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15 Apr 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 12 Sep 2018 Turkey

Austrian Journalist Max Zirngast Detained in Turkey

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index IPI
Austrian journalist Max Zirngast has been detained on early hours of 11 September 2018 at his apartment in Ankara by anti-terror authorities. According to some media reports, he would be detained on "terror propaganda" charges. Allegations may be related to his political publications and involvement in civil activism against the Turkish government. He was arrested along with two other Turkish citizens.

Max Zirngast, a political science student at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), has been contributing to left-wing publications such as Austrian magazine re:volt, US left-wing publication Jacobin, Turkish socialist monthly Toplumsal Özgürlük. He was publishing content often critical to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has been politically active in the election campaign of pro-kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party).
Updates
New 15 Apr 2019
Max Zirngast’s first hearing took place on 11 April 2019. Judicial control measure to sign weekly attendance at police station is lifted, travel ban remained. Hearing adjourned to 11 Sept 2019.
04 Jan 2019
On 25 December 2018, Austrian freelance journalist Max Zirngast has been released but is still under prosecution with a travel ban.
Follow-ups
12 Sep 2018
OSCE Representative strongly condemns detention of Austrian journalist Max Zirngast and urge authorities to immediately release him.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (0):

Max Zirngast
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12 Apr 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 16 May 2018 Ukraine

RIA Novosti Journalist Kyrylo Vyshynsky Held on Treason Allegations in Ukraine

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Kyrylo Vyshynsky, a Ukrainian journalist working for Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novotsi in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, was detained on 15 May 2018 on allegations of treason. His arrest came hours before raids by Ukrainian security service (SBU) at the news agency’s offices. According to media reports, the authorities suspected Vyshynsky, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2015 by Presidential decree, of allegedly collaborating with Ukrainian armed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. The prosecuting officials in Kyiv also accused him of allegedly subversive reporting to justify Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, media reports added. 51-year-old Vyshynsky joined RIA Novosti in 2015 after having worked for several Ukrainian media outlets and Russia's state television channel Rossiya as its correspondent in Kyiv.
Updates
New 12 Apr 2019
On 4 April 2019, the trial against Kyrylo Vyshynsky began in Kyiv’s Podil District Court. Mr Vyshynsky faces up to 15 years in prison, if found guilty of treason charges against him.
14 Feb 2019
On 8 February 2019, the court in Kherson extended until 8 April 2019 the arrest of Kyrylo Vyshynsky.
02 Jan 2019
On 27 December 2018, a Kherson court has extended Kyrylo Vyshynsky’s arrest until 27 January.
02 Nov 2018
On 1st November 2018, the Kherson City Court extended for the third time the pre-trial detention of Kyrylo Vyshynsky until 28 December 2018.
03 Oct 2018
On 26 September 2018, Vyshynsky’s custody was extended until 4 November 2018.
17 May 2018
On 17 May 2018, a court ordered Kyrylo Vyshynsky held for two months detention on high treason charges.
State replies
12 Jul 2018
Reply from the Government of Ukraine
Follow-ups
29 Oct 2018
OSCE Representative expresses serious concern about lasting pre-trial detention of journalist Kirill Vyshinsky in Ukraine.
16 May 2018
OSCE Representative raises concern over raid against Russian News Agency and TV today in Ukraine
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Kyrylo Vyshynsky
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05 Apr 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 10 Apr 2018 Turkey

Journalists Detained on Account of Social Media Posts Critical of the Military Operation in Afrin

