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18 Sep 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 18 Sep 2018 Italy

Minister Di Maio Threatens to Reduce Indirect Public Funding to the Press

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
The Vice President of the Italian Council of Ministers and leader of the 5-star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, wrote on Facebook on 12 September 2018 that "newspapers (...) now pollute the public debate every day and the worst is that they are doing it with public money." Di Maio said he was planning "a reduction of indirect public contributions" to the press in the next state budget. He added that he was "preparing a letter to state-owned companies to ask them to stop paying newspapers" by buying advertising space. The National Federation of Italian Journalists (FNSI) denounced the minister's announcement, saying his proposal amounted to intimidation and was aiming at establishing a "one-track thinking" favorable to the government in the media.
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17 Sep 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
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
No state reply yet
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.
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17 Sep 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 03 Sep 2018 Spain

A Telemadrid Cameraman Assaulted by Protesters in Barcelona

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
On 29 August 2018, in Barcelona, several participants in a demonstration organised by the party Ciudadanos assaulted a cameraman from Madrid's public broadcaster Telemadrid. Protesters hit him several times in the head. The attackers thought that the cameraman was working for the Catalan public broadcaster TV3. They kept on shouting "Go away TV3!" during the assault. The cameraman filed a complaint with the local police. The works councils of Telemadrid and TV3 issued a joint statement denouncing the aggression and the climate of hostility towards media workers.
State replies
17 Sep 2018
New Reply from the Spanish authorities (in French)
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17 Sep 2018 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 17 Sep 2018 Turkey

Turkey : New Cumhuriyet Board Sacks Journalists

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index
No state reply yet
Partner Index
Several journalists were dismissed and others resigned following a change of management at Cumhuriyet, Turkey's oldest up-market daily, which has in the past been known for its critical stance towards the AKP government, the Bianet news website reported.

The appointment of a new executive board on 7 September 2018 to run the Cumhuriyet Foundation, which owns the daily, was followed by a major restructuring of the paper's editorial staff and columnists, signalling a radical shift in editorial policy.

The new president of the Cumhuriyet Foundation and the daily's new editor-in-chief have both acted as state witnesses against Cumhuriyet journalists in a trial in which prosecutors claimed the paper had aided the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed Kurdish group designated as a terrorist organisation in Turkey, and the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of being behind the failed July 2016 coup attempt.
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14 Sep 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 21 Aug 2018 Greece

Journalist Stratis Balaska Threatened by Golden Dawn Members

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Greek journalist Stratis Balaska has been under online and verbal attacks by persons aligned with neo-nazi movement 'Golden Dawn' concerning his journalist work on refugees. On 12 August 2018, the journalist reported to have been threatened on the street at the port of Mytilon by three men, who he said belong to the extremist group. On 15 August, Balaska was verbally attacked by another person while covering a fire that erupted at the Tsamakia city park. On 16 August, after publishing an editorial concerning Mytilon's chapel of Virgin Mary and its significance to refugee women, an online attack was coordinated against him inciting harassment, death threats and calling for "punishment he deserves". Balaska filed a complaint with the police authorities, which resulted in the arrest of three police officers and a military officer for the coordinated online attack. Overall 15 people have been named for prosecution in regards to the online threats against the journalist.
State replies
14 Sep 2018
New Reply from the Greek authorities (Response from the Ministry of Citizen's protection)
29 Aug 2018
New Response of the Greek authorities (Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights)
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14 Sep 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 03 Oct 2016 Russian Federation

Ukrainian Journalist Held on ‘Spying‘ Allegations

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
The authorities in Russia arrested Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko who is believed to be currently detained in the Lefortovo prison in Moscow, according to human rights organisations. Media reports in Russia said that the 47-year-old Paris correspondent for the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform since 2010 was arrested on his arrival in Russia and was charged with spying, a charge that the agency has strongly refuted.

