February 21st – Brussels vigil for Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak – One year on

Thursday 21 February marks the one-year anniversary of the brutal assassination of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova. Yet justice has not been brought for these murders. Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Transparency International invite you to join us for a vigil outside the Residence Palace in Brussels at 1 pm to honor the bravery of Jan Kuciak and to make clear that the pressure on Slovak authorities to investigate this double murder will be kept up. Despite undeniable progress in the investigation, the…

France: “No media should be a scapegoat” appeal

French journalists ‘safety is being increasingly threatened amid tensions covering the Gilet Jaunes (Yellow Vests) demonstrations across France. From insults and menaces to physical injuries, journalists are under attack from both demonstrators and the police. Publishers face the threat of their newspapers being blocked. Invectives on social media are on the rise. Amid a climate of defiance towards the media, anti-media rhetoric is commonplace in French society. The French media industry addressed these concerns publicly in an open letter in French newspapers on 15 January 2019 which was co-signed by the European Federation of Journalist (EFJ) together with its French…

Ukraine: physical assaults against female journalists rise by 50% in 2018

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) released its 2018 “Ukraine’s Journalists Physical Safety Index”. The situation has worsened for journalists since last year with 86 attacks in 2018, with a notable rise of attacks on female journalists, from 23 in 2017 to 37 in 2018. Sergiy Tomilenko, NUJU President explains: “Such a dramatic increase in aggression against female journalists is due to the unacceptable impunity from prosecution assailants enjoy. Impunity from prosecution after attacking media workers is one of our most prevalent issues.” It is best illustrated by what happened to Donbas war reporter Natalia Nagora. Working for…

Greece: three journalists assaulted by far-right demonstrators

On 20 January 2019, German journalist Thomas Jacobi, Greek photojournalist Kostis Ntantamis, as well as a cameraman for the public broadcaster ERT, have been attacked by members of the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn in Athens. The three journalists were covering a protest held outside the parliament building on Syntagma Square about the renaming of North Macedonia. Journalist Thomas Iacobi, co-author of our documentary, was attacked in Athens today, while on the job, by a group of fascists, who identified him and called out to him: "You! you made that documentary on Golden Dawn!"[Audio from the attack (Greek): https://t.co/OrDsJyMDEt] —…

Ukraine: Kherson daily “New Day” tear-gassed and shot during press conference

On 18 January 2019, during a press conference hosted by the press club of the daily “New Day” (Novyi Den) in Kherson, Ukraine, the newspaper came under attack from assailants using rubber bullets and tear-gas from outside the building, before entering. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its member in Ukraine, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), in strongly condemning this attack endangering Khersonian journalists’ lives. “We demand a thorough investigation and that the culprits be swiftly broad to justice for no lesser charges than an armed assault on a newspaper,” said the EFJ General Secretary Ricardo…

PACE hearing on “Threats to media freedom and journalists’ security”

A hearing on “Threats to media freedom and journalists’ security” is being organised by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), on 6 December in Paris. A specific motion was tabled on this issue. A parliamentary report on the matter will be prepared next year. The EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård will participate in this hearing.

Mafia aggressor against an Italian journalist condemned

On 28th September, the Italian court of Ragusa sentenced the aggressor of Paolo Borrometi, a 44 years old freelance investigative journalist and the president of Articolo 21, the Italian association promoting freedom of expression. Venerando Lauretta was sentenced for the death threats he made against the journalist, aggravated by the mafia method, to one year and six months imprisonment. Lauretta, regent of the mafia clan Carbonaro-Dominante of Vittoria (Ragusa), begun to threaten Borrometi after identifying the journalist as responsible for the opening of investigations against his person. Paolo Borrometi is the editor of anti-mafia investigative website LaSpia.it, where he reports on the Sicilian…

Media censorship in Belarus: “it is time for the EU to react”

Freelance journalists in Belarus face increasing threats, pressure and censorship and this is a concern Europeans should share, said Belarussian journalists Larysa Shchyrakova and Volha Chaichyts at a press conference held in Brussels, on Tuesday 18 September. The event was jointly organised by the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) together with their affiliate the Belarus Association of Journalists (BAJ). Larysa Shchyrakova and Volha Chaichyts are two Belarusan freelance journalists, working for Belsat TV, a ten-year-old television channel based in Warsaw, Poland. During the conference, the two female journalists exposed several problems they face in their country that they name…

Serbian journalist Dino Jahić faced insults and death threats

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expresses deepest concerns regarding the insults and death threats targeting Dino Jahić, the editor-in-chief of the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS). The EFJ joined the Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ safety in calling on the Serbian and Bosnian authorities to stop discrediting journalists and respect media pluralism as well as freedom of speech. The smear campaign against Dino Jahić started on 21 August 2018, when Milorad Dodik, president of  the Serb-dominated entity in Bosnia (Republika Srpska), accused during a press conference Dino Jahić of drawing on huge…

Bosnia and Herzegovina: BN TV correspondent physically attacked in Banja Luka

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the BH Journalists Association, in condemning the brutal attack on BN TV correspondent Vladimir Kovačević. On 26 August 2018, two masked persons physically attacked commercial channel BN TV correspondent, Vladimir Kovačević, in front of the building he lives in, in Banja Luka. Kovačević was going home after reporting about the latest protest organised in the city by the group “Justice for David”, calling on the authorities to uncover the truth about the murder of a young student from Baanja Lulla. According to the journalist, the two unknown perpetrators were waiting…

Serbia: Commission to solve wartime journalists’ murders expanded

Over 40 journalists have disappeared or been killed in the territory of Serbia since the break of former Yugoslavia in 1992, but only few investigations were concluded, even with interference and support from international organisations. The Commission for the Investigation of Murders of Journalists in Serbia has been working in solving the cases since 2012. The decision to expand its capabilities and resources to further the fight against impunity for murders of journalists was announced by the president of the Commission Veran Matic, on 2 August. The scope now is set to include murders of journalists on the territories of Kosovo and…

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