European Federation of Journalists

Germany: The BND draft law must protect journalists

The European Federations of Journalists (EFJ), along with its German affiliates – the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and the DeutscheJournalistinnen- und Journalisten-Union in ver.di (dju in ver.di) – urges the German Bundestag to back off on the revision of the Bundesnachrichtendienst –BND law, following the strong opposition of many media organisations and the OSCE. The draft law foresees to increase BND’s capabilities to spy on non-EU citizens outside of Germany. No exemption is made for foreign journalists or editorial offices outside the European Union: they would be subjected to surveillance without an explicit court order. This law would legitimise a practice…

International alliance against the surveillance of foreign journalists in Germany

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined an international alliance of human-rights organisations, journalists’ associations and media, to protect foreign journalists from surveillance by the German Federal Intelligence Agency (Bundesnachrichtendienst –BND). The campaign, launched on 4 August by Reporters without Borders, aims to include in the revised BND law a clause protecting journalists. The signatories of the appeal consider the global mass surveillance by the BND to be a violation of human rights and they regard the surveillance of foreign journalists in particular as a serious encroachment on press freedom worldwide. A multi-lingual online petition is available for signature.…

Polish journalists wiretapped by secret police between 2014 and 2015

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has backed its affiliate in Poland, the Association of Polish Journalists (SDP)’s call for investigation and preventative measures following the wiretapping scandal on journalists and leading political figures in Poland. A recent internal audit has revealed that around 80 individuals were under surveillance by two secret police units in Poland, including journalists and lawyers reporting on the affair, as well as their family members. According to media reports, one of the units oversaw the tapping and infiltrating the journalists and their contacts while the second looked into whether secret services (ABW and CBA agencies)…

CoE Commissioner for Human Rights raises concerns over surveillance laws

The Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human rights Nils Muižnieks visited the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) on 3 November in Brussels to exchange on the threat of surveillance laws to press freedom in Europe. Commissioner Muižnieks , accompanied by Deputy Director Giancarlo Cardinale and Stefano Montanari , met with the EFJ Secretary General Ricardo Gutiérrez , IFJ press officer Pamela Morinière together with human rights and safety head Ernest Sagaga. The Commissioner said he has been assessing the impact of surveillance laws on journalism in Europe and wanted to consult the two journalists’ organisations…

BBC journalist’s laptop seized by UK police under Terrorism Act

The European Federation of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists joined their member union in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), to condemn the use by the UK police of special powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 to seize the laptop of a BBC journalist and have access to his sources. Detectives served an order obtained from a judge on the BBC and Secunder Kermani, a Newsnight reporter who has produced extensive reports on jihadis born in Britain. It is understood that the police wanted to read communications between Kermani and a man who…

Germany shall drop investigation against journalists over treason

updated (04/08/2015): Latest on netzpolitik treason scandal: German Justice Minister Heiko Maas effectively sacks Federal Prosecutor Harald Range. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have today called on the German government to immediately drop the investigation launched against two journalists, Andre Meister and Markus Beckedahl, over suspicion of treason. Following widespread criticism of the decision, the German prosecutor General Harald Range said on Friday that he was suspending the investigation, pending external expertise, “for the good of press and media freedom”. However, the IFJ and the EFJ are demanding that charges be…

Germany shall drop investigation against journalists over treason

updated (04/08/2015): Latest on netzpolitik treason scandal: German Justice Minister Heiko Maas effectively sacks Federal Prosecutor Harald Range. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have today called on the German government to immediately drop the investigation launched against two journalists, Andre Meister and Markus Beckedahl, over suspicion of treason. Following widespread criticism of the decision, the German prosecutor General Harald Range said on Friday that he was suspending the investigation, pending external expertise, “for the good of press and media freedom”. However, the IFJ and the EFJ are demanding that charges be…

UK High Court rules against data retention rules

The UK’s High Court has ruled that parts of the controversial surveillance law, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA), violated article 7 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the personal data protection laws. The EFJ affiliate in the UK, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), has long been campaigning against DRIPA to ensure that the right of journalists to protect their confidential sources is protected. On Friday 17 July, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales found that UK surveillance laws are incompatible with the European convention on human rights and the EU charter…

EFJ slams UK for pushing through data retention law

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today has criticised the UK government’s hasty move to rush through a controversial data retention law that will allow the government to have greater control of personal data of citizens and journalists. “It is shocking that the UK government is pushing through a law that has just been invalidated by the European Court of Justice (ECJ),” said Ricardo Gutierrez, EFJ General Secretary. “We are extremely concerned that such an intrusive law will violate the privacy of citizens as well as those of journalists whose duty to protect confidential sources could be compromised.” The EFJ…