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19 Mar 2018 Lvl. 2
No reply yet
Alert created on: 19 Mar 2018 Spain

Impunity for Police Officers who Attacked Journalists

Source of threatState
CategoryImpunity
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Several Spanish journalists' organisations (FAPE, FeSP and FSC-CCOO) denounce the judicial impunity enjoyed by police officers who assaulted three journalists while they were covering an arrest following an anti-monarchy demonstration held in Madrid on 29 March 2014. Three regular contributors to the online daily eldiario.es, Gabriel Pecot, Mario Munera and Juan Ramón Robles, were assaulted by police while covering the event. The journalists had immediately filed a complaint that was dismissed without further action. Following an appeal against this first judicial decision, on 24 May 2017, the provincial prosecutor's office considered that there was no evidence that the police had prevented the exercise of freedom of information by the journalists present. On 13 March 2018, Madrid investigating court no. 46 ruled the limitation period for this case had come to an end. According to the court, the only police officer formally identified by the Justice did indeed strike two journalists on the arms and neck, but the facts were then considered as time-barred. The journalists' lawyers are accusing the provincial prosecutor of deliberately delaying the analysis of the case in order to exceed the expiry date of the limitation period.
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12 Mar 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 26 Feb 2018 Slovak Republic

Slovak Investigative Journalist Killed at Home

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ INSI IPI RSF
Partner Index Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ INSI IPI RSF
Investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, who had been reporting on tax fraud, was shot dead at his home, news website Dennik N reported, citing the Interior Ministry. According to Dennik N, the murder took place in the journalist’s house in the village of Veľká Mača 5 km east of the capital Bratislava, some time between 22 and 25 February 2018 . Kuciak was shot in the chest and his fiancée was shot in the head. Kuciak worked for Slovak news website Aktuality.sk.
State replies
27 Feb 2018
Statement of the Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the Council of Europe
Follow-ups
16 Mar 2018
Following his country visit in the Slovak Republic, the Commissioner calls for a prompt and effective investigation in the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak in order to identify and punish the perpetrators, but especially those who ordered the murders. He also calls for an urgent public discussion about media freedom.
02 Mar 2018
OSCE media freedom representative calls for full and transparent investigation of journalist’s murder at meeting with Slovak Prime Minister Fico
01 Mar 2018
PACE President condemns murder of investigative journalist in the Slovak Republic
26 Feb 2018
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media representative strongly condemns murder of investigative reporter Kuciak in Slovakia
26 Feb 2018
"If death of investigative reporter Jan Kuciak is linked to his journalism, it would be an unprecedented attack on freedom of the press and democracy".
26 Feb 2018
Human Rights Commissioner: "I will raise the issue during upcoming visit to the country."
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23 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
Resolved
Alert created on: 19 Feb 2018 Serbia

Journalist Philippe Bertinchamps Threatened with Expulsion in Serbia

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
In February 2018, Philippe Bertinchamps, a Belgrade-based Belgian journalist working for various French-speaking media outlets is threatened with expulsion after the Serbian interior minister (MUP) rejected his second request for a temporary residence permit. If deported, the journalist will be separated from his family living in Serbia. The authorities are accusing him of being an "obstacle to public order and national security". Mr. Bertinchamp's application for a temporary residence permit on preservation of familiy unity grounds was rejected by the MUP in April 2017 and again on 8 January 2018 with no explanation. A Serbian administrative court ruled in his favour in November 2017, agreeing the authorities needed to provide grounds for their rejection of his appeal. Mr. Bertinchamps has been covering Serbia and Western Balkans for the last ten years without ever coming into conflict with the law.
Resolved
23 Feb 2018: In light of the developments of 19 February 2018, which allowed the journalist to remain in the country, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be ”resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
19 Feb 2018
On 19 February 2018, Philippe Bertinchamps was delivered a residence visa for a year.
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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23 Feb 2018 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 20 Jun 2016 Serbia

Radio Journalist and Presenter Found Dead in Home

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index AEJ EFJ/IFJ
Partner Index AEJ EFJ/IFJ
Journalist and radio host Luka Popov from northern Serbia was found dead in his home in Srpski Krstur on Friday 17 June 2016. According to Serbian daily Blic, Popov’s body was found with visible injuries and he had been presumably “tortured and murdered”. The police are currently investigating the circumstances behind the death.