The journalist’s family had been without news of him for two days, after he left Paris for a private visit to Moscow during his leave. Suchchenko reportedly complained that he had been put under psychological pressure and was not allowed to contact his wife to inform her about his arrest.
Updates
New 14 Sep 2018
On 12 September 2018, the Supreme Court of Russia rejected the appeal by Roman Sushchenko against his 12-year prison sentence on charges of spying. The journalist announced his intention to file an application with the ECHR.
04 Jun 2018
On 4 June 2018, a Moscow city court sentenced Roman Sushchenko to 12 years in a strict-regime prison on espionage charges
05 Apr 2018
On 27 March 2018, Moscow City Court extended the term of Roman Sushchenko's detention in custody for six months, until 16 September 2018. An appeal was filed against this decision.
24 Jan 2018
On 24 January 2018 a Moscow Court extended Sushchenko’s detention until 30 March 2018.
16 Oct 2017
Between November 2016 and September 2017, Courts extended several times the pre-trial detention term of Roman Sushchenko. The last extension runs until 30 November 2017.
30 Nov 2016
On 28 November 2016, the Lefortovo District Court ordered to extend the pre-trial detention of Mr Sushchenko until 30 January 2017
Follow-ups
14 Sep 2018
New OSCE Representative reiterates call to release journalist Roman Sushchenko, following Russian Supreme Court upholding his sentence
05 Jun 2018
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, deplored the sentencing of Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko to 12 years in prison in the Russian Federation, and reiterated his call to release the journalist.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Roman Sushchenko
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13 Sep 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 16 Nov 2015 United Kingdom

UK Draft Bill on Surveillance Threatens Protection of Journalists' Sources

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19
On November 2015, a draft bill on surveillance was introduced to the British Parliament by Theresa May, Home Secretary of the UK. Designed to reinforce the investigative powers of the police and intelligence services, the text grants to police forces, tax inspectors and other public servants the power to access data related to communications’ traffic (including internet communications) without prior judicial review. Dunja Mijatović, OSCE Representative for Media freedom said: “The proposed bill provides for a wide expanse of surveillance activities that could fundamentally alter the way the state protects the freedom to seek, receive and impart information. (…) Any legislation that allows government snooping must be narrowly drawn and include guarantees, as a basic pre-condition for investigative journalism”. Journalists of the Guardian daily called for the revision of the draft bill nicknamed ‘snooper’s charter’ : “If sources understand they can be identified in this way they will be reluctant to risk dismissal (or possibly prosecution) to pass on information”.
Updates
01 Feb 2018
On 30 January 2018, Appeal Court judges ruled the mass digital surveillance regime foreseen by the Investigatory Powers Act illegal. According to the judges, this regime lacked adequate safeguards around accessing personal data, including the absence of “prior review by a court or independent administrative authority”.
29 Nov 2016
On 29 November 2016 the Investigatory Powers Bill received Royal Assent, thus officially becoming law.
18 Nov 2016
On 17 November 2016, the House of Lords has passed the Investigatory Powers Bill. The House of Lords' agreement to the text means that it just awaits Royal Assent to become law.
07 Mar 2016
The UK Government introduced proposals to Parliament, revising the draft Investigatory Powers Bill. The Parliament is expected to review the re-drafted Bill and pass the final version by the end of 2016, when the current legislation governing surveillance laws expires.
State replies
15 Dec 2015
Follow-ups
17 Sep 2018
New OSCE Representative welcomes landmark decision by European Court of Human Rights on Investigatory Powers Act in the United Kingdom
13 Sep 2018
New On 13 September 2018, the ECHR ruled that the bulk interception regime and the regime for obtaining communications data from communications service providers violated both article 8 and article 10. With regard to article 10, the Court stressed that there were insufficient safeguards in respect of confidential journalistic material. It further found that the regime for sharing intelligence with foreign governments did not violate either Article 8 or Article 10. This judgment is not final.
18 Nov 2016
OSCE Representative warns of negative consequences for investigative journalism when Investigative Powers Bill becomes law in the United Kingdom
17 May 2016
Commissioner publishes Memorandum on surveillance in the UK
10 Nov 2015
OSCE media freedom representative urges caution and further consideration of new Investigatory Powers Bill in the United Kingdom
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
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13 Sep 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 10 Feb 2017 Malta

Malta Economy Minister Issues four Libel Suits and Warrants Against Blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
Malta Independent journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia is having her bank accounts frozen with precautionary warrants for 47,460 EUR after a court upheld on 8 February 2017 a request by Maltese Economy Minister Chris Cardona and his consultant Joe Gerada to issue garnishee orders alongside four libel suits they have filed against her.

