Latest threats to media freedom

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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”.

News portals shutdown by the State regulator

Update : 20 Jul 2016
Date of entry 18 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Submitted by EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index Alert level Level 2
18 Jul 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index Level 2

In the last 72 hours, following the attempted coup in Turkey, on 15 July 2016, the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK, the State regulator) has shut down 20 independent online news portals, including Haberdar, Meydan, Medyascope, Gazeteport, Rotahaber, ABC, Karşı, etc. Visitors to these online news sites are faced with the following message: "After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the law Nr. 5651, administration measure has been taken for this website according to decision Nr. Xxxx dated 17/07/2016 of the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication.” The shutdown has been strongly criticized by the Turkish Union of Journalists (TGS).

Follow-ups

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”.

Press Directorate Revokes the Credentials of 34 Journalists over Alleged Threats to National Security

Date of entry 20 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Submitted by Index , Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
20 Jul 2016 Turkey C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State Index , Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ Level 2

The Directorate General of Press and Information (Basın-Yayın Enformasyon Genel Müdürlüğü, BYEGM) has decertified press cards of 34 journalists over alleged threats to national security, Turkey Review reported. According to Dünya Bülteni, 14 journalists from Meydan daily; 2 from Samanyolu TV channel; 3 from Irmak TV channel; 8 from Can Erzincan TV channel; 2 from Samanyolu Haber TV channel; 1 from Mehtap radio station and 4 from Taraf newspaper and Nokta magazine had their press credential revoked as of Tuesday 19 July 2016.

Temporary Closure of Azerbaijani TV Channel

Date of entry 20 Jul 2016 Country Azerbaijan Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Submitted by Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
20 Jul 2016 Azerbaijan E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2

On 19 July 2016, Azerbaijan’s National Television and Radio Council ordered the temporary closure of ANS TV, a pro-government private television channel. The order was in response to the channel’s plans to broadcast an interview with Turkish Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of organising the failed coup attempt that took place in Turkey on 15 July 2016. The channel will be shut for at least one month. Gülen denies all involvement in the coup. In an official statement, the National Television and Radio Council stated that the decision was made further to an appeal by the General Prosecutor on 18 July 2016. Its actions are in accordance with Article 11 of the Law on Television and Radio Broadcasting, which empowers the Council to take measures to prevent the propaganda of terrorism, violence, cruelty, discrimination on ethnic, racial and religious grounds. The Council justified its decision on the grounds of “avoiding provocations aimed at damaging the strategic partnership between Turkey and Azerbaijan and to prevent obvious promotion of terrorism “. Radio Free Europe has reported that the Turkish Embassy in Baku had expressed “deep concern” about the proposed broadcasting. The National Council has also filed a lawsuit to the court demanding the withdrawal of ANS TV channel’s license, on the basis that the channel has violated provisions and conditions of the license (article 11.4.4. of Broadcasting Law) that prohibit “propaganda of terrorism, violence, cruelty” (article 32.0.5) and “incitement to mass unrest and terrorism” (article 23.2.5.). The head of the National Council said that the future of “ANS Broadcasting Media Company” is now in the competence of the judicial authorities.

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