2 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
At least four journalists have been detained in police raids since 20 January 2018 as part of a social media crackdown on individuals who shared critical comments or news regarding the ‘Operation Olive Branch’, which was launched by the Turkish army on the Syrian town of Afrin.
Van-based journalist Idris Yılmaz, was taken into custody on 21 January following a police raid on his house in Van province. He was ordered arrested on 23 January 2018 on charges of “making terrorist propaganda”. His house has been raided by the police on 20 March 2018 and according to his wife, his family members intimidated.
On 22 January, Ishak Karakaş, editor-in-chief of Halkın Nabzı newspaper and columnist for Artı Gerçek, was taken into custody during a police raid at his home in Istanbul. An Istanbul court formally arrested Karakaş on 26 January. His social media posts criticising the Turkish military’s operation in Afrin have been used as criminal evidence.
Mezopotamya news agency reporter Seda Taşkın was detained on 22 January during a police raid on her home in Ankara. Taşkın was arrested on 23 January on “membership in a terrorist organization” charges.
On 23 January, Haydar Ergül, an editor for the Demokratik Modernite magazine, who had been in custody since he was detained at the Diyarbakır Airport on 16 January, was arrested by an Istanbul court on charges of “making terrorist propaganda” and “membership in a terrorist organisation”.
Updates
New 05 Apr 2019
On 26 March 2019, the 28th High Criminal Court of Istanbul convicted İshak Karakaş of “systematically disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and sentenced him to a prison term of 1 year, 6 months and 22 days. The court deferred the sentence.
21 Jan 2019
On 17 January 2019, the Court of appeal issued an interim decision ruling for the release of Seda Taşkın pending appeal. On 10 October 2018, the 2nd High Criminal Court of Muş had sentenced Taşkın to a total of 7.5 years in prison - 4 years and 2 months in prison for “aiding a terrorist organisation without being its member” and another 3 years and 4 months for “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation.” The decision was brought to the appellate court.
07 Jan 2019
İdris Yılmaz’s initial detention period was meant to end on 16 May 2018. He however remained in prison due to a new investigation started in February 2018, on charge of "membership in a terrorist organisation". On 3 January 2019, the Van 5. High criminal court sentenced İdris Yılmaz to a 6-year and 3-month prison sentence on this charge. On 31 December 2018 his lawyer has brought an application to the Constitutional Court.
12 Oct 2018
On 10 October 2018, Muş’ 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced Seda Taşkın to a total of seven years and six months in prison. The court sentenced the journalist to three years and four months for "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization" and four years and two months for "aiding and abetting a [terrorist] organization without being a member." The journalist is currently being held at the Sincan Women's Prison.
25 Sep 2018
On 18 September 2018, İstanbul 28. High Criminal Court ruled to lift the judicial control order that forced the defendant to give signature every week, however it rejected the request to lift the international travel ban.
09 May 2018
Editor-in-Chief of the local Istanbul daily Halkın Nabzı and Artı Gerçek columnist, İshak Karakaş, was released under judicial control measures in his first court appearance on 8 May 2018.
Follow-ups
21 Jan 2019
Relieved that Seda Taşkın was released, the OSCE Representative hopes for her acquittal on appeal.
12 Oct 2018
OSCE Representative appalled by Muş 2nd Heavy Penal Court 7.5 yrs prison sentence to reporter at Seda Taşkın for "aiding and abetting terrorist organisation as non-member".
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (2):

Idris Yılmaz, Haydar Ergül
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22 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 18 Apr 2018 Turkey

ETHA Journalists Detained and Arrested in Turkey

2 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
Following a police raid on 13 April 2018, several journalists working for the left-wing ETHA news agency, Semiha Şahin, Pınar Gayıp and Adil Demirci were detained by the authorities on charges of alleged propaganda on behalf of an illegal organisation. According to the news agency, the detained journalists were not allowed to inform their lawyers, friends or family members about their situation. On 17 April, ETHA journalist Adil Demirci living in Cologne (Germany) and visiting his family was formally arrested by a court in Istanbul on charges of alleged membership of an illegal organisation and doing propaganda for the same organisation. The ETHA agency confirms that all defendants are detained or arrested for their journalistic activities and believes that the government is aiming to silence political dissent. No access has been granted to the details of the dossier by the authorities invoking the secrecy of the judiciary. ETHA news agency counts also the following colleagues Isminaz Temel (editor), Havva Custan (reporter) and Ali Sönmez Kayar (reporter) put in jail and charged with heavy imprisonment sentence. The trial of Mesale Tolu, a Turkish-German ETHA reporter and translator was released in December 2017 is still ongoing.
Updates
New 22 Feb 2019
On 14 February 2019, the 27th High Criminal Court of Istanbul issued an interim ruling deciding to release İsminaz Temel under judicial control and adjourned the trial until 24 April 2019.
New 22 Feb 2019
On 14 February 2019, the 25th High Criminal Court of Istanbul issued an interim ruling, releasing Adil Demirci. The court imposed on Demirci a ban on leaving Istanbul. The next hearing in the case will take place on 30 April 2019.
08 Nov 2018
On 31 October 2018, the 32nd Heavy Penal Court in İstanbul ruled to release on probation reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar. An international travel ban has also been imposed on the defendant by the court.
22 Jul 2018
On 17 July 2018, a court issued an interim decision and released reporters Havva Cuştan, İsmail Geçer, Meral Tatar, Onur Binbir and Özgen Saadet, while ordering to keep editor İsminaz Temel, in jail.
20 Apr 2018
On 19 April 2018, detained ETHA journalists Adil Demirci, Semiha Şahin and Pınar Gayıp were arraigned on charges of membership of an illegal organisation and propaganda.
Follow-ups
18 Apr 2018
OSCE Media Freedom Representative worried about the arrest Etkin Haber Ajans reporter Adil Demirci, on terrorism charges and continued detention of journalists Semiha Şahin, Pınar Gayıp.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (2):