The journalist is sued for publishing on her blog an article reporting that both men visited a brothel in Velbert (Germany) while on government business. Cardona has denied the allegation.

According to media reports, the effect of the precautionary warrants on her assets means her bank accounts will remain frozen until the case is concluded and that could take many years.

In a statement published on her blog, Daphne Caruana Galizia denounced an attempt to gag the press. The Institute of Maltese Journalists called on the minister to reconsider his action, highlighting the exaggerated nature of the legal action.
Updates
New 13 Sep 2018
34 libel proceedings remained open against Caruana Galizia after her assassination on 16 October 2017 and are pending before the domestic courts. Among them, one case brought by Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat; two cases brought by Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi; two cases brought by the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Keith Schembri; one case brought by former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Alfred Mifsud; one case brought by the head of Malta's 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting task force Phyllis Muscat; and 19 cases brought by businessman Silvio Debono.
16 May 2018
A new revised Media and Defamation Bill enacted on 13 May 2018 decriminalises defamation. In addition to abolishing criminal libel, the Act removes references to offending “public morals or decency”, prevents plaintiffs from filing garnishee orders against journalists and only allows applicants to file one libel suit per story.
31 Mar 2017
On 11 March 2017 Silvio Debono, owner of real estate investment company DB Group, filed 19 libel cases against journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Galizia published a number of articles about Debono cutting a deal with Malta's government to take over a large tract of public land in a high value coastal area on which he plans to build a Hard Rock Hotel and two towers of flats for sale. In her statement, Daphne Caruana Galizia said that the libel suits are all about the same subject, "taking advantage of the fact that the law allows them to sue for each comment, article or blog post even if the subject matter and the author are the same." “The cases will drag through the courts, it will cost me around €8,000 merely to file my responses, and anybody else would have been intimidated into submission,” she added.
Follow-ups
16 May 2018
OSCE representative welcomes decriminalization of defamation in Malta, urges dismissal of civil defamation lawsuits against Caruana Galizia’s heirs
16 Feb 2017
OSCE Representative for Media Freedom urges authorities in Malta to protect independent journalists and free expression
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12 Sep 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 12 Sep 2018 Turkey

Austrian Journalist Max Zirngast Detained in Turkey

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
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).
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 (1):

Max Zirngast
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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
New 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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03 Oct 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 11 Sep 2018 Greece

Journalist Anthi Pazianou harassed by extreme-right groups

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
Greek journalist Anthi Pazianou has been under continuous harassment and verbal attacks by extreme-right groups online and on the streets because of her reporting on refugee issues in the Mitilini island. On 7 September, the journalist was harassed online after sharing a photograph on Facebook together with refugee football team Cosmos in Moria Community after covering their story with colleagues Vaggelis Papantonis and Ignatis Tsiknis, from local newspaper Lesvos Embros. Her photograph was shared by leader of extreme-right movement George Hatziklidaras demeaning and questioning her status as a journalist. The comments under photograph included sexual harassment and questioning credibility of journalist's reporting. On 6 September, Pazianou experienced a wave of insults after reporting on a Greek 9-year-old girl who was attacked by four men and later hospitalized, because they mistook her for a refugee. Pazianou has filed a police complaint concerning the attacks. Four men confessed being involved. Two of them were detained for a short time and released on 9 September.
State replies
03 Oct 2018
New Reply from the Greek authorities (Ministry of Citizen's protection)
Follow-ups
12 Sep 2018
New OSCE Representative calls on authorities to fully investigate case of journalist Anthi Pazianou.
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11 Sep 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 27 Aug 2018 Bosnia and Herzegovina

BN TV Correspondent Attacked by Two Masked Persons in Banja Luka

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 26 August 2018, two masked persons attacked BN TV correspondent, Vladimir Kovačević, in front of the building where he lives, in Banja Luka.

