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Event: Democracy at Risk

Threats and attacks against media freedom in Europe in 2018
Strasbourg 7 February 2019
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Event: Democracy at Risk

Tuesday, February 12th, 14.30 – 16.00, Strasbourg, European Parliament building, R3.1

Press freedom is more fragile than ever. Across Europe, journalists are intimidated and attacked. Murders of journalists go unpunished. Freedom of media, a cornerstone of democracy, is under threat.

On 12 February 2019, representatives of the 12 partner organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists will present their annual report. It describes key developments on press freedom highlighted by written alerts to the Platform – alerts to which Member States are asked to formally respond.

The report paints a disturbing picture: impunity, weakened institutions and lack of accountability are a reality in Council of Europe Member States – including those inside the European Union. Urgent action by the Council of Europe, the European Union and their Member States is needed.

Programme:

The session will seek to allow for a discussion between civil society speakers and attending Members of the European Parliament.

Opening remarks: dr. Igor Šoltes, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (Slovenia)

Speakers:

  • Scott Griffen, Deputy Director, International Press Institute
  • William Horsley, Media Freedom Representative of the Association of European Journalists and AEJ UK Chairman
  • Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia, Article 19
  • Tom Gibson, European Union Representative, Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Sophie in ‘t Veld, MEP, Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe; Democraten 66 (Netherlands)

Discussion

The report will be available to the public on 12 February at 12.30. Watch this space !

 


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Follow-ups to alerts Follow-ups to alerts

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
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Follow-ups to alerts Follow-ups to alerts

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Journalist Bojana Pavlović Harassed in Front of the Police who Confiscated her Phone

31 July 2020

Critical Greek Media Excluded or Side-Lined from State Funding Package during Covid-19

30 July 2020

Blogging Site ‘Medium.com’ Blocked in Albania

28 July 2020

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27 July 2020

Turkey Proposes Social Media Law, Threatening Press Freedom

22 July 2020

Photojournalist Wojciech Atys Taken to Court after Reporting on a Protest

21 July 2020

Death Threats against N1 Journalist Nikola Vučić

16 July 2020

Lawsuits Filed against the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism

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16 July 2020

Media Owner Kastriot Reçi Killed in Albania

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Prime Minister Pressures Online Portals and Information Channels

16 July 2020

News 24 Channel Shuts Down two Critical Talk Shows

16 July 2020

British Journalist Targeted by Smear Campaign

15 July 2020

Slovak Investigative Journalist Peter Sabo Finds Bullet in His Mailbox

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7 July 2020

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6 July 2020

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Journalists Attacked and Labelled as "Terrorists" during Far Right Protests in Rome

25 June 2020

Loyalist Threats against Journalists in Northern Ireland

25 June 2020

Threats of Legal Action against Cartoonist Gábor Pápai

16 June 2020

Crimean Tatar Journalists Osman Arifmemetov, Remzi Bekirov and Rustem Sheikhaliev Detained by Russian Authorities

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ZDF Cam