Semiha Şahin and Pınar Gayıp
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28 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 02 Jul 2018 Turkey

Journalist and Former MP Eren Erdem Detained for his Work as Editor-in-chief

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
A former Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker and professional journalist Eren Erdem was arrested on June 29, 2018 over terrorism charges.Mr Erdem was detained in Ankara after the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a warrant. He was brought to Istanbul by the police where he was arrested by the 35th Heavy Penal Court. The journalist and former member of the parliament was on trial over his work during his time as the editor-in-chief of Karşı newspaper. The prosecutor accused Erdem in the indictment for “aiding a terrorist organization without being a member,” “revealing the identity of a secret witness,” and “violating the confidentiality of a criminal investigation." Erdem, who is charged with links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), could be jailed from 9.5 years to 22 years, the indictment says. Turkish media reported on June 29 that Erdem was detained over suspicions that he would flee the country, a claim denied multiple times by Mr Erdem and reported by media outlets.
Updates
28 Jan 2019
In a letter dated 27 January 2019, Eren Erdem announced that he will go on a hunger strike as of 29 January.
08 Jan 2019
On 7 January 2019, Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office objected to the verdict of release given for Eren Erdem on the same day by the İstanbul 23rd Heavy Penal Court. Following a Court decision, Eren Erdem was re-arrested on 8 January.
07 Jan 2019
On 7 January 2019, a Turkish court released former CHP lawmaker and journalist Eren Erdem pending trial.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Eren Erdem
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07 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 06 Dec 2018 Romania

Turkish Journalist Kamil Demirkaya Detained in Romania

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ
On 5 December 2018, Turkish journalist Kamil Demirkaya was detained by the Romanian police and brought before the Court of Appeal in Bucharest on the basis of an extradition request issued by the Turkish authorities. Demirkaya was editor-in-chief of Zaman-Bulgaria media outlet between 2003 and 2011. He returned to Turkey but moved to Bucharest with his family in 2016. The extradition request is related to accusations of membership to the Gülen movement or ''FETÖ'' illegal terrorist organisation as referred by the Turkish government's lexicon. According to Demirkaya's family, the verdict should be issued on 6 December. The journalist has been living in Romania for two years now with his wife and his son, holding only a temporary residence permit. In November 2018, he filed for the extension of the residence permit, the documents are being processed by the Romanian authorities. He has no criminal record and has not committed any crime in Turkey according to documents present on the Turkish Ministry of Justice website. FAIR-MediaSind, the Romanian union of journalists, expressed its solidarity with Kamil Demirkaya and asked the authorities to release him. Romanian MEP Cristian Preda has warned that if Romania extradites the Turkish journalist, it will "lose all credibility in Brussels”. "Demirkaye runs the Zaman newspaper's Bucharest office, which criticises the Erdogan regime. Nothing is more honest,” Preda wrote on his Facebook page. He said the Romanian authorities should respect the international commitments they had made not to extradite citizens to countries where human rights are in danger, and Turkey is one such country.
Resolved
07 Jan 2019: On 7 January 2019, considering that the journalist has been released and the extradition request rejected, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
14 Dec 2018
On 14 December, a Bucharest Court of Appeal judge rejected Turkey’s request to extradite Turkish journalist Kamil Demirkaye.
State replies
20 Dec 2018
Reply from the Romanian authorities
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31 Dec 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 31 Dec 2018 Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani Journalist Ziya Asadli Held in Detention since September 2017