The Serbian Journalist associations NUNS and UNS, and journalist association of Vojvodina DNV have urged the authorities to thoroughly investigate the circumstances around the journalist’s death. The OSCE has condemned the murder. The OSCE’s representative on freedom of the media, Dunja Mijatović, said that the investigation "must be carried out in a swift and thorough manner." "The authorities must do their utmost to bring the perpetrators of this horrific murder to justice.” Luka Popov was the host of radio programs in the towns of Coka and Novi Knezevac.
Resolved
23 Feb 2018: On 21 June 2016, following the arrest of three individuals who confessed to the murder of Popov during an attempted burglary not related to his journalistic activities, the partners of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
21 Jun 2016
Following a swift investigation, three people have been arrested in connection with the crime.
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
20 Jun 2016
OSCE Representative welcomes arrests following murder of journalist in Serbia, praises police swift action.
17 Jun 2016
OSCE media freedom representative condemns murder of journalist in Serbia, calls on authorities for swift and thorough investigation.
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23 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 25 Aug 2015 Serbia

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

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Predrag Blagojević, editor of the Juzne Vesti website was the victim of police violence at a music festival on the night of Saturday 15 August 2015. Blagojević, who had previously received threats, recounted the incident to media, saying that a police officer at the festival asked for his identity. When the journalist presented his international accreditation card, the officer took him to a police van and hit him twice on the head, warning the reporter “not to act smart”. Blagojević was also prevented from using his phone to contact anyone who could confirm his identity. He was later taken to the local police station where officers finally checked his papers.
Following media reports of this attack and the outrage by the journalists’ unions, the chief of police in Nishville, Srdjan Grekulovic, announced the launch of an investigation into the incident.
State replies
24 Nov 2015
Reply from the Republic of Serbia provided by the Ministry of Interior
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
25 Aug 2015
OSCE media freedom representative calls for full investigation into police attack on journalist in Serbia
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23 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 04 Apr 2016 Serbia

Serbian Journalist Stevan Dojčinović Target of a Smear Campaign

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Stevan Dojčinović, an investigative journalist and editor-in-chief of KRIK (Crime and Corruption Reporting Network), working for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), was the target of several attacks, over the last months, in Serbian pro-governmental media, including the tabloid Informer. Dojčinović has been accused of collaborating with foreign secret services and there have been attempts to smear his reputation by publishing rumours about him cooperating with drug dealers and criminals. Civil Rights Defenders has condemned the attacks. “Particularly disturbing is the fact that the campaign was initiated by the act of current journalistic research and not an actual published story, which indicates that someone monitors the work of KRIK. This is an intolerable situation and must immediately stop”, said Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders. The Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS) also condemned the "lynch campaign conducted by Informer against the portal Krik.rs", and urged the Ministry of the Interior to investigate whether the information that Informer holds was received from the state authorities.
State replies
21 Nov 2016
Reply from the Republic of Serbia provided by the Ministry of the Interior
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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23 Feb 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 23 Mar 2016 Serbia

Investigative Journalists Receive Several Death Threats, Broadcaster Claims

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner Index
Partner Index
Several death threats have been sent to journalists at the investigative journalism portal insajder.net which is owned by broadcaster B92.The threats have been sent via email to several reporters over a week's time, between 14 and 22 March 2016. They have also been received by Insajder’s editor-in-chief Brankica Stankovic and B92’s editor-in-chief Veran Matic. Both have been under police protection for years due to serious threats. Due to a pending police investigation no details of the threats have been revealed, according to Veran Matic. The Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS) condemned the threats and is urging the authorities to identify and prosecute the people responsible.
Updates
23 Mar 2016
Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic announced on 23 March 2016 that a person has been arrested for threatening Brankica Stankovic and Veran Matic.
State replies
21 Nov 2016
Reply from the Republic of Serbia provided by the Ministry of Interior
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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23 Feb 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 07 Sep 2015 Serbia

Serbian Investigative Journalist Ivan Ninić Suffers Brutal Attack

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
27-year-old Investigative journalist Ivan Ninić was attacked on 27 August 2015 in front of his home as he was locking his car in the parking lot. Two young men beat him with metal rods. The journalist suffered a hematoma under his eye, severe bruising to the thigh bone and an injury to the right shoulder. The incident, which has been condemned by all journalists’ organisations in Serbia including the three IFJ/EFJ affiliates, the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS), the journalists’ union of Serbia (SINOS) and the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS), has been reported to the police.

