European Federation of Journalists

2020 Annual Report: Attacks on media in Europe must not become a new normal

Launch of the 2020 Annual Report by the partner organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists Attacks on press freedom in Europe are at serious risk of becoming a new normal, 14 international press freedom groups and journalists’ organisations, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), warn today as they launch the 2020 annual report of the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalists. The fresh assault on media freedom amid the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened an already gloomy outlook. The report analyses alerts submitted to the Platform…

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 must stop the persecution of journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today reiterated its call for Russian authorities to drop the terrorism charges brought against Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva. Her trial is scheduled to begin in Pskov this Monday, April 20, behind closed doors. Svetlana Prokopyeva, a Pskov-based stringer for the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Russian service and the Echo of Moscow news radio station, is being investigated for comments critical of Russian authorities in relation to a suicide bombing in 2018. While hosting a show on the Pskov affiliate of Echo of Moscow on 7 November 2018, she discussed a suicide bombing attack in…

97 journalists in jail in Europe: EFJ joins #FreeThePress campaign

Amid the unprecedented public health threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), together with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Russian Permanent Commission on Freedom of Information and the Rights of Journalists, joins the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) to call on all world leaders to immediately and unconditionally release all journalists imprisoned for their work. On behalf of more than 250 journalists behind bars (including 97 in Europe: 85 in Turkey, 7 in Russia and 5 in Azerbaijan), we call on authorities to free these political prisoners immediately and unconditionally. For journalists…

Picture credit: Genya Savilov / AFP.

Aseev is free but 122 journalists remain in prison in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the release of Ukrainian journalists Stanislav Aseev and Oleh Halaziuk who suffered a long illegal custody in Donetsk. On Sunday, at a checkpoint near Gorlovka, pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine have concluded a long-awaited prisoner exchange of 200 prisoners, including the two journalists who contributed to the Ukrainian service of the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. While welcoming these releases, the EFJ recalls that 122 journalists and media actors remain in prison in Europe: 108 in Turkey; 7 in Russia; 6 in Azerbaijan; 1 in the United Kingdom (Julian Assange, founder and publisher of WikiLeaks,…

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…

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