OSCE Expert Conference: Strengthening media freedom and pluralism in Ukraine during times of conflict

The nature of conflict in the world has changed, and along with it the relationship between the media and society. Modern technologies, while presenting new opportunities for the collection of information and the dissemination of reporting, also present new dangers. Trolls and bots can now help “false news” and “hate speech” to propagate in the digital sphere threatening security and stability of societies. Yet, maintaining a free press has never been more important. Disinformation, censorship, and attacks on investigative reporters endanger it by destroying trust and accountability between and within our nations and democratic institutions. When these negative phenomena are…

EFJ adopts urgent motion on threats against journalists in Ukraine

Delegates of the Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Journalists, meeting in Lisbon, Portugal on June 6, 2018 have mandated the Steering Committee members of the EFJ to adopt an urgent motion on “threats against journalists in Ukraine” in order to put an end to climate of threats, violence and persecution against our colleagues in this country. Following the decision, the Steering Committee members have adopted on June 8, 2018 the following motion : The Annual Meeting of the EFJ, meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, on June 6th, 2018, condemns the increasing verbal and online violence against journalists in Ukraine.…

EFJ and IFJ condemn Russian jailing of Ukrainian journalist for espionage

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, 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 Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) in condemning the harsh verdict and in urging Russian authorities to release Sushchenko until thorough evidence of the allegations against him has been presented. Suschenko, a Paris-based correspondent…

IFJ and EFJ condemn threats against journalists in Ukraine

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) condemned today the increasing verbal and online violence against journalists in Ukraine. On 30 May 2018, Larissa Sargan, spokeswoman of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine, posted on her Facebook profile a list of 26 so-called “traitors” who criticized the law enforcement authorities after the so-called “murder” in Kyiv of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko. The “murder” was in fact an operation in which Ukrainian security services (SBU) faked Babchenkos’s assassination. Two journalists appear in Larissa Sargan’s list of so-called traitors: Myroslava Gongadze and Sergiy Tomilenko, who is the President of the National Union…

Ukrainian security services faked Arkady Babchenko’s death

UPDATE (30/05/2018) Arkady Babchenko, the Russian journalist who was reported to have been shot dead in Kiev, has turned up alive at a news conference in Ukraine this afternoon. Vasily Gritsak, head of the Ukrainian security service, told reporters the agency had faked Babchenko’s death to catch people who were trying to kill him. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns this lie and unacceptable manipulation of public opinion. Whenever subterfuge is used, journalists and media, like law-enforcement officials, have a responsibility to disclose how and why they used it and to justify their actions. The EFJ is not convinced by the…

RIA Novosti journalist held on treason allegations in Ukraine

The EFJ-IFJ has submitted the following alert to the Council of Europe’s platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists : Kyrylo Vyshynsky, a Ukrainian journalist working for Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novotsi in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, was detained on 15 May 2018 on allegations of treason. His arrest came hours before raids by Ukrainian security service (SBU) at the news agency’s offices. According to media reports, the authorities suspected Vyshynsky, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2015 by Presidential decree, of allegedly collaborating with Ukrainian armed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. The prosecuting officials in…

OHCHR Seminar on “New Media”

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Faculty of Journalism of the National Odessa Law Academy will organise a seminar on «New Media» for the students of the journalism faculties of Southern regions of Ukraine. The EFJ GS Ricardo Gutiérrez will deliver a speech on online journalism.

Increasing violence against journalists in Ukraine

The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) just released the outcomes of its “Ukraine’s Journalists Physical Safety Index”. The situation remains worrying in the country: from January to November, NUJU registered 85 physical attacks against journalists. In 14 cases (16%), journalists were attacked by public officials, including members of the Parliament. In 8 cases, journalists were attacked by policemen or members of the State Guard. The president of NUJU, Sergiy Tomilenko, raised the issue of increasing violence during a seminar organised by the The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Odessa, on 29 November. Tomilenko…

Ukrainian journalist arrested in Belarus on spy charges

Pavlo Sharoyko, a Ukrainian Radio correspondent (Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine), was arrested in Minsk, Belarus, on 25 October 2017 by the Belarusian KGB. Sharoyko is only being allowed representation provided by Belarusian authorities, says Sergiy Tomilenko, head of Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists (NUJU). Sharoyko’s colleagues have said that the journalist was working on stories related to the search for Pavlo Hryb, a Ukrainian citizen who disappeared in Belarus after being arrested and was later found to have been sent to Russia. Sharoyko also investigated cases involving Russia’s Ukrainian political prisoners, and reported on military exercises taking place in…

There can be no press freedom where journalists work in fear, end impunity!

Impunity is when threats, attacks and crimes against journalists go unpunished. It results in a high level of fear, intimidation, censorship and self-censorship that undermines press freedom, the public right to know and leaves victims and their relatives powerless. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) campaign to #endimpunity, which aims at holding governments and de facto governments accountable for their impunity records and denouncing any crimes targeting journalists that remain unpunished. Murder is the highest form of these crimes but all attacks targeting journalists that remain unpunished must be denounced. In Europe, the EFJ…

Russia: EFJ and IFJ renew calls for release of Ukrainian journalist

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) have today renewed calls for the release of Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko on the anniversary of his arrest by Russian authorities on spying charges. The IFJ/EFJ backed the demand of their affiliates, The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) and Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) for his immediate release and the condemnation of the charges against him. Working for Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform for 14 years, Sushchenko had been the agency’s correspondent in France since 2010. He was arrested on 30 September last year…

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