According to Union of Serbian Journalists (UNS), Ivan Ninić has published approximately 300 articles and investigative stories, a large number of which were published on the anti-corruption website Pistaljka. He also participated in the writing of the Anti-corruption Council’s Annual Report on the ownership structure and control of the media in Serbia. Ninić is also the Executive Director of "Center for the rule of law", a Serbian NGO which is about to launch its online platform.
State replies
12 Nov 2015
Response of the Serbian Government (Ministry of Interior)
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
09 Sep 2015
Statement of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
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16 Feb 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 24 Feb 2017 Turkey

"Die Welt" Correspondent in Turkey Deniz Yücel Detained

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
No reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
Germany daily Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel was taken into custody in Istanbul on 14 February 2017. Mr Yücel, who holds both German and Turkish citizenship, is accused by Turkish authorities of being a member of a terrorist organisation, spreading propaganda and misusing information, charges refuted by the defendant as well as media organisations. The journalist had reported – like six other journalists working for national news outlets detained at the end of December 2016 – on emails that the hacker collective RedHack had acquired from the private email account of Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak who is President Erdoğan's son-in-law. The emails allegedly revealed media outlets' control and the use of fake Twitter accounts to influence the public in favour of the ruling AK party.
Updates
16 Feb 2018
On 16 February 2018, a criminal court in Istanbul ordered the release of Deniz Yücel pending trial. On the same day, prosecutors presented an indictment seeking up to 18 years in jail for the journalist on charges of "spreading terrorist propaganda" and "stirring enmity".
30 Mar 2017
On 30 March 2017, following the rejection of the appeal, Yücel’s lawyers filed a complaint at the Constitutional Court.
28 Feb 2017
On 27 February 2017, Deniz Yücel was arrested after an Istanbul court ordered him to be jailed pending trial. His lawyers have appealed against his detention.
Follow-ups
16 Feb 2018
OSCE Media freedom representative welcomes the release of Deniz Yücel, adding that all charges against him should be dropped.
19 Oct 2017
On 10 October 2017, the Commissioner for human rights intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the detention of journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey
02 Mar 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media calls on Turkey to decriminalize journalistic work following arrest of Die Welt journalist
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15 Feb 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 08 Aug 2017 Russian Federation

Novaya Gazeta Correspondent to be Deported

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Index CPJ EFJ/IFJ RSF
No reply yet
Partner Index CPJ EFJ/IFJ RSF
Journalist for independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Khudoberdi Nurmatov, also known as Ali Feruz, was detained by police on 1 August 2017 and is now set to be deported back to Uzbekistan, his native country following a decision of the Basmannyi district court in Moscow.
Nurmatov said a police officer stopped him on the street asking for his documents and then ordered him to get into the police car. At the station, officers filed out papers stating that he violated immigration laws. Nurmatov was also fined 5000 rubles (80 euros).
Nurmatov has been based in Russia since 2011 after fleeing Uzbekistan where he was allegedly detained and tortured by officers from the National Security service for refusing to secretly collaborate with them. In May 2016 and in February 2017, Russia refused to grant the journalist temporary asylum.
Friends and supporters are worried that he could be abducted by Uzbekistan security forces. Human Rights organizations documented several cases of Uzbek citizens who had been seeking asylum or had been granted refugee status have gone missing in Moscow in recent years only to reappear some time later in Uzbek jails.
Nurmatov wrote articles on Uzbek domestic policy and the conditions in which Central Asian immigrants live in Moscow. Human Rights organisations believe that sending Khudoberdi Nurmatov back to Uzbekistan would put him in great danger as his journalistic activities and defence of human rights expose him to the worst in a country where torture is systematically used.
According to the journalist's lawyer Daniil Khaimovich, Nurmatov attempted to commit suicide in a hallway at the court house. Before trying to cut his wrists the journalist told his lawyer "I would rather die than return to Uzbekistan". He was later taken to a deportation centre in Moscow. He was allegedly beaten during his transfer to the deportation centre and sustained significant injuries.
Updates
15 Feb 2018
On 15 February 2018, Ali Feruz was on his way to a third country after a Moscow court allowed him to travel to any country outside his native Uzbekistan.
09 Feb 2018
On 9 February 2018, the Moscow Basmanny Court ruled that Ali Feruz has the right to file an application requesting to leave Russia for a third country.
02 Feb 2018
On 2 February 2018, a Moscow court allowed Novaya Gazeta’s journalist Ali Feruz to leave Russia.
24 Jan 2018
On 24 January 2018 Russia’s Supreme Court partially accepted Nurmatov's appeal, cancelling his deportation order and ruling that his case must be sent back to the Moscow City Court for revision.
22 Nov 2017
On 21 November 2017, the Basmanny District Court of Moscow fined Nurmatov for "illegal work" in Russia and ordered his deportation. His deportation however remains suspended following the issuing of an interim measure by the European Court of Human Rights.The deportation process will remain halted while his case is reviewed by the ECHR.
23 Oct 2017
On 20 October 2017, a Moscow district court turned down Nurmatov's claim against the Russian Interior Ministry’s immigration department for refusing to grant him asylum.
08 Aug 2017
A Moscow City Court ruled on 8 August 2017 that Nurmatov cannot be deported until the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) examines his complaints. The ECHR issued an interim measure on 4 August barring his transfer to Uzbekistan for the duration of the proceedings before the Court. Interim measures are urgent measures which, in accordance with the established practice of the European Court of Human Rights, apply only where there is an imminent risk of irreparable damage (http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/PD_interim_measures_intro_ENG.pdf).
Follow-ups
27 Jan 2018
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir welcomes Russian Supreme Court decision as positive step, calls for release of Ali Feruz.
08 Aug 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media closely following appeal against deportation of journalist Ali Feruz with hope for a positive outcome.
08 Aug 2017
Commissioner for Human Rights calls "on the Russian authorities to release Mr Nurmatov from the temporary detention facility and to ensure that he is provided with all the necessary procedural safeguards in the context of the administrative proceedings in question".
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14 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 08 Jul 2016 Germany

