Strasbourg 6 June 2016
Strasbourg 9 May 2016
The platform in figures
Since April 2015*
- alerts in 26 countries
- alerts where a member State replied
- resolved cases
- journalists killed
*Platform launch date
Alerts by category
Latest threats to media freedom
France 2 TV channel sued in a Commercial Court by the Bolloré Group
On 22 July 2016, the Bolloré Group announced that it would seek a settlement of 50 million euros in damages from France 2 before the Paris Commercial Court as a result of the rebroadcasting on 21 July of the programme “Complément d'enquête” (Further investigation) that covered Vincent Bolloré and the group's activities in Africa. Broadcast for the first time on 7 April, the TV investigative report had displeased the businessman who accused France 2 of fabricating false testimonies. Particularly contentious is the part of the investigation filmed in Cameroon, on a palm oil plantation. In this part, an employee, described as a miner, denounces his working conditions. In a statement, the Group declared that the programme was "damaging to its commercial interests" and that the broadcasting of the TV investigative report was characteristic of " a demonstrated willingness to harm." The amount of damages sought and the recourse to a the Commercial Court – as opposed to a court of civil justice - are previously unseen. These litigation lawsuits could be aiming to serve as a deterrent to journalists and the media to dissuade them from investigating the activities of Vincent Bolloré and the Group Bolloré.
42 Journalists Face Arrests in Major Clampdown following Failed Coup in TurkeyUpdate : 26 Jul 2016
The Turkish anti-terrorism Prosecutor Irfan Fidan has today issued arrest warrants for 42 journalists as part on the major clampdown in the wake of the failed coup against President Erdoğan. According to Anatolian News Agency, the journalists targeted are: Abdullah Abdulkadiroğlu, Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Dönmez, Ali Akkuş, Arda Akın, Nazlı Ilıcak, Bayram Kaya, Bilal Şahin, Bülent Ceyhan, Bülent Mumay, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cevheri Güven, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Erkan Akkuş, Ertuğrul Erbaş, Fatih Akalan, Fatih Yağmur, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, İbrahim Balta, Kamil Maman, Kerim Gün, Levent Kenez, Mahmut Hazar, Mehmet Gündem, Metin Yıkar, Muhammed Fatih Uğur, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mürsel Genç, Selahattin Sevi, Seyid Kılıç, Turan Görüryılmaz, Ufuk Şanlı, Ufuk Emin Köroğlu, Yakup Sağlam and Yakup Çetin. On his twitter account Bülent Mumay said that: “The only organisation that I’m a member of is [the] Turkish Journalists Association [TGC]. My only profession is journalism.” Among those targeted by the warrants was prominent journalist and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicak who was fired from the pro-government Sabah daily in 2013 for criticising ministers caught up in a corruption scandal, NTV and CNN-Turk reported.
New 26 Jul 2016 : In the early morning of 26 July 2016, journalist and former parliamentarian Nazlı Ilıcak, one of the 42 journalists named in the arrest warrants as part of the post-coup attempt crackdown operations, was detained in the Bodrum district of the Aegean province of Muğla. According to Turkish media reports, six other journalists appearing on the list were also detained: Yakup Sağlam, İbrahim Balta, Seyit Kılıç, Bayram Kaya, Cihan Acar and Hanım Büşra Erdal.
Journalist Zehra Doğan Arrested and Charged with "Membership of an Illegal Organisation"
Zehra Doğan, JINHA editor (women's news agency) and a painter, was arrested by the police in Mardin, south-east of Turkey, on 22 July. She was taken to the Nusaybin police office the day after. According to reports, the authorities accused her of "being a member of the terrorist organisation PKK". The police presented Doğan 's paintings, along with her news reports and her social media posts, as evidence of this membership. The reason cited for the decision to detain her was a testimony by a confidential witness who reportedly claimed that Zehra had worked alongside DİHA reporter Bilal Gülden, also reporting from Nusaybin. Doğan was sent to the court which ordered her pre-trial detention and was transferred to Mardin Women's Prison.
Journalist Pavel Sheremet Killed in Car ExplosionUpdate : 21 Jul 2016
Pavel Sheremet, a journalist working for online investigative newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda and Radio Vesti, was killed in a car explosion on Wednesday 20 July 2016. According to Ukrayinska Pravda, the car blew up on the corner of Khmelnytsky and Franko streets in Kyiv. This car belonged to Olena Prytula, editor at Ukrayinska Pravda, but she wasn’t in the car at the time. According to Radio Vesti's website, the journalist was heading to the radio's office to host his morning show when the car exploded. Pavel Sheremet, 44, was a Belarusian journalist and TV host who was imprisoned by the government of Belarus in 1997 and has been working outside of Belarus for a long time. He previously worked in Russia as TV host and journalist before moving to Kyiv around five years ago.