Kovačević was going home after reporting about the latest protest organised in Banja Luka by the group “Justice for David”, calling on the authorities to uncover the truth about the murder of a young student from Baanja Lulla. According to the journalist, the two unknown perpetrators were waiting for him and beat him up with metal rods. The journalist was seriously injured and was taken to the hospital in the evening.

The attack was reported to the police and an investigation has been launched.
Updates
New 11 Sep 2018
On 10 September 2018, police arrested a suspect over the attack on Vladimir Kovačević.
Follow-ups
11 Sep 2018
New OSCE Representative welcomes that one of attackers responsible for severe beating of journalist Vladimir Kovačević in Banja Luka has been arrested and will continue closely following further investigation.
27 Aug 2018
New OSCE Representative condemns physical attack against journalist in Bosnia and Herzegovina and urges swift investigation
27 Aug 2018
New Shocked by the violent assault on Vladimir Kovačević, the CoE Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the authorities of Republika Srpska to identify and punish those responsible for the attack.
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07 Sep 2018 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 07 Sep 2018 Czech Republic

Czech President Expresses Regret That Journalists Not Yet Extinct

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index
No state reply yet
Partner Index
Czech President Milos Zeman launched an attack on Czech journalists, saying that although their intelligence was on the same level as that of the dodo, unlike the dodo they were not yet an extinct species.

In a speech delivered to a gathering of Czech diplomats on 29 August 2018 and broadcast by Czech TV, Zeman said: "I am convinced that the intelligence of Czech journalists is sometimes on the level of the dodo, a creature that used to live on Madagascar (sic), but which was rightly wiped out. It hasn't yet been possible to wipe out Czech journalists."

Zeman's remarks - which are only the latest in a series of comments he has made denigrating and threatening journalists - provoked an outcry in the Czech media and on social media platforms. Michal Kubal, the head of foreign news at Czech TV, pointed out on Twitter that the president's remarks had come 190 days after the murder of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his partner.
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06 Sep 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 09 Aug 2018 "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"

Amendments to the Electoral Code Empower State Election Commission to Issue Fines to Media for ‘Unbalanced Reporting'

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Several amendments to the Electoral Code were passed on 25 July 2018 by the Macedonian Parliament in a fast-track procedure, as a result of a political agreement between the leaders of the four main political parties. An amendment to the Electoral Code empowers the State Election Commission to register and monitor online media reporting on the elections. In addition, the Article 181a of the law provides for fines of up to 4,000 Euros to traditional and online media for their “unbalanced or impartial reporting”. The Association of Journalists of Macedonia, the Independent Union of Journalists and Media Workers and the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia have criticised the new Electoral Code as an interference by public authorities in the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas during electoral campaigns and in their editorial independence.

The associations of journalists recalled that while the media have a duty to inform the public in a fair and professional manner, this can be achieved through self-regulatory measures, setting out guidelines, codes of conduct and professional standards, rather than through decisions of politically-appointed electoral bodies.
State replies
06 Sep 2018
New Reply from the authorities of “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
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06 Sep 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 20 Jan 2017 Russian Federation

Russian Journalist Aleksander Sokolov Held in Detention since July 2015

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
Aleksander Sokolov, a Russian journalist who was working for the RBC Media Group at the time of his arrest, has been held in detention since July 2015. Human Rights groups and media freedom organisations declared the journalist to be a political prisoner.

Sokolov was arrested while he was helping to create a website for a group called “For Responsible Government” (IGPR “ZOV”), accused to revive an association banned in 2010 for extremism, “People’s Will Army”. The group IGPR “ZOV” was campaigning for a referendum to amend the Russian constitution so that politicians could be held accountable under criminal law.

Sokolov was initially charged for publishing “extremist content” and trying to “destabilize the government.” The second of these charges was subsequently dropped for lack of evidence and the main charge was changed to “organizing a terrorist group”.

