Hungary: Hir TV news channel taken over by the government

Hír TV, one of the last independent television broadcaster in Hungary, announced significant changes in the editorial and management teams on 1 August 2018, following its purchase by pro-government businessman Zsolt Nyerges in July. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is alarmed by this new attempt to control the media in Hungary. The announcement on the channel’s website stated that Hír TV “returns to its old values, continuing where it was left in 2015“. The TV channel used to follow a pro-governmental line until 2015, when the relationship between Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the former owner Lajos Simicska deteriorated, which then modified the editorial policy.…

Central African Republic: EFJ and IFJ condemn murder of Russian journalists

The European Federation of Journalists joined the International Federation of Journalists in strongly condemning the murder of three Russian journalists in the Central African Republic, in what local authorities said was an ambush by an unidentified group of armed men. The reporters were investigating the activities of so-called Wagner group, a group of private military contractors. In response to the killings, which happened on 30 July, the IFJ demanded that the Central African authorities carry out a thorough investigation to bring the material and intellectual perpetrators of this crime to justice. Kirill Radchenko, Alexander Rastorguyev and Orkhan Dzhemal, who worked for…

Cyprus: Journalists of “Afrika” to face charges in Turkey

Reporter and editor of a Cyprus daily newspaper “Afrika” Sener Levent and journalist Ali Osman have been informed by the local police officers in Northern Cyprus that a prosecution process has been launched against them in Ankara, Turkey, over criticism towards military actions of Turkey in Syria and the Turkish government. There are two cases filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara against the journalists. The first one concerns a publication released in January 2018 criticising the military operation in Afrin led by Turkey, comparing it to Turkish occupation of Cyprus, to which the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan…

Violence against journalists during veteran protest in Sarajevo

Several journalists were attacked during a violent protest of Army of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Republic veterans on 26th of July, in Sarajevo. A photojournalist of Klix.ba online news portal has been attacked by a group of violent protesters after refusing to stop taking photographs. Reporters from Al Jazeera Balkans TV intervened trying to protect him, but they were also violently attacked by other protesters. The photojournalist was taken to the hospital afterwards. After the incident, one of the protesters, who was filmed attacking the journalists with a metal stick, claimed that “it was not over”, listing other journalists who she…

Cyprus: Journalist Costas Constantinou receives death threats

Cypriot journalist Costas Constantinou has filed a complaint to Chief of Police after receiving death threats on social media. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports its affiliate the Union of Cyprus Journalists in condemning this act of intimidation against journalists and media freedom in Cyprus. The threat to journalist’s life was posted in a comment section of a Facebook group “Dimokratiki Paremvasi” (eng. Democratic intervention) under shared post of Constantinou which he made on 20th of July, commemorating day of Turkish Invasion in Cyprus. The post was along the same lines as discussion on Politis radio show, where Constantinou shared critical views concerning…

Belarus: Journalist Natallia Radzina receives death threats

Death threatening emails were sent to editor and journalist Natallia Radzina, currently based in Poland, on 22nd July, raising concerns on safety and protection of the journalist. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) expressed a deep concern over the threats to the well-known journalist and requested the Polish authorities to take necessary actions to ensure the safety of journalists. Natallia Radzina has been receiving threats previously, but the intimidating style and arrogance of the letters pushed her to bring the contents to the general public, she said, and added that the letters will not stop her from working. The journalist…

Russian journalist Denis Suvorov killed in Nizhny Novgorod

UPDATE 26.07.2018 The murder suspect accused of journalist Denis Suvorov’s murder has been arrested, reported sources from the law enforcement agency. The suspect is being questioned by the investigators. —– Russian journalist Denis Suvorov was found dead by witnesses near a construction site in Nizhny Novgorod (east of Moscow), with a heavy wound in his skull, news media reported on 23rd of July. International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) asked Russian authorities to swiftly investigate the case in order to identify the possible links to Denis Suvorov’s journalistic activities. Journalist was found by eyewitnesses, who reported hearing screams in a construction site…

Russia bans Estonian journalists over “Russophobia” allegations

Journalists Ainar Ruussaar, Eerki Bahovski and Toomas Alatalu have publicly announced that they have been notified for being banned from entering the territory of Russian Federation on 6th of June, reported Estonian Association of Journalists and news media. 20 Estonian nationals were blacklisted by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, informing the Ambassador of Estonia to Russian Federation and the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Persons were listed on the basis of having exhibited “Russophobia”, announced Artyom Kozhin, the Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian MFA at a press conference. While answering to media’s question, Kozhin also said that…

Italy: Journalist Roberto Saviano sued for defamation by Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini

Italian journalist and writer Roberto Saviano has been sued by the Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini on 20 June under allegations on defamation. The lawsuit was a result of a Twitter thread about the reconsideration of the journalist’s police escort and Salvini’s migration policy, calling for reaction from the Minister to a recent incident where a refugee woman and a child were found drowned in the Mediterranean sea. Saviano named him “a buffon” and “minister of the underworld”. Matteo Salvini, minister of interior, deputy prime minister and the leader of the right-wing League party, has been receiving critics from local and…

Ukraine: Turkish journalist under threat

A Ukraine-based Turkish journalist has told the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) he fears for his safety after his name appeared on an “abduction list” published by local media. The IFJ and EFJ have called on the Ukrainian authorities to take urgent action to protect Yunus Erdogdu, founder and owner of the first Turkish language news website in Ukraine, following the detention and deportation of another journalist earlier this month. On July 12, Turkish journalist Yusuf Inan was detained by Turkish intelligence services in Ukraine accused of being a member of the Gulenist movement which the authorities claim…

The EFJ asks the Council of Europe to declare Pavel Sheremet’s murder a case of impunity

Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sheremet was murdered on 20 July 2016. On the second anniversary of his death, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) believes that the investigation into his assassination failed to look properly into who committed and commissioned the crime. “Two years after his assassination, we should consider the journalist’s murder as an impunity case. That is why the European Federation of Journalists asked the Council of Europe platform for the protection of journalism to change the status of the alert on Pavel Sheremet’s killing to the category of “impunity”. Ukraine will become one of the worst European States…