Serbia: journalists physically and verbally attacked by football fans

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) condemned physical attacks & threats against TV journalists by football fans in Belgrade (Serbia), while they were reporting, on Wednesday. The IFJ and EFJ called on the Serbian authorities to identify and prosecute the perpetrators. On 28 August 2019, TV N1 crew, including journalist Mladen Savatovic, and Bosnian TV channel Federalna correspondant Dejan Kozul were attacked while reporting ahead of the football Champions League game between Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys in Belgrade. N1 journalists were shooting a news report outside stadium about a war tank installed by the Red…

Ukraine ends pre-trial detention of RIA Novosti journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have today welcomed the pre-trial release of RIA Novosti journalist, Kirill Vyshinsky, in Kyiv, Ukraine. The release came after the IFJ-EFJ have expressed several times their concerns over the long-lasting pre-trial detention of Vyshinsky. In May 2018, the Ukrainian security services raided the office of RIA Novosti in Ukraine and arrested its bureau chief and journalist, Kirill Vyshinsky, on charges of high treason. In July 2018, Vyshinsky was given additional charges of illegal handling of weapons. His pre-trial detention has been extended several times. On 19 July 2019, Vyshynsky appeared…

Serbian journalist and media owner on hunger strike to protest against economic pressure

UPDATE: After 19 days of hunger strike, Pavlović interrupted the protest after meeting with the President of Serbia, who promised to contact the relevant institutions in the next ten days to resolve the problems of the independent regional TV Kanal 9, in accordance with the law.   Maja Pavlović, the owner of the independent regional TV Kanal 9 in Serbia, has been on hunger strike for 14 days to protest against the economic pressure the station facing the broadcaster. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) join their Serbian affiliates UNS, NUNS, SINOS, in backing Maja Pavlović’s demands. With…

Turkey: at least seven journalists detained by police for reporting on the protests against trustees

UPDATE: The journalists Ahmet Kanbal, Mehmet Şah Oruç, Rojda Aydın, Nurcan Yalçın and Halime Parlak were released on August 26. Tunahan Turhan, a reporter for the Etkin news agency (ETHA), was detained while he was preparing to cover a demonstration in protest of the government-appointed trustees. Tunahan Turhan and Taylan Özgür Öztaş were released on August 23 under judicial control measures.   At least seven journalists were taken in custody on Tuesday 20 August after reporting on protests taking place in three southeast Turkish cities, Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van, as well as in Istanbul. The European and International Federations of…

Russia urged to provide an enabling environment for journalists covering the Moscow protests

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and a coalition of seven media freedom and journalists’ organisations are calling on Russian authorities to immediately stop the harassment of journalists who have been covering the recent protests in Moscow. Since the electoral authorities rejected several opposition candidates for September’s city council elections, protesters have taken to the streets of Moscow on four consecutive Saturdays. Russian authorities have responded with threats, violence, and detentions. Journalists who have been reporting on the protests have consistently been targeted. On 27 July 2019, two journalists suffered broken noses after being struck by police, one received injuries to…

Bulgaria: let the press report freely, say IFJ/EFJ ahead of Prosecutor’s appointment

Bulgaria will elect a new Prosecutor General this autumn and a series of statements made by public officials against the press have raised journalists’ concerns about the process. The IFJ/EFJ join its affiliate the Union of Bulgarian Journalist (UBJ) in calling for better protection of the rights of journalists and the media. A new Attorney General will be elected in Bulgaria on 24th October. The only person nominated as a candidate for the position is the current Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev who has expressed his opposition to the separation of powers in Bulgaria. UBJ reports that Geshev has repeatedly been the focus of public and media…

UK: journalist Owen Jones attacked by four men

Guardian journalist Owen Jones has been physically assaulted in London while celebrating his 35th birthday with friends in the early hours of Saturday morning. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemned the outrageous attack on Owen Jones and called on the British authorities to investigate the case and bring the perpetrators to justice. After leaving a bar near King’s Cross in London on the night of Saturday 17 August, at about 3am, a group of men approached Owen Jones and his friends and began hitting him in the head from behind. According to reports, Jones fell to the ground after…

Azerbaijan: Supreme Court denies Khadija Ismayilova’s request for early end of her probation

On August 7, the Azerbaijani Supreme Court decided to uphold its charges against investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who was accused of tax evasion. After she has been living under a probation sentence for three and a half years, the former correspondent of RadioFreeEurope / Radio Liberty seeked for an early termination of her probation. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the court’s decision and demands Azerbaijani authorities to stop her repressions. Since 2010, Ismayilova had been writing on cases of corruption linked to the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s family, until she was imprisoned in 2014 after a government-driven smear…

Russia: communications regulator demands censorship on information about Moscow demonstrations

On 11 August, the Russian national communications regulator Roskomnadzor published a statement demanding Google to prevent its video-sharing service Youtube from distributing information on the recent protests in Moscow. The agency said, it wants to prevent “advertising for unauthorized demonstrations”. Otherwise, countermeasures could be taken. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns this attempt of censorship and demands Russian authorities to respect the citizen’s right for information. “According to available information, several entities possessing YouTube channels have bought advertising instruments [such as push notifications] with the aim of distributing information about unsanctioned [illegal] mass events, including those aimed at disrupting…

Germany: lawyer’s attempts to influence reporting are increasing

German media’s legal departments see an increase of lawyer’s attempts to prevent journalists from reporting. That was found out by the new study “If you write that, I will sue you! Preventive strategies of lawyers against media”, published on 08 August. The research filed by the German Otto Brenner Foundation in cooperation with the “Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte” determined that legal departments receive an average of three preventive warnings per month. The strategy: “press law information letters” Knowing that they don’t have a legal right to prevent a media from publishing an article concerning their clients, lawyers have the common practice…

Freelancers in Belgium: wages remain precariously low

Freelance fees in the french-speaking Belgium haven’t developed for more than ten years. That reveals the latest inquiry “Les tarifs de la pige”, published on 05 August by our Belgian affiliate Association Générale des Journalistes Professionnels (AJP). The fourth edition of the study shows, some tariffs of freelance-journalists have remained on the same precarious level since it was first raised in 2007 – and some even dropped below. But it doesn’t have to be like that, says Sophie Lejoly, Deputy Secretary General of the AJP. Whether it’s newspapers, magazines, web editions, TV or radio, public or private media – the…