Sokolov is the author of a thesis on public funds embezzlement and is an expert on these issues. His last article was about the embezzlement of public funds in the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome. His claims have been corroborated by the Russian Court of Accounts in December 2015, when it announced the discovery of “financial irregularities” in connection with this project and gave an estimate for the amount embezzled that was close to Sokolov’s own figure – around 93 billion roubles (1.27 billion euros).
Updates
New 06 Sep 2018
Alexander Sokolov was released on 28 August 2018. He remains under judicial control.
21 Dec 2017
On 21 December 2017, the Moscow Court of Appeal upheld Sokolov` sentence to three and a half years of detention.
11 Aug 2017
On 10 August 2017 Aleksander Sokolov was sentenced by a Moscow court to three and a half years imprisonment on extremism charges.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (0):

Aleksander Sokolov
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05 Sep 2018 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 24 Aug 2018 Bosnia and Herzegovina

Republika Srpska President Accuses Journalist of “Destroying Regional Political Structures"

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
On 21 August 2018, Milorad Dodik, president of Republika Srpska, one of the two semi-autonomous regions that comprise Bosnia and Herzegovina, accused Dino Jahić, editor-in-chief of Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS), of “destroying regional political structures with money from international organisations," South East European Network for Professionalization of Media (SEENPM) reported.

Dodik's accusations were made at a press conference in Banja Luka after he was asked by reporters about the CINS database containing real estate records of properties owned by Bosnian politicians, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) said.

SEENPM reported that the real estate records research was conducted by Bosnia's Center for Investigative Journalism, and not the Serbia CINS, where Jahić is editor. The published data showed that Dodik and his family members own 13 properties, including four apartments, two houses and a total of 260,000 sqaure metres of land.

Dodik’s press conference was followed by a campaign from several government-aligned news outlets that sought to undermine and smear CINS and Jahić, SEENPM said. A defamatory article -- “Dirty affairs of Soros’s instructor” -- first appeared on the news website Infosrpska.ba. Later, it was republished by the more influential Radio Televizija Republike Srpske, official Republika Srpska news agency SRNA and Banja Luka-based Alternativna televizija.

SEENPM said all the article stated a range of lies about Jahić: "He instructs Hungarian students to be against the country's prime minister, Viktor Orban, and that has $38 million from international sources".

"By stating incorrect information and putting them in a wrong context, Dodik directly jeopardised the safety of Jahić, other newsroom members, and their families," CINS said in its written reaction published on their website.

"It is shameful and very detrimental that media outlets, especially those financed from taxpayers’ money, use this manner to label individuals and turn them into targets," SEENPM said.

CINS said on its website that, in consultation with lawyers, they will take legal actions against Dodik and will inform all relevant domestic and international institutions about the latest developments.
Updates
New 05 Sep 2018
Dino Jahić has been facing insults and death threats for around two weeks on social networks. According to the Independent Journalists' Associations of Serbia, the threats appeared right after a statement issued on 21 August 2018 by the President of the Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik. The verbal attacks took the form of disparaging comments but also hate speech regarding Jahić's origin, as well as explicit death threats, such as "someone should make a hole in his skull". Some of the journalist's colleagues were also targeted.
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04 Sep 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 14 Aug 2018 Romania

Journalists Beaten by Riot Police During Bucharest Protest

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
Several journalists have been beaten by the Romanian riot police during the violent clashes between the police and anti-government protesters in Bucharest on the evening of 10 August 2018. Romanian gendarmes assaulted and verbally attacked with no reason journalists covering the protest around Victoriei Square, in Bucharest. Cases of physical attacks were reported by journalists Robert Mihăilescu (Hotnews.ro), Cristi Stefanescu (DW) and Vlad Ursulean (Casa Jurnalistului), by photojournalists Ioana Moldovan (Documentaria.ro) and Silviu Matei (Agerpres) and by reporter Cristian Popa and cameraperson Cristi Ban (Digi24 news TV). A camera operator of the Austrian public television operator ORF, Robert Reinprecht, was also beaten by the riot police after the square was cleared. The clashes left 452 wounded, including journalists. The Romanian union of journalists MediaSind issued a statement calling on Romanian authorities to sanction "the gendarmes who acted illegally and those who gave the orders."
Follow-ups
16 Aug 2018
Greatly concerned by violence against journalists during recent protests, the OSCE representative calls on authorities to swiftly investigate the incidents.
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31 Aug 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 31 Aug 2018 Albania

Shots Fired at Family Home of Albanian Investigative Reporter

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
During early hours of 29 August 2018, house of Albanian investigative reporter Klodiana Lala’s parents was sprayed with automatic gunfire by an unidentified person, according to the BalkanWeb news website and several Albanian sources.