New Proposed Law Set to Increase the Power to Surveil Foreign Journalists

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
A prospective draft was signed off by the Government on 28 June 2016 and will be read in Parliament on 8 July 2016. The new proposed legislation could allow the foreign intelligence service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) to increase their power to surveil foreign journalists abroad.

According to the German branch of Reporters without Borders (Reporter ohne Grenzen), the law makes protection from surveillance dependent upon nationality. German citizens would not be subject to surveillance, EU citizens could be to some extent, but citizens from other countries would be at risk whenever Germany’s “capacity to act” needs to be safeguarded or if “insights into foreign and security policy may be of relevance”.

Managing director of Reporter ohne Grenzen, Christian Mihr, said “up until now, each BND law contains an explicit exception for journalists from surveillance regulations. The new BND law, however, does not include any such provisions.”
Updates
14 Feb 2018
Journalists, trade unions and rights groups have lodged a constitutional complaint against the BND law arguing that it is unconstitutional as it allows for the "virtually unrestricted" monitoring of foreign reporters.
21 Oct 2016
On 21 October 2016, Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, approved the reform bill on the country’s main intelligence agency (BND).
State replies
Follow-ups
12 Jul 2016
Surveillance amendments in new law in Germany pose a threat to media freedom, OSCE Representative says. She asks Bundestag to reconsider bill.
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12 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 18 Oct 2017 Iceland

Injunction Prohibiting Media from Reporting on the Financial Dealings of Iceland Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
The District Commissioner of Reykjavík issued an injunction on 16 October 2017 against media outlets Stundin and Reykjavík Media, prohibiting them from doing any future reporting on the financial dealings of Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson and his family with Glitnir bank just before the economic collapse of Iceland in October 2008. The case has drawn sharp criticism from the Journalists’ Union of Iceland and Stundin’s editor considering that the injunction goes against press freedom and freedom of expression in Iceland.
The editor of Stundin has learned of the injunction when their offices received a visit from representatives of the District Commissioner and Glitnir demanding to delete all previous reporting that they had done on the Prime Minister’s time as an MP, to hand over all documentation that contributed to this reporting, and to cease all future reporting on the subject referring to concerns on the confidentiality of financial information.
State replies
12 Feb 2018
Follow-ups
19 Oct 2017
OSCE media freedom representative concerned about ban on reporting about Icelandic bank
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12 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 27 Jul 2016 France

France 2 TV channel sued in a Commercial Court by the Bolloré Group

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
On 22 July 2016, the Bolloré Group announced that it would seek a settlement of 50 million euros in damages from France 2 before the Paris Commercial Court as a result of the rebroadcasting on 21 July of the programme “Complément d'enquête” (Further investigation) that covered Vincent Bolloré and the group's activities in Africa. Broadcast for the first time on 7 April, the TV investigative report had displeased the businessman who accused France 2 of fabricating false testimonies. Particularly contentious is the part of the investigation filmed in Cameroon, on a palm oil plantation. In this part, an employee, described as a miner, denounces his working conditions. In a statement, the Group declared that the programme was "damaging to its commercial interests" and that the broadcasting of the TV investigative report was characteristic of " a demonstrated willingness to harm." The amount of damages sought and the recourse to a the Commercial Court – as opposed to a court of civil justice - are previously unseen. These litigation lawsuits could be aiming to serve as a deterrent to journalists and the media to dissuade them from investigating the activities of Vincent Bolloré and the Group Bolloré.
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12 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 12 Nov 2015 France

