moscow government, and to the businessman Alexei Golubovich, an oligarch and former top executive at the Yukos oil company. In the following…

Russia: Chechen president threatens journalist Elena Milashina with death

Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov has directed death threats at Russian journalist Elena Milashina for reporting about human rights violations in Chechnya under the pretext of combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The International and the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) join their affiliate the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in expressing solidarity with Elena Milashina and calling on the Chechen leader to let journalists report freely during the COVID19 pandemic. On 12 April, Elena Milashina, an award- winning journalist for Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, published an article describing how the Chechen Governor had responded to the pandemic. She explained that…

Russia: “Foreign Agents” Bill threatens journalists

The State Duma on 21st November adopted a law that expands the status of “foreign agents” to private persons, including bloggers and independent journalists: 311 MPs out of 315 voted in support of the initiative, no one voted against, four abstained. The bill now has to be approved by the parliament’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, before President Vladimir Putin signs it into the law. Russia’s legislation on “foreign agents” already covers nongovernmental organisations and media outlets that receive any amount of funding from foreign sources. It requires them to indicate their ‘foreign agent’ status in publications, and creates reporting…

Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva wrongly charged with justifying terrorism

On 20 September 2019, Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva was formally charged with publicly justifying terrorism. The journalist was also asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement and a written undertaking not to leave the Pskov region. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Russian Journalists’ and Media Workers’ Union (JMWU) are convinced of her complete innocence and call on Russian authorities to release her without any delay. Svetlana Prokopieva works for the local branch of the independent Moscow-based radio station Ekho Moskvy, in the northwestern city of Pskov. She was suspected of “justifying terrorism” following a radio commentary, on 7…

Russia: twelve journalists detained in Moscow demonstrations

On 03 August, Moscow’s police has detained at least ten journalists covering a rally organized by opposition groups. Continuing the protest of 27 July, about 1500 people had gathered in the capital of Russia in order to demonstrate for fair elections to the city council. The European Federation of Jounalists (EFJ) and its affiliate, the Russian Federation of Journalists (RUJ), strongly condemn this violation of press freedom and demands the Russian authorities to respect the journalist’s right to report. According to Moscow police, about 600 people were arrested during the riots. Among these, there were at least twelve journalists and…

Russia: around ten journalists detained in new protest wave

Russian authorities detained on Wednesday 12 June hundreds of people, including at least 10 journalists, following a protest in Moscow in support of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined their affiliate in Russia, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), in asking for immediate release of all detained journalists. Today’s march was initially organised to press for the release of Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov who was freed on 11 June. Demonstrators were calling for punishment of police officers involved in Golunov’s arrest on 6th June on drug-dealing accusations. Golunov always denied the allegation and…

Russia: EFJ and IFJ voice concerns over new law on fake news and respect for State

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IJF) today expressed serious concerns over the new Russian law on “fake” news and the “lack of respect for the state, the authorities, and society”, warning it is likely to have a chilling effect on freedom of expression in the country. The EFJ and IFJ urge the Russian authorities to review the legislation which came into force on 18 March and to give greater consideration to representation of the Union of Journalists of Russia (RUJ), an EFJ-IFJ affiliate. Under this law, the “flagrant” disrespect for the state, public authorities, official symbols and society…

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