Guidelines for foreign journalists covering the upcoming European Games in Belarus

From 21 to 30 June 2019, the second European Games will take place in Minsk, the capital city of Belarus. The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) published some guidelines for journalists covering the sports event related to accreditations, security measures and safe communications. The memos are available in English and Belarusian. “We hope, the guidelines will contribute to better safety of our colleagues who may face problems covering the games,” said Aleh Aheyeu, BAJ deputy chairperson and head of BAJ Legal Center for Protection of the Media. “We would also like to offer BAJ services and assistance to foreign journalists…

Italian minister Salvini threatened journalist Roberto Saviano with withdrawal of his police protection

On May 29th, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini published a video on Facebook in which he threatened the journalist Roberto Saviano with the withdrawal of his police protection from mafia. Saviano has been under constant police protection since 2006, after he published the book “Gommora”, denouncing the practices of the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia. In the video, Matteo Salvini sends a kiss to the camera, saying “A kiss to Saviano. I’m working on a revision of the criteria for the escorts that every day in Italy commit more than two thousand law enforcement workers.”.…

Assange indictment threatens media freedom

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) join their Norwegian affiliate Norsk Journalistlag in condemning the US government’s decision to prosecute WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act. “Uncovering secret or classified information relevant to the debate in society is at the heart of media’s public mission. By publishing information that powerful stakeholders want to keep undisclosed, media can contribute to keep those in power accountable. It is therefore crucial that the publication of such material lies within the freedom of the media, even when authorities wish to keep the information undisclosed,” says a statement issued today by…

EFJ welcomes PACE report on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination

The failure of Maltese authorities to identify the masterminds behind the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia raises questions about the rule of law in Malta, according to a report adopted today in Paris by the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). PACE appointed a Special Rapporteur on this matter, Pieter Omtzigt (EPP), who has compiled a report titled “Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the rule of law, in Malta and beyond: ensuring that the whole truth emerges”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the adoption of this…

Finland: new fund supports journalists facing harassment and threats

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has welcomed the creation of a new fund for journalists who became victims of persecution or threats. It is a joint project of the Union of Journalists in Finland (UJF), five top Finnish media companies and several other representative organisations working in the media sector. The fund will be launched after midsummer and it is open to staff journalists as well as freelancers. It aims to help journalists facing legal threats such as cases of defamation as well as harassments. The foundation follows a spate of such cases in Finland in recent years, only…

Open letter concerning PACE draft report on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with a group of media freedom NGOs have published an open letter to the representatives of the Maltese Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) members. The letter was published ahead of a meeting of the PACE Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee in Paris which was attended by national representatives of the Council of Europe members. It called on the Maltese government to support the findings of an investigation led by Mr. Pieter Omtzigt, the Special rapporteur appointed by PACE to investigate the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The letter reads,…

Italy: Riot police beats up journalist covering Neo-Fascist demonstration

On May 23, Stefano Origone, an Italian journalist was beaten up by riot police officers while covering clashes among demonstrators in a rally of the far-right party CasaPound in Genoa. A video published by Origone’s employer, the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, shows that he was being kicked at and beaten up with batons even though he identified himself as a journalist. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was shocked by the attack of the Italian police on Origone and called for an investigation of the attack. According to Origone, he had huddled on the ground in a foetal position without defending…

Croatian journalist Danijel Majić attacked by extreme right-wing TV presenter in Austria

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) in condemning the physical and verbal attacks on the German newspaper The Frankfurter Rundschau journalist Danijel Majić on 18 May 2019 at the Bleiburg memorial in Austria. Majić was attacked by Velimir Bujanec, a Croatian extreme right-wing TV-presenter and a group of other people attending the memorial.  According to The Frankfurter Rundschau, Majić was reporting from the memorial service when he was recognised by Bujanec’s supporters. When Majić was leaving, Bujanec spit at him and the crowd attending the service began to insult him and kick at him.…

Journalist Mešanović prevented from reporting family eviction in a coal mine in Bosnia and Herzegovina

On May 14, 2019, in Šijače, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a private security guard damaged the camera of Ademir Mešanović, a cameraman working for local public broadcaster RTV TK, while he was covering the eviction of families from their properties near the state-owned Kreka coal mine. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate the Bosnian Herzegovinan Journalists Association (BHJA) in calling for urgent prosecution of the attack against Mesanovic. The guard of the private security service “Cobra” grabbed Mešanović’s camera and threw it in the mud, damaging the camera and preventing Mešanović from continuing his reporting, RTV TK reported.…

European elections: EFJ Manifesto endorsed by 118 candidates

Ahead of the European elections taking place from 23 to 26 May, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), has launched a Manifesto for the revival of a free and pluralistic media in Europe. Up to now, 118 candidates from ten countries showed their support for EFJ’s demands concerning the following eight topics: Media pluralism Financial sustainability & the future of journalism Investigative journalism Collective bargaining and social protection for all workers Trust and accountability through ethical journalism Authors’ rights – Fair contracts for all Strong independent public service media Safety at work: no to impunity Some parties endorsed the Manifesto…

Magazine by young journalists looks into working conditions in Western Balkans & Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) published on 8 May 2019 a magazine focusing on journalists’ working conditions in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The contributors are six students in journalism from the region, winner of the 2019 Journalism Students Award. The first edition was organised by the journalists’ unions and associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH Journalists), Kosovo (AGK), Montenegro (TUMM), North Macedonia (SSNM), Serbia (SINOS) and Turkey (TGS), in partnership with the EFJ. The objective was to involve the young generation in the debate on working conditions in countries where journalists often face precariousness, insecurity and lack of…