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

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
On 22 October 2015, David Perrotin, journalist at Buzzfeed France, was attacked by around ten militants participating in a rally against the coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by Agence France Presse (AFP). The meeting was organised, among others, by the Jewish Defense League (JDL). In the early evening, David Perrotin came to the headquarters of the AFP, Place de la Bourse in Paris, to follow the event. After having discovered the presence of the reporter, activists decided to attack him. "Around ten young people, obviously members or supporters of the JDL, approached him wearing masks and hoods" says the editor of BuzzFeed France, Cécile Dehesdin. "Ten youngsters insulted him before chasing him and then beating him." Following police intervention, the journalist was sheltered in the headquarters of the AFP, which was protected by a row of policemen. David Perrotin filed charges against X the next day.
Follow-ups
12 Nov 2015
OSCE Representative raises concern over attack of Buzzfeed journalist and threats to storm AFP offices in France, welcomes swift police action
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12 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 12 Nov 2015 France

Around Ten Journalists from France Télévisions Assaulted by Residents

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 9 November 2015, around ten journalists working for public channels France 2 Bordeaux and France 3 Aquitaine were attacked by residents while following members of the Bird Protection League (LPO) during an operation against chaffinch poaching in the Landes. The journalists, as well as members of the LPO, were insulted and assaulted. A photo journalist from France 2 Bordeaux was jostled; his camera was stolen and hidden in a home of one of the residents. Tires were punctures on vehicles owned by the two channels. The altercation, lasting about fifteen minutes, required police intervention, during which the camera was returned to the journalist. The National Union of Journalists (SNJ) confirmed that "France 2 correspondents filed a complaint against assaults and threats, illicit "confiscation" of the camera, as well as vehicle damage".
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09 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
No reply yet
Alert created on: 09 Feb 2018 France

The Weekly Challenges Convicted for Publishing an Article on the Financial Difficulties of an International Group

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
No reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
On 25 January 2018, the business weekly Challenges was condemned by the Paris Commercial Court to remove an article published on its website which covered the consequences of the financial difficulties of the French company Conforama.

The article was published on 10 January 2018 and is titled "Exclusive: Conforama reportedly placed under an ad hoc mandate". Conforama attacked Challenges in summary proceedings on 16 January 2018, citing the Commercial Code to claim that the article had tarnished its reputation. Challenges pleaded "the right to information of the public on a subject of general interest" and claimed that “any decision to the contrary would amount to “illegal censorship in a democracy."

In its judgment, the court ruled that "the contentious information cannot be considered as information of the public on a subject of general interest, given that Challenges magazine is addressing an educated audience from the economic and business world, which is demonstrated by the lack of dissemination of this information in the television, radio and written media that are targeting the widest possible public”.

The weekly has appealed against the court's ruling.
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09 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 12 Nov 2015 France

Programme Cancellation and Dismissal Threats Within the French Channel Canal+

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
On 23 September 2015, the collective "Informing is not a crime,"Civil Society of Multimedia Authors (SCAM), Association of Albert Londres Prize, “editorial watchdogs” from 13 media companies, the National Union of Journalists (SNJ ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published an open letter for the Superior Council of the French Audiovisual (CSA) on the eve of the hearing of Vincent Bolloré, Chairman of the Vivendi Supervisory Board. Vincent Bolloré is a majority shareholder of the Vivendi Group and owner of the Canal+ television group. The signatories of the open letter believe that the "principle of the media editorial independence was trampled on many occasions by the main shareholder of Canal+ Group, Vincent Bolloré." Two documentaries of Canal+, one devoted to Crédit Mutuel and the other to Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, have been cancelled for no apparent reason. A report on the Olympic of Marseille for the show "Enquêtes de foot" has been removed from the website. A documentary on BNP Paribas, validated by the Investigative Committee of Canal+, seems to be currently frozen. After expressing concerns about the editorial independence of the channel, two members of the Editorial Board (Deputy Editor of the magazine “Special Investigations”, Jean-Baptiste Rivoire, and Director of “Zapping”, Patrick Menais) were called to "a preliminary interview of a possible dismissal". This procedure was suspended at the last moment.
Updates
10 May 2017
On 10 May 2017, the 2016 dismissal for "gross misconduct" of Patrick Menais, former director of "Zapping" on Canal +, was nullified by the Minister of Labour.
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
Disclaimer
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09 Feb 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 03 Jun 2016 France

