European Federation of Journalists

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…

“Freedom of the Media and Safety of Journalists in the Russian Federation and in the OSCE region”

The OSCE is organising the conference “Freedom of the Media and Safety of Journalists in the Russian Federation and in the OSCE region: Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Age”, on 6 November 2019 in Moscow. The conference will expectedly bring together more than 150 Russian journalists, experts from the media community and academia, policy makers, and representatives of government institutions.

Iran: EFJ calls for the immediate release of Russian journalist Yulia Yuzik

Russian journalist Yulia Yuzik was arrested on 3 October in her hotel room in the Iranian capital Teheran. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) joined their Russian affiliates in urging Iran to clarify the reasons for her arrest. In the absence of evidence, the EFJ calls for the journalist’s immediate release. Yulia Yuzik had her passport confiscated by the police as she entered Teheran airport on 3 October and was told she would get it back on her return. She was arrested later in her hotel room by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for allegedly working for…

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: 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…

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