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,…

Finland takes harsh action against Internet trolls

On 18 October 2018, the Helsinki District Court issued a symbolic verdict against online disinformation and hate speech. The Court’s decision makes Finland the first European country to directly fight Internet trolls, taking action against those who harass journalists through the net. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its Finnish affiliate, the Union of Journalists in Finland (UJF), in welcoming the verdict as an example to be followed by other European countries to fight online defamation of journalists. The case sees as protagonist Jessikka Aro, a Finnish journalist investigating how pro-Russia disinformation is spread in Finland through social media and websites believed to be linked…

Russia: record fine against The New Times

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)  has joined its Russian affiliate, RUJ, in condemning the record fine imposed on 26th October by a Moscow court against the Russian independent news website The New Times. Moscow’s Tverskoi District Court imposed fines of 22.250.000 rubles (EUR 300.000) against The New Times and 30.000 rubles (EUR 400) against the website’s editor, Yevgenia Albats, for allegedly failing to comply with financial reporting obligations under Russia’s controversial “foreign agents” law. In an interview with RFE/RL, Yevgenia Albats said she believed the court decision was intended to punish her for an interview she conducted on the…

Ukraine: EFJ and IFJ condemn Russian jailing of journalist Roman Sushchenko for espionage

UPDATE 12.09.2018: On 12 September, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the verdict delivered by the Moscow City Court to Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, who was sentenced to 12 years in a high-security prison. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) have urged the Russian authorities to release a Ukrainian journalist given a 12-year sentence for alleged espionage. Roman Sushchenko was sentenced to 12 years in a high-security prison on 4 June 2018, after he was found guilty of spying by a Moscow court. The EFJ-IFJ joined its affiliates the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and the…

Russian journalist Alexander Sokolov released from detention

Journalist Alexander Sokolov, an investigative reporter who was detained since July 2015 and sentenced to three and half years of jail in August 2017, has been released on August 28, 2018. Sokolov announced the release on his social media, saying, that he would not call it a release, because he will still be under restrictions of freedom by judicial authorities. Sokolov was released after a number of appeals under an updated law redefining how time spent in pre-trial detention is deducted from jail terms. The charges against journalist, filed in 2015, were based on his involvement in a group called For a Responsible…

EFJ calls again for immediate release of Donetsk journalist Stanislav Aseev

UPDATE (21/08/2018): Ukrainian media and human rights organisations issued a statement today to condemn the so-called “interview” with detained journalist Stanislav Aseev aired by Rossiya 24. ————– Russian television channel Rossiya 24 has aired on August 17 an interview with kidnapped journalist Stanislav Aseev, in which he “confesses” to working for Ukrainian intelligence in Donbass. The interview has raised concerns that Aseev, who has been illegally imprisoned in Donetsk for over a year, was coerced into confessing to false espionage charges. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has said it considers the “confession” of spying for the Ukrainian government given by Stanislav Aseyev “to…

Central African Republic: EFJ and IFJ condemn murder of Russian journalists

The European Federation of Journalists joined the International Federation of Journalists in strongly condemning the murder of three Russian journalists in the Central African Republic, in what local authorities said was an ambush by an unidentified group of armed men. The reporters were investigating the activities of so-called Wagner group, a group of private military contractors. In response to the killings, which happened on 30 July, the IFJ demanded that the Central African authorities carry out a thorough investigation to bring the material and intellectual perpetrators of this crime to justice. Kirill Radchenko, Alexander Rastorguyev and Orkhan Dzhemal, who worked for…

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