New 21 Jul 2016 : OSCE Representative condemns murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet in Ukraine
New 21 Jul 2016 : The Secretary General of the Council of Europe strongly condemns the appalling murder of journalist Pavlo Sheremet and calls on the Ukrainian authorities and law-enforcement agencies to quickly and effectively investigate this crime.
Journalist Mustafa Cambaz killed in failed coup attemptUpdate : 20 Jul 2016
Mustafa Cambaz, a photojournalist with the Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Şafak was killed during the failed coup of Friday 15 July 2016 in Turkey. According to his newspaper, he died of a gunshot to the head when soldiers opened fire on the crowds in the Çengelköy neighborhood of Istanbul in the early hours of Saturday 16 July 2016.
New 21 Jul 2016 : OSCE Representative "deeply saddened to learn about Cambaz’ death" calls "the authorities to do their utmost to ensure journalists’ safety and free flow of information during times of crisis".
New 20 Jul 2016 : Regretting “ that journalists were once more victims of violence, at the hands of coup plotters, as well as of citizens resisting them, and that access to several news media on the internet were blocked once more”, the Commissioner for Human Rights said that he “will be closely monitoring the situation in the coming days”.
Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4 of the Committee of Ministers on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, 13 April 2016
Factsheet on freedom of expression and the broadcasting media, 4 April 2016
Factsheet on mass surveillance, 29 February 2016
Factsheet on media coverage of protests and demonstrations, 29 February 2016
A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Killings; abductions; threats and acts of violence against the physical integrity of journalists, their family members and other media actors; attacks against journalists’ sources because of their co-operation with journalists or media.
B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists
Arbitrary, unwarranted or politically-motivated arrests, detention and imprisonment of journalists and other media actors.
C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists
Harassment of journalists and other media institutions or actors; violence or interference causing damage or destruction of journalists’ equipment or other property; punitive or vindictive exercise of investigatory tax or administrative powers; arbitrary denial of access for journalistic coverage; threats to journalists’ privacy, threats to employment status, psychological abuse, bullying, online harassment and cyber-bullying;
Judicial intimidation: opportunistic, arbitrary or vexatious use of legislation, including defamation, anti-terrorism, national security, hooliganism or anti-extremism laws; issuing bogus or fabricated charges;
Political intimidation, including hate speech and use by public figures of abusive or demeaning language against journalists or media outlets;
Other forms of intimidation and harassment.
Failures to promptly, independently and effectively investigate and seek to prosecute crimes and offences against journalists and other media institutions or actors.
E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Acts having chilling effects on media freedom including restrictive legislation encroaching on media freedom;
Censorship, interference with editorial freedom;
Threats to the confidentiality of journalists’ sources;
Unjustified or indiscriminate blocking of websites or social media platforms, hacking, and surveillance or interception of communications data of journalists without due process of authorisation, etc.
The platform was set up in close co-operation with five major journalists’ and freedom of expression organisations* – signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Council of Europe. They are responsible for providing verified information on serious concerns with regard to the media freedom and safety of journalists.
* European Federation of Journalists, International Federation of Journalists, Association of European Journalists , Article 19, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, Index on Censorship
Covers the most severe and damaging violations of media freedom, including physical assaults and murder, intimidation, impunity for crimes targeting journalists and the application of excessively severe penal laws to protect state officials from the level of criticism which is to be expected in a democracy.
Applies to governments’ dealings with the media in law and administration. These category concerns violations of media freedom arising from the misuse of governmental or other powers to direct the media, especially in elections, interference with media freedom through ownership, control and regulation, the abusive or disproportional use of laws on anti-terrorism, extremism and state security on freedom of expression, access to information and confidentiality of sources and the independence of public sector broadcasting.
Covers the need for diverse media ownership, professional and ethical conduct on the part of media owners, managers, editors and workers, decent working conditions, procedures to deal with disputes and complaints and effective national reviews of the condition of media freedom.
This section presents a non-exhaustive selection of CoE instruments and ECHR case-law. This information is not a legal assessment of the alert and should not be treated or used as such.