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…

Belarus: Journalist Natallia Radzina receives death threats

Death threatening emails were sent to editor and journalist Natallia Radzina, currently based in Poland, on 22nd July, raising concerns on safety and protection of the journalist. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) expressed a deep concern over the threats to the well-known journalist and requested the Polish authorities to take necessary actions to ensure the safety of journalists. Natallia Radzina has been receiving threats previously, but the intimidating style and arrogance of the letters pushed her to bring the contents to the general public, she said, and added that the letters will not stop her from working. The journalist…

Hrvoje Bajlo @ CJA

Croatian journalist Hrvoje Bajlo physically assaulted in Zadar

UPDATE 27.07.2018 An indictment was brought against the attacker of journalist Hrvoje Bajlo, former footballer Jakov Surać by the Zadar district attorney. Jakov Surać was accused of causing severe physical injuries and death threatening, considered to be crimes against life and body, and against freedom of a person by the court. The indictment also states that the attack was connected to the journalist’s work. —————————– Croatian journalist Hrvoje Bajlo was attacked on 24th of June at a parking lot in town of Zadar by a former NK Zadar football player and businessman Jakov Surać. Physical assault was preceded by insults directed towards work of Bajlo, followed by threats to…

Van crashed into office façade of Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf

A van was intentionally crashed into the office building of one of the largest Dutch daily newspapers De Telegraaf located in Amsterdam, at early hours of Tuesday morning, 26 June. Nobody was hurt during the crash, Dutch police stated in a tweet. It is not the first incident of this nature, as last Thursday, 21 of June, a man was arrested after an incident in the Sloterdijk area of Amsterdam, where a man fired an anti-tank weapon into a building of media organisations. The Dutch media organisations has been under threat from organised crime for some time now, with two…

Ukraine needs a national action plan for the safety of journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) called on the Ukrainian government to launch a national action plan for the protection of journalists, in cooperation with Ukrainian journalists’ unions. Ricardo Gutiérrez, General Secretary of the EFJ, attended the OSCE expert conference, organised in Kiev, on 26 June, by the OSCE Representative on Media Freedom, Harlem Désir. Pointing out the deterioration of media freedom in the country, since 2015, Gutiérrez called on Ukrainian authorities to launch an action plan for the safety of journalists, together with all the relevant stakeholders, including the EFJ affiliates in the country, the National Union of Journalists…

Meeting of the CoE Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI)

The EFJ GS Ricardo Gutiérrez will attend next meeting of the CDMSI (the EFJ is an observer member of the CDMSI). The CDMSI will consider the Draft Strategy for the Implementation of the CM Recommendation on protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, prepared by the secretariat. Discuss and approve it. Consider and comment on the Draft Implementation Guide to Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4, prepared by the Secretariat Valuable practices in the area of safety of journalists will be presented, including: the Action plan on Defending Free Speech, by the CDMSI representative of Sweden, and the Audit of Freedom…

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