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Azerbaijan’s Bilasuvar district court on 5 September 2017, sentenced Ziya Asadli, regional correspondent of the independent newspaper Azadliq, to three years in prison on criminal charges of hooliganism with the use of a weapon or an object that can be used as a weapon, and ordered his immediate arrest. On 19 April 2017, Asadli was allegedly assaulted by a local teahouse’s manager, who said he had previously warned the journalist not to visit the teahouse because he was “an opposition member,” according to media reports. Asadli said that the teahouse manager attacked him, took his phone, and broke it. In response, the journalist notified police. The teahouse's manager then filed a complaint to the local police alleging Asadli assaulted him with his phone. On 3 May 2017, Azerbaijani authorities opened a criminal case against Asadli. On June 12, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the guilty verdict.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Ziya Asadli
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06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 17 Sep 2018 Bulgaria

Investigative Journalists Detained in Bulgaria

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner IPI AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Partner IPI AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Dimitar Stoyanov, a reporter for the Bulgarian investigative journalism website Bivol, and Attila Biro of RISE Project Romania, were taken into custody for several hours by authorities in Radomir, western Bulgaria, on the evening of 13 September 2018, as they attempted to prevent and document the destruction of material related to a mass fraud investigation. On 10 September 2018, Bivol had published a report detailing what it described as “large-scale and wide-spread corruption” in EU-funded projects in Bulgaria worth hundreds of millions of Bulgarian leva. The site based its findings on accounting documents from “a network of consultancy firms linked to large construction companies”. After publishing, the site began to receive tips that one of the firms cited in the report, the GP Group, was moving documentation and equipment from its headquarters in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital. The site said that it informed the authorities but that the moving continued. On 13 September, Bivol received information that the material was being destroyed near Radomir. After informing the authorities again, Stoyanov and Biro travelled to the site, where they found official documents related to EU projects being burned. Shortly after arrival, however, local police arrested both journalists and refused to release them despite being presented with press cards. Police also confiscated the pair’s mobile phones and did not allow them to make calls. They were eventually released in the early hours of 14 September and their phones were returned to them. On 14 September, the head of Bulgaria’s anti-mafia police force apologized for the incident, which he attributed to poor communication with local police, although Bivol said that members of the force with knowledge of the context were at the scene and could have intervened. Bivol also rejected the Bulgarian Interior Ministry’s claim that the journalists had only been taken in for questioning, supplying photographs of an arrest warrant.
Resolved
06 Dec 2018: On 15 November 2018, the Administrative Court of Pernik ruled that the detention orders for Bivol’s journalists Dimitar Stoyanov and Attila Biro had been illegal. On 6 December 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
28 Nov 2018
On 15 November 2018, the Administrative Court of Pernik ruled that the detention orders for Bivol’s journalist Dimitar Stoyanov and Attila Biro had been illegal.
State replies
Follow-ups
28 Nov 2018
OSCE Representative welcomes court ruling that police detention of investigative journalists Atilla Biro & Dimitar Stoyanov in Bulgaria was illegal.
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06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 20 Jun 2018 Turkey

Journalist Hakan Gülseven in Jail for an Article

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 19 June 2018, the journalist and writer Hakan Gülseven contributing for Yurt newspaper was sent to prison when he could not pay the penalty he was convicted in 2014 following his article harshly critizing the former governor of Sakarya Hüseyin Avni Coş published in Yurt newspaper on 11 November 2013. Mr Gülseven was tried for "insulting a public official for his public services" and handed down an 11 month and 20 day jail sentence, which the court later commuted to a 7,000 TL fine. The Yurt daily could not pay the fine and the verdict has now been converted to 350 days in prison.
Resolved
06 Dec 2018: On 20 June 2018, Hakan Gülseven was released. On 6 December 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
18 Jul 2018
On 20 June 2018, Hakan Gülseven was released after his friends paid for his fine.
Additional Information
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09 Nov 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 24 Sep 2018 Greece

Three Fileleftheros Journalists Detained After Defence Minister Files Libel Complaint

