Latest threats to media freedom

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France 2 TV channel sued in a Commercial Court by the Bolloré Group

Date of entry 27 Jul 2016 Country France Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat Non-state Submitted by EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
27 Jul 2016 France E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Non-state EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2

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 Turkey

Update : 26 Jul 2016
Date of entry 25 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Submitted by EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , IPI Alert level Level 1
25 Jul 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , IPI Level 1

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.

Updates

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"

Date of entry 25 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Submitted by EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Alert level Level 1
25 Jul 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Level 1

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 Explosion

Update : 21 Jul 2016
Date of entry 20 Jul 2016 Country Ukraine Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Submitted by Index , Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
20 Jul 2016 Ukraine A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown Index , Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ Level 1

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.

Follow-ups

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 attempt

Update : 20 Jul 2016
Date of entry 18 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Submitted by EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , IPI Alert level Level 1
18 Jul 2016 Turkey A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , IPI Level 1

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.

Follow-ups

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”.
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