European Federation of Journalists

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We send regularly press releases in English about journalists’ trade unions news and the situation of press freedom in Europe.

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Turkey: Release imprisoned journalists and human rights defenders at risk of coronavirus

Picture credit: Adem Altan / AFP.

Amid growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, the Turkish government is accelerating the preparation of a draft law that will reportedly release up to 100,000 prisoners. This is a welcome step. Overcrowding and unsanitary facilities already pose a serious health threat to Turkey’s prison population of nearly 300,000 prisoners and about tens of thousands of prison staff. That will only be exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. However, we remain concerned that journalists, human rights defenders and others imprisoned for simply exercising their rights, and others who should be released, will remain behind bars in the package of…

COVID-19: restrictions on access to information in Romania

Picture credit: Ludovic Marin / AFP.

The president of Romania Klaus Werner Iohannis signed on 16 March an emergency decree which, among other measures, allows the National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) to order take-down notices for websites and news reports containing “fake news”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) believes that governments are right to tackle misinformation . However, these measures could lead to self-censorship. Public authorities may be tempted to abuse the powers to suppress coverage that deviates from the official line and tries to hold them accountable. The Romanian emergency decree includes an article on countering the spread of pandemic…

COVID-19: Ukrainian journalist attacked while investigating sale of protective masks

Credit: Screenshot NewsOne

TV channel NewsOne journalist Tetiana Sivokon was physically attacked by a shop owner, in the Khmelnitsky region, while shooting a story about the sale of protective medical masks, on 24 March. Ukraine is experiencing masks shortage during the coronavirus pandemic. While preparing a report on this topic, NewsOne TV crew was informed by locals that the owner of a drug store had several large boxes with medical masks. The targeted journalist Tetiana Sivokon explained: “We went to this shop, saw the announcement that masks are in stock. I politely introduced myself and asked if I could buy masks. Seeing the…

COVID-19: Europe’s leaders must protect free flow of information

Picture credit: Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the major network of journalists’ organisations in Europe, today called on European leaders to protect free flow of information and ensure that media freedom will be guaranteed as states strive to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The EFJ joined together with eight other press freedom bodies and journalists’ organisations to express its profound concerns about the dangers of governments taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to punish independent and critical media and to introduce restrictions on the access of media to government decision making and action. While recognizing that certain emergency measures are needed to…

COVID-19: EFJ and IFJ urge Turkish government not to discriminate against political prisoners

Picture credit: Ozan Kose / AFP.

Sixteen human rigths and professional organisations urged Turkish Government not to discriminate against political prisoners in its forthcoming early parole bill. The Arrested Lawyers Initiative, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Foundation of Day of the Endangered Lawyers, Freemuse Association, International Association of People’s Lawyers, International Observatory of Human Rights, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Italian Federation for Human Rights, Lawyers for Lawyers, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, Liga voor de Rechten van de Mens, Platform for Peace and Justice, Social Justice Advocacy Campaign, Open Dialogue Foundation, Media and Law Studies Association made a…

Italy: Chief Editor under police protection after receiving death threats from neo-Nazi group

Credit: FNSI

Carlo Verdelli, Chief Editor of “La Repubblica”, a left wing and well-respected Italian newspaper, has been put under police protection after receiving death threats from neo-Nazi groups. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) together with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) join their Italian affiliate, Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana (FNSI), in expressing solidarity towards Carlo Verdelli and strongly condemning this appalling intimidation. The police protection measure was ordered by the Interior Ministry on 12 March, following several threats including a death threat coming from a so-called “Neo-Nazi’” silent cells. The FNSI Main Boarding said: “The police protection of Carlo Verdelli…