Increased support to journalists in Ukraine

The newly elected Steering Committee of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was keen to organise an online meeting with the leaders and members of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU). The two organisations discussed the programme of support for Ukrainian journalists and its future developments. The EFJ will focus its efforts on ensuring that assistance to Ukrainian journalists has long-term sustainable results. This is one of the main conclusions of the online meeting organised by NUJU, with the participation of Maja Sever, EFJ President, Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary, Sergiy Tomilenko, NUJU President, Lina Kushch, First Secretary…

Belarus: EFJ and BAJ call for the overturn of journalist Iryna Slaunikava’s sentence

On 3 August, the regional court in Homel, Belarus, sentenced journalist Iryna Slaunikava to 5 years in prison in a closed trial. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliate the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) in calling for the annulment of this arbitrary and illegal court decision. The journalist, who is vice-president of BAJ, was found guilty of organising collective actions seriously undermining public order and creating or leading an extremist group. The latter refers to the Belsat TV channel, which the Belarusian dictatorship considers an extremist organisation. The proceedings lasted almost one and a half months. Judge…

Don’t stigmatise Russian journalists in exile

Latvijas Radio vēstīja, Latvia’s public radio station, reported on Monday that Latvia’s intelligence services, Valsts drošības dienesta (VDD) had informed the country’s senior officials about the risks of the increasing activity of Russian journalists and Russian media companies setting up in Latvia. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Russian Journalists and Media Workers’ Union (JMWU) call on the authorities in all European countries not to indiscriminately stigmatise Russian journalists in exile. According to the radio station’s information, since Russia started the war, more than 200 journalists and 23 Russian media outlets have left Russia to settle in Latvia.…

Journalists covering protest attacked by Athens riot police

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemns the police brutality against several journalists in Athens, Greece, on 28 July, during the demonstration in solidarity with jailed anarchist Yiannis Michailidis. The EFJ calls on the Greek judicial authorities to condemn the perpetrators of such violence. Officers of the primary riot police unit of the Hellenic Police (MAT) physically attacked and teargassed several journalists and covering a protest in central Athens on 28 July. Among the victims identified were the journalists Eleftheria Komandou (Golden Dawn Watch), Lefteris Partsalis and Manos Fragioudakis (News 24/7). The Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN), an EFJ affiliate,…

Malta: On anniversary of Public Inquiry report, implementation remains crucial

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined media freedom organisations in expressing concerns at the lack of implementation of the recommendations of the milestone Public Inquiry into the assassination of Malta’s leading investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia. On the first anniversary of the Public Inquiry report’s publication, we urge the Maltese authorities to comply with their international human rights obligations and implement the recommendations without further delay to ensure effective protection of journalists going forward. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the publication of the landmark Public Inquiry report into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, which was found to…

EFJ welcomes UK government SLAPPs reforms

New measures to prevent legislation used to intimidate journalists and threaten press freedom have been announced in the United Kingdom. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in welcoming a package of proposals from UK government clamping down on powerful individuals, who attempt to use strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs), to intimidate journalists and influence reporting. Under the announced reforms, a new three-part test will be used in an early dismissal process to determine whether a SLAPP case can be struck out. The test will include an assessment of whether a case…

Hungary: We welcome EU court referral over Klubrádió frequency

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined media freedom and freedom of expression organisations in welcoming the European Commission’s decision to refer Hungary to the Court of Justice of the European Union over the February 2021 decision of the country’s Media Council to force independent broadcaster Klubrádió from the airwaves. This decision by the EU’s executive body to take Hungary to court over the alleged breach in EU telecoms rules regarding Klubrádió’s frequency licence is a belated but important signal that the Commission is increasingly willing to use the tools available to it to defend independent media, freedom of…

EU Rule of Law Report: Europe needs a strong Media Freedom Act

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the publication on Wednesday 13 July of the European Commission’s report on the rule of law. This third annual report highlights the threats to media pluralism and the safety of journalists in EU Member States. The EFJ called on the European Commission to adopt a binding and demanding Media Freedom Act to compel Member States to take action. The third EU Rule of Law report features specific recommendations targeted at individual member states. Sixteen EU countries have been urged to take measures to protect journalists, media freedom and pluralism (see below). The findings…

Credits: AFP

Greece: Real Group media offices targeted in arson attack

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined its partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) in condemning the arson attack on the offices of newspaper Real News and the radio station Real FM in Athens on 13 July 2022. Our organisations call on the Greek law enforcement authorities to conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the motive and circumstances behind the fire and to bring the perpetrators and masterminds to justice. This case is yet another worrying example of the deteriorating press freedom in Greece, which requires…

Belarus: journalist Katsiaryna Andreeva sentenced to 8 years for alleged treason

Belarusian journalist Katsiaryna Andreeva, a correspondent with the Poland-based independent broadcaster Belsat TV, has been sentenced on July 13 to eight years in prison for alleged treason charges. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) denounces this parody of justice and calls on the authorities in Belarus to stop harassing and prosecuting media workers, and release all journalists imprisoned for their work. On July 4, Andreeva’s trial on alleged treason charges started behind closed doors in the southeastern city of Homel. On July 13, the Homel Regional Court sentenced the journalist to eight years in prison on charges of treason against…