EFJ joins call for an end to Russian war crimes against journalists in Ukraine

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the undersigned journalists, press freedom organisations, and unions, in denouncing the war crimes committed by the Russian Federation against journalists in Ukraine and calling for immediate action to hold the perpetrators accountable. Deliberately targeting journalists, shelling their facilities, and engaging in arbitrary detentions and torture clearly violate international humanitarian law and press freedom. We urge authorities to take decisive steps to address these grave violations and provide increased support for front-line reporters.  We are alarmed at the continued targeting of media workers in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The recent missile attack in Pokrovsk is…

Ukraine: Call for action on 20th anniversary of murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze

On September 17, 2000, Georgiy Gongadze, well-known Ukrainian journalist and founder of popular Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, was murdered. His decapitated body was found on November 2, 2000, about 100 km from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. Georgiy’s murder is considered by many to be the most important crime against a journalist in the history of independent Ukraine because the state’s highest leaders were involved in it. Concretely, the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The perpetrator, Oleksiy Pukach, a former general and high-ranking official of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, is currently serving a jail sentence for…

Ukraine: Investigative journalists face arson attack and surveillance

A group of Ukrainian investigative journalists is being subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation, including surveillance and arson attacks. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), join their Ukrainian affiliate, the National Union of Journalists in Ukraine (NUJU), in urging the authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the intimidation and attacks aimed at muzzling their investigations. The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) also joined the call backing the journalists. The Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty team’s car was set on fire during the night of Monday 17 August. Police found an explosive substance on the wreck of…

2020 Annual Report: Attacks on media in Europe must not become a new normal

Launch of the 2020 Annual Report by the partner organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists Attacks on press freedom in Europe are at serious risk of becoming a new normal, 14 international press freedom groups and journalists’ organisations, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), warn today as they launch the 2020 annual report of the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalists. The fresh assault on media freedom amid the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened an already gloomy outlook. The report analyses alerts submitted to the Platform…

IFJ Annual Killed list: two killed journalists in Europe in 2019

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today released its annual report of killings of journalists, detailing 49 deaths worldwide in 2019 (including two in Europe). The world’s largest organisation of journalists reiterated its call for a real commitment by governments to fight impunity for crimes committed against journalists and for media employers to provide safety training, insurance and equipment for their staff in the field. On 31 December 2019, the IFJ published its list of media workers killed in the line of duty, showing 49 journalists killed in 2019, including three women, half as many as in previous years. The report, published on 4 February, provides…

Picture credit: Genya Savilov / AFP.

Aseev is free but 122 journalists remain in prison in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the release of Ukrainian journalists Stanislav Aseev and Oleh Halaziuk who suffered a long illegal custody in Donetsk. On Sunday, at a checkpoint near Gorlovka, pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine have concluded a long-awaited prisoner exchange of 200 prisoners, including the two journalists who contributed to the Ukrainian service of the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. While welcoming these releases, the EFJ recalls that 122 journalists and media actors remain in prison in Europe: 108 in Turkey; 7 in Russia; 6 in Azerbaijan; 1 in the United Kingdom (Julian Assange, founder and publisher of WikiLeaks,…

EFJ joins IFJ campaign against impunity

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined IFJ 3-week campaign to expose the staggering levels of impunity for crimes against journalists and the lack of international action to combat the rising tide of threats and abuse faced by journalists worldwide. The campaign will kick-off on 2 November marking International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists and run until 23 November, the anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre in the Philippines, in which at least 32 media workers were killed. The Federation has recorded 1064 killings of media professionals in the past 10 years. Yet, only one murder in every…

Ukraine: Media regulator revokes digital licences of independent TV channel

The National Television and Radio broadcasting council of Ukraine, the media regulatory authority, has revoked all digital licences granted to independent broadcaster Channel 112. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) joined their affiliate the National Union of Journalists in Ukraine (NUJU) in condemning a decision that threatens press freedom and the livelihood of hundreds of media workers. On 26 September, the Ukrainian media regulator revoked the digital licences of the 5 television companies belonging to Channel 112.  According to the regulator, they had violated the programming concept of broadcasting for several years, despite the fact that they had been warne Channel…

Ukrainian court rules to block access to 17 online media

On 23 July, the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv (Ukraine) ruled to block access to 17 online media, including news portals and bloggers platforms korrespondent.net, enigma.ua, trident-ua.info, and informator.news. The owners of the closed websites have lodged an appeal. Their lawyers have denounced the delaying tactics that have so far prevented the appeal court from ruling. The court justified the closure of these news websites by the fact that they disseminate texts relating to slander or defamation. The judgment requires to restrict access not only to potentially harmful material, but to the entire content of these website. The National Union…

Ukraine: radical nationalists stormed press conference at Ukrinform

On 30 July, about a dozen men dressed in T-shirts with the inscription “Tradition and Order” violently entered the press center of the Ukrinform news agency in Kiev, Ukraine, during a press conference of parliamentary candidates. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its member National Union of Journalists of Ukrain (NUJU) in condemning the incident. After entering the building, the group broke the door to the press-hall and damaged the equipment and furniture. The group started to push and beat Ukrinform staff members. they also threw eggs and poured water on an independent candidate from the town of Pokrovsk…

Ukraine: IFJ/EFJ call on all political parties to commit to defending freedom of speech

On the eve of Ukraine’s July 21 extraordinary parliamentary elections, the International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) have backed the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine’s (NUJU) call on all political parties to sign a Declaration on the Defense of Freedom of Speech. The Declaration was prepared by Ukrainian journalists and experts from the International and European Federation of Journalists and comprises a list of obligations and commitments on freedom of speech, the protection of journalists’ rights and the fight against impunity. The text includes the following seven principles: Respect for freedom of speech and expression. Do not take…

Ukraine: who killed journalist Vadym Komarov?

Journalist Vadym Komarov died in the early hours of 20th June, a few weeks after he was attacked and left in coma in May in the city of Cherkasy, Ukraine. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) join their affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), in condemning the murder and urging authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into this despicable crime and bring the perpetrators to justice. Vadym Komarov was known for his investigations and his hard hitting reporting on local authorities. Komarov reported on corruption and organised crime in Cherkasy and had been attacked before,…

Ukraine: EFJ and IFJ condemn violent attack on journalist Vadym Komarov

Ukrainian investigative journalist Vadym Komarov is in a coma after being assaulted by an unidentified person on 4th May. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) join their affiliate the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) in condemning the attack and urge the Ukrainian authorities to ensure a safe working environment for journalists and bring those responsible to justice. According to the police, Komarov was attacked early in the morning on 4th May as he was walking in the city centre of Cherkasy, Ukraine. He was severely beaten and hospitalised. The police have launched…

World Press Freedom Day: IFJ and EFJ stand up for safe and independent elections coverage

To mark World Press Freedom Day on 3rd May, journalists from across the world are joining forces to launch tips for safe and fair coverage of elections at a time when politicians and their supporters are increasingly turning their fire on reporters. The EFJ supports IFJ campaign exposing the abuse of power, disinformation, internet shutdowns, self-censorship, harassment and violence as ongoing challenges facing journalists when reporting elections. The campaign is calling on governments to ensure a safe working environment for journalists to allow them to report with full objectivity, impartiality and balance and on all politicians not to stigmatise media. This…

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…