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Index AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ
Partner Index AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ
Three journalists from the Greek newspaper Fileleftheros were detained by police overnight on 22 September after Defence Minister Panos Kammenos filed a libel complaint against the paper over an article that alleged mishandling of EU funds intended to help Greece cope with the migrant crisis. On 23 September they appeared before a prosecutor, who ordered a preliminary investigation to be launched to determine whether libel had been committed and ordered the release of the journalists.
State replies
09 Nov 2018
Response from the Greek authorities (Ministry of Citizen's Protection)
Follow-ups
27 Sep 2018
OSCE Representative denounces arrest of Greek journalists after criminal defamation suit by Defence Minister, urges decriminalization of defamation.
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12 Sep 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 27 Apr 2018 Turkey

Arrests and Confiscation at Özgürlükçü Demokrasi Newspaper

5 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
On 28 March 2018, police raided the headquarter of the pro-Kurdish Özgürlükçü Democrasi (formerly known as Özgür Gündem) newspaper in Istanbul and its printing house arresting at least 32 journalists and media workers. The assets of the newspaper have been confiscated. On 04 April 2018, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper staff Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Pınar Tarlak, Hicran Ürün and its former staff Mehmet Beyazıt have also been detained without justification. According to Bianet, the ones from Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper who are currently in custody are: grant holder of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper İhsan Yaşar, managing editor İshak Yasul, newspaper staffs Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Nedim Demirkıran, Mehmet Ali Çelebi , Ramazan Sola, Pınar Tarlak, Hicran Ürün, former media worker Mehmet Beyazıt.
Updates
12 Sep 2018
On 12 September 2018, the case hearing of 14 employees (6 of them in detention) of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper has started before the İstanbul 23. High Criminal Court. Pınar Tarlak was released on judicial control whereas 5 other defendants will remain in detention. The hearing was adjourned until 6 December 2018.
16 Apr 2018
On 10 April 2018, Istanbul 3rd Criminal Court of Peace ordered the editors Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Reyhan Hacıoğlu and Hicran Urun and the newspaper's employee Pınar Tarlak arrested on the allegation of membership of an organisation. Ramazan Sola, Nedim Demirkıran and Mehmet Beyazit were released under judicial control.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (5):

İhsan Yaşar, İshak Yasul, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Hicran Ürün
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19 Aug 2018 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 19 Aug 2018 Germany

Reporters Detained by Police after Complaint by Anti-Merkel Protester

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ PEN
No state reply yet
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ PEN
A TV crew working for public broadcaster ZDF´s investigative political magazine programme Frontal21 were detained by police after a complaint by a participant at an anti-Merkel demonstration in Dresden, where she was visiting, Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reported.

Footage shot by the camera team and shared widely across several media outlets shows a procession of demonstrators including one man wearing a hat bearing the colours of the German flag shouting the slogan “Lügenpresse!” while looking and pointing at the camera team, which included broadcast journalists Ulrich Stoll and Arndt Ginzel. The term means “lying press” and is a widely used pejorative in the far right wing political scene to describe the mainstream media.

In the video, the demonstrator can then be seen turning back towards the team and demanding that they stop filming, claiming they are “committing a crime” by filming him without his permission, and saying “I’ll get you arrested”. The footage also shows the demonstrator near a police unit insisting the journalists accompany him to the police. Another demonstrator also demanded the filming stop and reached for the camera while another person can be seen with the police officers gesturing in the direction of the altercation.

The video resumes during the police interaction. When the journalists asked why they were being detained, an officer replied that they are obliged to investigate when there is suspicion a crime has been committed. When asked what crime, the officer was silent and made a nervous (non-threatening) gesture with his hands. When asked again later during the interaction, the officer again paused before saying that he had already explained that, which the journalists disputed on camera. In an interview with SZ, Ginzel re-iterated that “no one gave us a reason for the [detention].” The interaction lasted almost 45 minutes, according to Stoll and Grinzel.

The Saxony state police confirmed on Twitter that “media representatives at the scene were accused of a crime by reason of which the police were obliged to carry out an identity check. On conclusion of this measure the journalists could resume their work”. Police spokesperson Marko Laske, who was at the scene, added in a statement to HuffPo that the journalists’ behaviour contributed to the length of their detention. The above claims were re-iterated by the Saxony Interior Ministry, which denied there was a violation of press freedom, in a response to a question by member of the Saxony Parliament Albrecht Pallas and published on in a Facebook discussion, reported regional media blog Flurfunk.

