Serbia: MFRR welcomes renewed convictions for murder of Slavko Ćuruvija

Guilty verdicts in retrial: an important step in long fight for justice The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined the partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR)  in welcoming the confirmed guilty verdicts handed down to four former officials in the Serbian state security services for the murder in 1999 of leading journalist and editor-in-chief Slavko Ćuruvija. The decision by the Higher Court in Belgrade to reaffirm the convictions in the retrial is an important victory for the family and all those involved in the long fight for justice for his assassination and represents another important milestone in the fight…

France: Four journalists shot at in Martinique, no injuries

Four French journalists covering the protests against the Covid-19 rules and civil unrest in Martinique have been fired upon three times. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in France (SNJ, SNJ-CGT, CFDT-Journalistes) in expressing full support to the targeted journalists and strongly condemning a new attack on press freedom, which must be promptly investigated by the French authorities. On the night of the 25 and 26 November 2021, photographer Loïc Venance from Agence France-Presse (AFP), journalists Maureen Lehoux and cameraman Julien Taureau from BFMTV/RMC Sport and journalist Raphaël Lafargue from Abaca Press were filming and taking pictures…

Slovenia: Concerns over controversial changes to RTV programming

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today to express concern over proposed modifications to news programming at the Slovenian public television RTV, which would reduce the broadcaster’s ability to inform the public and scrutinise power. We therefore urge the broadcaster’s management to enter into dialogue with its editorial board to ensure adjustments are proportionate and in the best interest of public interest reporting. Under the draft Program-Production Plan (PPN) for 2022, shows such as the flagship foreign policy programme, Globus, and many news talk shows would be cancelled. Daily news…

OSCE Report: Legal Harassment and abuse of the judicial system against the media

On 23 November 2021, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation) Europe Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media (RfoM) launched a report titled “Legal Harassment and abuse of the judicial system against the media”. The report’s aim is to underline the risks associated with the journalistic profession, and discusses the effects of legal procedures, underlining the problematic nature of the abuse of the judicial system against media workers. It shares examples of cases where the law was being misused to prevent media workers, including journalists, from doing their work or as “a means of retaliation for their…

Qatar: Two Norwegian journalists covering working conditions temporarily detained

Two Norwegian journalists working for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) were arrested by Qatari authorities for 36 hours. They had been covering the poor working conditions for migrant workers in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) and their Norwegian affiliate, the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ), strongly condemn this detention and call on the Qatari authorities to provide full explanations for the arrests and to enable free journalism. On Sunday, 21 November, journalist Halvor Ekeland and photographer Lokman Ghorbani were detained outside their hotel in Doha before their flight back to Norway. They were released…

LAREG Meeting in Paris: on the media situation in the Balkans countries

European Federation of Journalists Labour Rights Expert Group (LAREG+) and Freelance Expert Group (FREG) met in Paris on 15 November invited by the SNJ-CGT with the objective to make bridges and coordinate better their action and work. Representatives of 20 European journalists’ organisations exchanged good practices and knowledge about collective bargaining, social dialogue as well as freelancers’ rights. The implementation of the Copyright directive and the expected new guidelines on EU competition rules for freelancers were also discussed. Read below a summary of the situation in the Balkan region, by LAREG co-chair and President of the Croatian Union of Journalists…

Poland: Journalists must be allowed access to Belarus border

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today to call on the Polish government to respect and facilitate the free flow of information by allowing journalists access to the border with Belarus to report on the humanitarian situation. We also urge Polish police and military personnel to refrain from arbitrary detentions and intimidation of media workers working in the area around the restricted zone. Since early September, journalists have been unable to report from inside a three-kilometre-wide stretch of land along the Belarusian border placed under a state of emergency. The measure limits…

Greece: Answers needed over alleged state surveillance of journalist  

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today in urging the Greek government to immediately provide clarity over allegations that a state intelligence agency conducted surveillance on journalist Stavros Malichudis and the investigative media organisation Solomon, which focuses on refugees and migration in Greece. The revelationspublished by Greek newspaper Efimerida ton Syntakton (EFSYN), which indicated the government’s National Intelligence Service (EYP) had secretly been conducting monitoring of Malichudis, pose serious questions over journalistic source protection and the right to privacy in Greece, which is already facing growing questions over a decline in…

Russia: EFJ condemns the liquidation of civil rights group Memorial

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Russian Journalists’ and Media Workers’ Union (JMWU) join PEN International, PEN Moscow and St Petersburg PEN in condemning the Russian authorities’ move to shut down Memorial International Society and its sister organisation Memorial Human Rights Centre, which are amongst the most prominent civil rights organisations in Russia. The EFJ urges the Russian authorities to drop the lawsuits against Memorial, and to end their crackdown on freedom of expression and association. On 11 November, the Russian Supreme Court notified Memorial International Society that prosecutors have filed a lawsuit to liquidate the civil rights…

SLAPP lawsuit in Greece underscores need for swift EU directive

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) today express serious concern over a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) targeted against the small independent media outlet Alterthess and its journalist Stavroula Poulimeni by a Greek gold mining executive convicted of serious environmental crimes. Our organisations note that this case again underscores the need for a swift European Union directive and Council of Europe Recommendation to protect journalists and media outlets reporting in the public interest from this kind of abusive litigation. On 19 October 2021, the cooperative journalistic website Alterthess in Thessaloniki…