The local police authorities have launched an investigation, but the perpetrators are yet to be identified. The journalist believes the attack is related to her work as a crime reporter.
State replies
Follow-ups
31 Aug 2018
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative strongly condemns shooting at family home of journalist in Albania, calls on authorities to urgently address case
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28 Aug 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 14 Sep 2017 Montenegro

Journalist Vladimir Otasevic Faced Insults and Death Threats

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index RSF
A Montenegrin journalist working for Dan daily newspaper, Vladimir Otasevic, reported that the Prime Minister's brother, Velizar Markovic, had threatened his safety during a phone call on Monday 11 September 2017. In the conversation, Otasevic was asking for the phone number of the Prime Minister's other brother when Markovic insulted and verbally threatened him, saying that he shouldn't be surprised if someone ended up dead at the end. According to a Balkan Insight report, Markovic also alluded to the 2004 killing of the Dan newspaper editor Dusko Jovanovic.
Updates
28 Feb 2018
On 25 January 2018, the prosecutor rejected the charges levelled by Vladimir Otasevic against Velizar Markovic.
State replies
Follow-ups
13 Sep 2017
OSCE media freedom representative calls on authorities in Montenegro to swiftly investigate death threats against journalist.
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28 Aug 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 10 Jan 2017 Azerbaijan

Mehman Huseynov Sentenced to Two Years on Defamation Charges

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI RSF
On 9 January 2017, Mehman Huseynov, a blogger and journalist, was detained in Central Baku by plain clothed police officers and held incommunicado overnight. Mehman has reported that while in police custody, police placed a sack over his head and used force against him.

On 10 January, he was taken to Nasimi District Court, where he was tried on charges of disobeying the police (Article 535.1 of the Administrative Offences Code), which carries a sentence of up to 30 days in jail. The Court released him; however, he was fined 200 AZN (approx. 100 EUR).

Huseynov is well known for his investigative journalism, focused on corruption among the Azerbaijani elite. Most recently, he had posted pictures online of luxury properties, which he said were owned by government officials. He has long been subject to pressure by the authorities, and has been under a travel ban for several years.
Updates
28 Aug 2018
On 14 August 2018, Mehman Huseynov asked for a conditional detention, a request that was rejected by the Garadargsky District Court on 24 August.
28 Jun 2018
On 25 June 2018, Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court rejected the second appeal by Mehman Huseynov, upholding his prison sentence for defamation.
18 Dec 2017
On 15 December 2017 the Baku Court of Appeals upheld the verdict against Huseynov, confirming his two year sentence for libel.
29 Sep 2017
On 29 September 2017 the Supreme Court of Baku partially granted Mehman Huseynov`s appeal, sending the case back to the Court of Appeals.
12 Apr 2017
On 12 April 2017, the Court of Appeals upheld the two years sentence against Mehman Huseynov.
03 Mar 2017
On 3 March 2017, Mehman Huseynov was sentenced to two years in prison on defamation charges (article 147.2 of the Criminal Code – defamation regarding a very serious crime) by the Surakhani district court. He was arrested in the courtroom. Nasimi district police chief filed the defamation charges against Huseynov, claiming the blogger lied when he stated following his release in January that he had been beaten by the police, demanding that he stopped his blogging activities. Mehman Huseynov is the first person to be convicted for slander in Azerbaijan.
Follow-ups
07 Mar 2017
OSCE Freedom of Media Representative and Human Rights chief call for release of blogger and human rights activist in Azerbaijan
03 Mar 2017
CoE Commissioner for Human Rights calls the two-year sentence against Mehman Huseynov in defamation case "appalling".
11 Jan 2017
CoE Human Rights Commissioner expresses his worries at reported ill-treatment, arrest, fine of blogger Mehman Huseynov.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Mehman Huseynov
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14 January 2016

