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

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

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

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…

COVID-19: journalists threatened with imprisonment in Hungary

UPDATE (30/03/2020): The Hungarian Parliament on Monday voted to allow the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to rule by decree without a set time limit. Under new law, people who spread what are viewed as untrue or distorted facts now face several years in jail. —————————— The Hungarian government demanded today an indefinite extension of the state of emergency. The bill would give prime minister Viktor Orbán sweeping powers to rule by decree, and the power to impose prison sentences of up to five years for promoting false information. The government has portrayed its request as a necessary response to…

COVID-19: It is time to guarantee social security for all

Amids the Corona Virus Disease pandemic (COVID-19), European governments, EU institutions and social partners take emergency measures to protect workers’ health and lives and avoid an unprecedented economic downturn. EFJ affiliates are working hard to protect their members including the growing number of freelancers. On March 20, the European Federation of Journalists’ Freelance Expert Group (FREG) had its first online meeting focusing on financial compensation measures for freelancers, many of whom face hardship due to lack of assignments during COVID-19. While some countries have guaranteed immediate financial support for workers and self-employed, others are offering low interest loans and tax exemptions instead…

COVID-19: some media are cutting back on the working conditions of journalists

The work of journalists is more necessary than ever, in a context of health crisis. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the professional and social commitment of its members. However, the EFJ is strongly concerned about the cost-cutting measures (salary cuts, unilateral reductions in working conditions, etc.) imposed on journalists and media workers by some media companies. The EFJ considers these measures unfair and counterproductive. We call on European and national political authorities to protect the social status of employed and self-employed journalists. Together with the UN, OSCE and IACHR media freedom watchdogs, the EFJ believes that “governments must…

COVID-19: governments must promote free flow of information

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the joint statement issued today by David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, and Edison Lanza, IACHR Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression calling on governments to promote and protect access to and free flow of information during COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the growing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the monitors for freedom of expression and freedom of the media for the United Nations, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights,…