The Prime Minister of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer of the centre-right CDU, wrote on Twitter that “The only people acting seriously in this video are police officers” which unleashed hundreds of comments accusing Kretschmer of discrediting the journalists and making an impartial investigation impossible.

“The police are not only obstructing our work, they are emboldening PEGIDA followers in their aggressive behaviour towards journalists”, Ginzel told SZ. Both Ginzel and Stoll criticised Saxony police on Twitter for acting as “the executive of PEGIDA”, a sentiment echoed by Enrico Stange, interior spokesperson for the faction Die Linke in the Saxony parliament, who said they were acting as PEGIDA henchmen, and his Green Party counterpart Valentin Lippmann who stated that the police should not allow themselves to be instrumentalised by the enemies of a free press, SZ reported.

Ine Dippamm, chair of the German Journalists’ Federation in Saxony, described the affair to national daily tabloid Bild as “shameless”, which “cannot continue”. Michael Hiller, general secretary of the federation, also condemned the officers and demanded an explanation and apology, reported SZ.
Follow-ups
20 Aug 2018
OSCE Representative for Media Freedom calls for an investigation into the temporary detention by police of ZDF team in Dresden
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08 Aug 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 15 Jun 2018 Turkey

Kurdish Journalist Berzan Güneş Arrested for Social Media Posts

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 11 June 2018, Berzan Güneş, a journalist for the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya online news agency has been put in pre-trial detention due to his social media postings as a part of an investigation by Iğdır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. The journalist appeared before the court on accusations of making propaganda on behalf of a terror group and was put behind bars later in the day. Mr Güneş’ camera and electronic devices were seized.

Berzan Güneş was detained at a police checkpoint on his way to cover a news story in the city of Şırnak. According to Turkish authorities, he was arrested on charges of “disseminating propaganda for the terrorist organization”, referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). He was taken to Şırnak T Type Closed Prison.
Updates
08 Aug 2018
On 6 August 2018, journalist Berzan Güneş was released and placed under judicial control by Iğdır criminal court. A international travel ban was also imposed on him.
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21 Jun 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 30 Jan 2018 Russian Federation

Russia: Blogger Arrested on Extortion Charges

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner CPJ RSF
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ RSF
On 19 January 2018, Russian authorities detained Aleksandr Valov, the editor-in-chief and founder of local news site BlogSochi, and, two days later, charged him with extortion. Valov ran a video livestream of his arrest during which he narrated the police breaking his door, cutting off the electricity, and beating him. BlogSochi reported that the police seized the blogger's computer, documents, and money during his arrest.

On 21 January, a Sochi court charged Valov with extorting 300,000 rubles (US$5,370) from the city's federal parliamentary deputy, Yuri Napso, according to the independent Russian television channel Dozhd (Rain). During court proceedings, the journalist pleaded not guilty and said the case was politically motivated, according to the media reports. The journalist's arrest came after he published a photo report of a beach Yuri Napso's brother Boris rented and allegedly mismanaged.
Valov faces up to seven years in prison if found guilty, his defense attorney Aleksandr Popkov told Dozhd during an interview.

On 25 January , a judge upheld a lower court's January 21 decision to detain Valov until 19 March when his trial is scheduled to begin, according to BlogSochi.
Valov said his arrest was "an attempt to shut down the major and only independent [media] project of Sochi ahead of the [18 March 2018] presidential elections and World Cup - 2018," which will take place in Russia, in an article he wrote from prison that his colleagues published on BlogSochi.

Valov has previously provoked the ire of Russian officials with his reporting. In July 2017, Yuri Napso sued Valov and a BlogSochi reporter, Vladimir Melnikov, for defamation and won, after the site published an investigation about a section of beach the politician had allegedly appropriated for a private swimming pool. Valov and Melnikov were ordered in December 2017 to pay the politician 1,000,000 rubles ($18,000) and 500,000 rubles ($9,000) respectively in damages after they lost their appeal.