Polish Law on Public Service Broadcasting Removes Guarantees of Independence

12 January 2016

Cumhuriyet Journalist Canan Coşkun Faces 23 Years in Prison for Alleged Insult

11 January 2016

Journalist Beyza Kural Briefly Detained and Threatened with Violence by Police While Covering Protest

11 January 2016

'Today's Zaman' Journalist Bülent Keneş Arrested

8 January 2016

ABC News Cameraman Attacked and Detained for Three Hours by Police

5 January 2016

Polish Law on Public Service Broadcasting Removes Guarantees of Independence

15 December 2015

Imprisonment of Two Senior Editors of the Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

15 December 2015

UK Draft Bill on Surveillance Threatens Protection of Journalists' Sources

7 December 2015

Imprisonment of Two Senior Editors of the Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

3 December 2015

Imprisonment of Two Senior Editors of the Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

1 December 2015

Kurdish Daily Attacked, Doors Broken and 32 Journalists Interrogated

30 November 2015

Imprisonment of Two Senior Editors of the Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

30 November 2015

Two Turkish Journalists, Cevheri Güven and Murat Çapan, Charged with "Inciting Armed Rebellion"

27 November 2015

Imprisonment of Two Senior Editors of the Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

27 November 2015

Imprisonment of Two Senior Editors of the Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

27 November 2015

Imprisonment of Two Senior Editors of the Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

25 November 2015

Turkey: Seizure of Media Holding, with Police Raids and Temporary Closure of Two Major Television Channels, Days Prior to Elections

24 November 2015

Serbian Journalist Predrag Blagojević Assaulted by Police at a Music Festival over Identification

17 November 2015

Detention of the Vice News Fixer Mohammed Ismael Rasool

17 November 2015

Hürriyet Journalist Ahmet Hakan Threatened and Attacked

16 November 2015

Police Used Teargas Against a Group of About 30 Journalists

12 November 2015

Three Media Staff Assaulted at Pegida Rally

12 November 2015

Journalist Attacked in Paris by Members or Supporters of the Jewish Defense League

12 November 2015

Serbian Investigative Journalist Ivan Ninić Suffers Brutal Attack

10 November 2015

UK Draft Bill on Surveillance Threatens Protection of Journalists' Sources

30 October 2015

Turkey: Seizure of Media Holding, with Police Raids and Temporary Closure of Two Major Television Channels, Days Prior to Elections

30 October 2015

Turkey: Seizure of Media Holding, with Police Raids and Temporary Closure of Two Major Television Channels, Days Prior to Elections

30 October 2015

Turkey: Seizure of Media Holding, with Police Raids and Temporary Closure of Two Major Television Channels, Days Prior to Elections

23 October 2015

Spanish Public Security Law Threatens Freedom of Press

22 October 2015

Journalist Seyithan Akyüz Sentenced to more than 22 Years

22 October 2015

Art and Literature Journalist Erdal Süsem Serving Life Sentence in Turkey

22 October 2015

Left-Wing Female Journalist Hatice Duman Serving Life-Time Imprisonment in Turkey

22 October 2015

Journalist Kenan Karavil Sentenced to more than 19 Years

22 October 2015

Alawite Journalist Miktat Algül Sentenced to 61 Years in Turkey

22 October 2015

Journalist Mustafa Gök Serving Life Sentence in Turkey

22 October 2015

Journalist Erol Zavar, Suffering from a Cancer, is Serving Life Sentence in Turkey

22 October 2015

Turkish Cartoonists Bahadır Baruter and Özer Aydoğan Found Guilty of Insulting President Erdoğan

22 October 2015

Police Violence Against a Journalist Covering Protests in Turkey

22 October 2015

Newspaper Editor Prosecuted for Insulting the President over Reports about a Judicial Corruption Probe

22 October 2015

Dutch Journalist Charged with ‘Terrorism’ in Turkey

14 October 2015

'Today's Zaman' Journalist Bülent Keneş Arrested

1 October 2015

Hürriyet Journalist Ahmet Hakan Threatened and Attacked

1 October 2015

Hürriyet Journalist Ahmet Hakan Threatened and Attacked

24 September 2015

Georgian TV Channel Rustavi 2 Faces Crippling Court Measures in Civil Case

17 September 2015

Ukraine Bans 38 European Journalists and Bloggers over “National Interest, Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity"

