Russia: communications regulator demands censorship on information about Moscow demonstrations

On 11 August, the Russian national communications regulator Roskomnadzor published a statement demanding Google to prevent its video-sharing service Youtube from distributing information on the recent protests in Moscow. The agency said, it wants to prevent “advertising for unauthorized demonstrations”. Otherwise, countermeasures could be taken. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns this attempt of censorship and demands Russian authorities to respect the citizen’s right for information. “According to available information, several entities possessing YouTube channels have bought advertising instruments [such as push notifications] with the aim of distributing information about unsanctioned [illegal] mass events, including those aimed at disrupting…

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…

Labelled as “terrorist”, Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopieva had her bank accounts blocked

Russian authorities added journalist Svetlana Prokopieva on the official list of “terrorists and extremists”, on 4 July 2019. As a result, Prokopieva had all her bank accounts frozen and was placed under house arrest. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemned the Russian authorities’ decision and denounced harassment and intimidation actions against the journalist. Svetlana Prokopieva is a journalist based in the northwestern city of Pskov and working for the local branch of the independent Moscow-based radio station Ekho Moskvy, In November 2018, she was suspected of “justifying terrorism” following a radio commentary, in which she was questioning Russia’s repressive…

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…

EFJ-IFJ welcome drop of charges against Russian journalist Ivan Golunov

Journalist Ivan Golunov was arrested in Russia on 6th June on drug-dealing accusations, causing a public outcry that prompted the authorities to drop all the charges against him on 11th June. While welcoming this decision, the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) call on the government to stop harassing journalists. Ivan Golunov is a reporter for the independent Meduza news website. He is well known for his work investigating corruption among Moscow city officials. He showed how relatives of Moscow’s deputy mayor Pyotr Biryukov earned billions on city contracts, amassing a fortune in real estate. Police said Golunov was carrying several…

The EFJ calls on the Russian authorities to immediately release journalist Ivan Golunov

Update (11.06.19): On Sunday 9 June, a Moscow court released Golunov into house arrest. Despite the fact that his trial is still ongoing, the decision was celebrated as a first victory, because the standard procedure in drug-related cases is to keep people in custody. Golunov reported about beatings during his investigation. An ambulance determined a concussion, bruising and possible broken ribs. Meanwhile the case caused a public outcry followed by a wave of solidarity from a wide range of newspapers and media houses. According to BBC Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg, “in the world of Russian media, acts of solidarity are rare”.…

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…

Report: Urgent action needed to protect press freedom in Europe

Press freedom in Europe is more fragile now than at any time since the end of the Cold War. That is the alarming conclusion of a report launched today by the 12 partner organizations of the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of Journalism and safety of journalists. The report, “Democracy at Risk”, analyses media freedom violations raised to the Platform in 2018. It provides a stark picture of the worsening environment for the media across Europe, in which journalists increasingly face obstruction, hostility and violence as they investigate and report on behalf of the public. The 12 Platform partners…

European Dialogue in Moscow

Open interview between Evgeny Gontmakher, Deputy Director of Institute of World Economy and International Relations under the Russian Academy of Sciences, member of the European Dialogue Expert Group, and Ricardo Gutiérrez, General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists. This is the fifth talk in a series of open interviews under “From the European Point of View” project, which is organised by the European Dialogue Expert Group with support from Konrad Adenauer Foundation Russia.

XIII Annual International Media-Forum for young journalists

The XIII Annual International Media-Forum for young journalists «Dialogue of Cultures» will be held from 7th to 9th of November in the State Hermitage Museum, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation. The event is co-organised by Ashot Dzhazoyan, President of Mediacongress “The Commonwealth of journalists”, and Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director-General of the State Hermitage Museum. Over 400 young journalists (up to the age of 35) are expected to join the event. Mediacongress is pleased to invite young journalists from EFJ member organisations in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Greece, Hungary, Island, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,…

Council of Europe: #EndImpunity for crimes against journalists

Today, marking the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’, the Safety of Journalists Platform launches a special page, which presents 16 cases of unsolved murders of journalists in the Council of Europe member states, as submitted by the partner organisations, including the European Federation of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists. These cases are listed on the platform as impunity for murders, highlighting deficiencies in investigations and failure to bring to justice all the perpetrators, the organisers or the masterminds of these crimes. The 16 cases are: Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev (2013, Russian Federation); Mikhail Beketov (2013, Russian Federation); Hrant Dink (2007,…

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