Journalists Stripped of Press Accreditation and Victims of Police Violence During the G20 in Hamburg

Update: 06 Sep 2017 State replied
Year 12 Jul 2017 Country Germany Category Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
12 Jul 2017 Germany Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 2

During the G20 summit that took place in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July 2017, at least 32 journalists were stripped of their press accreditation. Among them, 9 journalists were deprived of the accreditation that they had initially been granted, and 23 journalists were placed on a no-access list for the G20 press centre. On 7 July, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) confirmed on Twitter that, in accordance with the Federal Press Office, it had decided to reserve the right to withdraw in some cases accreditation from journalists. According to the Government Spokesperson Steffen Seibert, this decision was justified by “security reasons”. A photographer for the daily newspaper Weser Kurier had his press accreditation revoked “without any explanation”, the newspaper reported. Another photographer working for the same outlet was also stripped of his accreditation after taking pictures of the protests in Hamburg and “has not received any response as to the reason why, despite inquiring about it”, according to the same newspaper. The two main German journalist associations, DJV and dju in ver.di have contested these restrictions. Furthermore, in the context of the summit, numerous journalists have been victims of police violence while covering the protests taking place in the city. Freelance journalist Flo Smith, who was on the scene on 7 July, has reported that he and his colleagues were insulted by police officers and hit with tear gas, despite the fact that they were identifiable by their cameras and press cards. Newspaper Taz reported a dialogue between a police officer and a journalist during which the journalist was subjected to threats and insults. Other journalists also reported being victim of attacks by protesters.

State replies

06 Sep 2017 : Response by the German Federal Government

CONTACT US

Follow us   

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”.
Twitter feed Twitter feed
Thematic factsheets Thematic factsheets



Thematic factsheets Thematic factsheets



Partners Partners

CONTACT US

Follow us