17 September 2015

Ukraine Bans 38 European Journalists and Bloggers over “National Interest, Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity"

15 September 2015

Turkish Special Operations Team Attacks Journalists Covering the Transfer of Injured Police Officer to a Hospital

9 September 2015

Serbian Investigative Journalist Ivan Ninić Suffers Brutal Attack

8 September 2015

Journalist Fired over Tweets Critical of Erdoğan

1 September 2015

Trumped-up Charges to Silence an Investigative Journalist in Azerbaijan

1 September 2015

Trumped-up Charges to Silence an Investigative Journalist in Azerbaijan

1 September 2015

Trumped-up Charges to Silence an Investigative Journalist in Azerbaijan

28 August 2015

Murder of Azerbaijani Journalist Rasim Aliyev

28 August 2015

Attacks and Intimidation on Journalists Covering Workers’ Strikes in Turkey

28 August 2015

Meydan TV Director Emin Milli Threatened for Critical Reporting on European Games

27 August 2015

DIHA Journalist Cüneyt Yavuz Injured in Tear Gas Canister Attack During Clashes Between Police and Protesters

27 August 2015

Turkey’s Chief Prosecutor Seeks 7.5 Year Jail Term Against 18 Journalists over Siege Picture

27 August 2015

LGBT Journalist Beaten by Police Officers

25 August 2015

Serbian Journalist Predrag Blagojević Assaulted by Police at a Music Festival over Identification

21 August 2015

Trumped-up Charges to Silence an Investigative Journalist in Azerbaijan

11 August 2015

Journalists Beaten and Arrested while Covering Protest Demonstration

10 August 2015

Murder of Azerbaijani Journalist Rasim Aliyev

3 August 2015

Journalist Sergei Ilchenko Jailed on Extremism Charges in Moldova’s Transdniester Region

9 July 2015

Journalist Lukasz Masiak Beaten to Death

30 June 2015

Electoral Coverage under Political Control in Spain

24 June 2015

French Journalist at the Origin of LuxLeaks Revelations Charged in Luxembourg

1 June 2015

Journalist Seymour Hazi Sentenced on Hooliganism Charges

1 June 2015

Trumped-up Charges to Silence an Investigative Journalist in Azerbaijan

1 June 2015

Journalist Nijat Aliyev Sentenced to 10 Years in Jail in Baku

1 June 2015

Senior Journalist Araz Guliyev Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison in Azerbaijan

1 June 2015

Trumped-up Charges and Trial Without Due Process to Silence an Azerbaijani Journalist

1 June 2015

Independent Senior Journalist Parviz Hashimli Jailed in Azerbaijan

1 June 2015

Media Freedom Activist Emin Huseynov Charged with Tax Evasion and Abuse of Power

21 May 2015

Slovenian Investigative Journalist Anuška Delić Charged over “Intelligence Material”

20 May 2015

France Legalises Mass Surveillance of its Citizens

15 May 2015

Two Danish Journalists Prosecuted for Exposing a Public Health Hazard

15 May 2015

Spanish Public Security Law Threatens Freedom of Press

12 May 2015

Administrative Blocking of Websites "Inciting Terrorism"

12 May 2015

France Legalises Mass Surveillance of its Citizens

6 May 2015

France Legalises Mass Surveillance of its Citizens

28 April 2015

French Journalist at the Origin of LuxLeaks Revelations Charged in Luxembourg

22 April 2015

Macedonian Journalist Faces Death Threat

13 April 2015

Slovenian Investigative Journalist Anuška Delić Charged over “Intelligence Material”

13 April 2015

France Legalises Mass Surveillance of its Citizens

2 April 2015

Forced Closure of Crimean Tatar-Language Media Outlets

2 April 2015

Forced Closure of Crimean Tatar-Language Media Outlets

22 January 2015

Investigative Journalist Sergei Reznik Handed a 3-Year Jail Term for ‘Insults’ Charges in Russia

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