In the lead-up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, BlogSochi reported on corruption among local officials, according to media reports from the time.
Updates
21 Jun 2018
Aleksandr Valov who has been in detention since January on extortion charges, was hospitalized with abdominal wounds on June 14. According to a medical report dated June 15, which was viewed by CPJ, Valov was operated on "for the penetrating wound in the abdomen" the previous day, and "his health condition did not allow him to be transported and attend" a previously scheduled hearing. On June 18, a Sochi city court held the hearing in Valov's absence and extended his detention until July 19, 2018. Speaking to CPJ from Sochi, Popkov said the case's chief investigator, Yevgeniy Sidorenko, told him at the hearing that Valov had stabbed himself with a pen in the abdomen. Popkov said he had reasons to doubt the official account of the incident. "Valov was preparing his defense and was not depressed. This incident needs to be investigated," said Popkov. While in detention, Valov had filed numerous complaints about harsh conditions in prison, including cold cells, bad food, and lack of medical care for inmates, Popkov added. The case's investigators and media representatives of the regional and local detention centers did not respond to CPJ's questions via phone about Valov's case. Popkov said he has not been able to see his client, who was transported on June 15 from a city hospital, where he first received treatment, to a prison hospital. He added that he had requested a meeting with Valov for June 20 in Sochi.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Aleksandr Valov
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20 Jun 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 20 Jun 2018 Belgium

Journalists Himad Messoudi and Julien Vlassenbroek Detained and their Equipment Confiscated

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ EBU
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Partner EFJ/IFJ EBU
On 20 June 2018, the police ordered the journalists Himad Messoudi and Julien Vlassenbroek working for the French-speaking Belgian radio and television (RTBF) and their team (three technicians, all of them staff of RTBF) to stop filming a police operation targeting protesters opposed to the detention centre for persons illegally resident in Belgium. According to the journalist’s live testimony on the public channel’s television news, which was transmitted from inside a van thanks to a smartwatch, they were deprived of their liberty and their equipment was confiscated by the police while they were exercising their duties as journalists. Later on 20 June, Mr. Messoudi announced on his twitter account that the crew was released by the police. RTBF assessed their detention as an “unjustified restriction of the right to report”.
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09 May 2018 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 09 May 2018 Russian Federation

Journalists Detained and Assaulted at Inauguration Protests

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Index AEJ EFJ/IFJ
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Partner Index AEJ EFJ/IFJ
In Russia at least 13 journalists were detained and at least six journalists were beaten during nationwide protests before Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a fourth presidential term, according to OVD-Info, Mediazona and other media.

In Moscow at least seven journalists were detained (some of them assaulted by police) and five were assaulted without detention. Dozhd TV editor Oksana Gandzyuk, Daily Storm's reporter Ilya Gorshkov and photographer Alexandr Antyufeev were taken to police vans and taken to police departments. Current Time TV reporter Aleksey Alexandrov was detained while reporting live but was released after his documents were checked. Novaya Gazeta reporter Mikhail Grebenshchikov was also briefly detained. Vedomosti photographer Evgeny Razumni was briefly detained, struck by police and had his camera broken. Photographer Aleksandr Osipov was detained and taken to a police department. He was also assaulted.

FederalPress reporter Ivan Zaloznych, MBH.Media reporter Aleksandr Skrylnikov and an unnamed reporter for Znak.com were also struck by police with batons. According to Open Russia human rights activist Polina Nemirovskaya, Skrylnikov was later diagnosed with a pulmonary laceration and hospitalised. A reporter for Agence France Presse was assaulted by activists of pro-government NOD movement (National Liberation Movement), news source The Insider reported. NOD activists tried to assault him while he was interviewing a protester, and later threw stones at him and asked the police to detain him.

A reporter for Komsomolskaya Pravda was beaten by a person dressed as a Cossack, who hit him with a whip and punched him in the face. People in Cossack attire also threatened an unnamed Mediazona reporter, telling him they would break his phone. Cossacks are generally pro-government.

In Saint-Petersburg four journalists were detained and at least one beaten by police. Fontanka.Ru reporter Tatiana Tsipushtanova, Ekho Moskvy reporter Arseniy Vesnin, Dozhd TV reporter Mikhail Nad, Mediazona reporter David Frenkel were briefly detained. A Flashnord reporter was beaten by police during the protest dispersal.

In Yakutsk Egor Karpov, an editor for local newspaper Vtornik, was detained. In Krasnoyarsk journalist Vladimir Perekotiy was detained.D
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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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