Greek Journalist Arrested on Libel ChargesNo reply yet
Greek investigative journalist Kostas Vaxevanis was detained by police on libel charges after arriving voluntarily at Kallithea police station in Athens on 10 April 2017. A prosecutor later ordered his release pending preliminary investigation. The charges relate to a report published on 9 April 2017 in the newspaper Documento alleging that Stavroula Nikolopoulou-Stournara, wife of the Governor of Greece's central bank, had taken advantage of her husband's influence to secure public funding for organising medical conferences without going through a public tender. The report also raised questions about Nikolopoulou-Stournara's links to the pharmaceutical industry as well as the involvement of her husband, Yannis Stournaras, in the conferences. Nikolopoulou-Stournara, whose home was raided last year as part of an investigation into possible corruption involving Greece's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, denied the report's claims and filed libel charges against Vaxevanis. In March 2015, a court sentenced Vaxevanis to 26 months in prison for defaming a prominent Greek businessman, Andreas Vgenopoulos, as part of an investigation into the 2012 to 2013 Cyprus financial crisis. A three-judge panel of the Athens Court of Appeal unanimously overturned the conviction in September 2016.
PACE resolution 2141 (2017) on Attacks against journalists and media freedom in Europe, 24 January 2017
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.
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* European Federation of Journalists, International Federation of Journalists, Association of European Journalists , Article 19, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, Index on Censorship, International Press Institute, International News Safety Institute, the Rory Peck Trust
Covers the most severe and damaging violations of media freedom, including but not limited to murder, assassination or direct threat to the life of journalists or other media actors, or their family members, because of their journalistic work; physical assaults or any acts causing grievous injury to journalists or other media actors, or the use of violence to threaten their physical safety; impunity for any such violations; prolonged arbitrary detention or imprisonment of journalists because of their professional activities or their status as journalist; arbitrary closure of a media enterprise; and any other acts posing a grave threat or having a severe impact on media freedom, online or offline.
Covers all other serious threats to media freedom, including but not limited to physical assaults causing actual bodily harm, acts of intimidation and harassment; use by public figures of threatening or severely abusive language towards media members; unwarranted seizure or damage to property or equipment; laws and regulations that unduly restrict media freedom or access to information; actions that jeopardise the confidentiality of sources or the independence of the public sector broadcasters; abusive or disproportionate use of legislation; misuse of governmental or other powers to direct media content or to penalise media or journalists; interference with media freedom through ownership, control and regulation; and other acts posing a serious threat to media freedom, offline or online.
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