Journalists Victims of Police Violence During Demonstrations

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
An upsurge in police violence against journalists has been observed since mid-May during demonstrations against the new labour laws. On 17 May, Joël Labat, cameraman, was the target of a teargas grenade shot at close range. On 26 May, an independent photographer was seriously wounded at the end of a demonstration in the vicinity of the Court of Vincennes, hit in the head by a sting grenade. On 31 May, in Rennes, a photographer was forced under threat to wipe his equipment clean of images. On 2 June in Rennes, the forces of order were violent with four journalists and damaged their equipment: Vincent Feuray, an independent photographer, Jérémie Verchère, photographic journalist and Bruno Van Wassenhove, a cameraman for the television channel, France 3, were beaten with truncheons. A reporter from the private television channel M6, was also thrown to the ground. These journalists could all be clearly identified (Press cards, helmets and branded cameras). They claim to have been deliberately attacked by the police.
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08 Feb 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 03 Oct 2016 France

French Satellite Provider under Pressure to Remove Kurdish Med Nûçe TV

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Eutelsat SA, the French satellite provider hosting over 6000 televisions channels, has notified its intention “to remove immediately” Med Nûçe TV, a Kurdish language television channel broadcasting from Belgium, from its transponder because “the content is not in line with public order directives of the terms between us as well as with the laws which regulate TV distribution in Europe and surrounding countries”. According to EFJ sources, Eutelsat SA has been put under pressure by RTÜK (Turkish Radio Television Supreme Council) to remove the signal of Med Nûçe TV considered as a pro-PKK television channel by Turkish authorities. It follows on the banning by Türksat, at the request of the Turkish government, of around 20 TV channels and radio stations under the state of emergency.
Updates
07 Jun 2017
Eutelsat, following on a request received from the Turkish Radio Television Supreme Council, has notified on 14 April 2017 its intention to remove the signals of Channel News, Ronahi TV and Sterk TV, three television channels broadcasting from EU countries to Kurdish-speaking audience from its transponder because “the content in which statements are made by the leaders of the terrorist organisation called as PKK/KCK”. In an urgent notice sent to the Slovenian service provider STN, Eutelsat writes "you shall stop any transmission within one hour of request of Eutelsat (...) we hereby officially request that you remove the television channels 'Sterk TV and Ronahi TV' from the multiplex you operate in accordance with our agreement".
22 Nov 2016
On 14 November 2016, the Paris Commercial Court ordered Eutelsat to re-establish the broadcasting of the TV channel Med Nûçe.
18 Nov 2016
On 14 November 2016, the Paris Commercial Court condemned Eutelsat SA for removing the signal of Newroz TV, on 11 October 2016. The French satellite operator was ordered "to re-establish the broadcasting of programmes" under a penalty of 10.000 € per day of delay.
11 Oct 2016
On 11 October 2016, Eutelsat removed the signal of Newroz TV, a Kurdish language television channel broadcasting from Sweden, after receiving a direct request from the Turkish Radio Television Supreme Council. Newroz TV is accused by the Turkish authorities of spreading propaganda for the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK). It is the second Kurdish TV channel to be dropped by Eutelsat in one week. On 3 October, the signal of Med Nûçe TV was also removed and the channel was no longer accessible to viewers.
03 Oct 2016
On 3 October 2016, Eutelsat removed the signal of Med Nûçe TV and the channel is no longer accessible to viewers.
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08 Feb 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 07 Apr 2017 France

French Journalists and Magistrates Subject to Death Threats

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner RSF CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner RSF CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index
On 6 April 2017, French independent newspapers 'Le Canard Enchainé' and 'Mediapart' received death threat letters accompanied with a 22 calibre long rifle bullet from a group called "Epuration 2J". Posted from Marseille, those letters are intended to warn journalists of both newspapers : "Vigilance and protection don't last Ad Vitam... This day/We will be there/For you/or/one of your relatives".

The anonymous letter addressed to Mediapart shows a coffin marked with the letters E-P, recalling the initials of the newspaper's founder Edwy Plenel, and the sentence "Judges and journalists all the same". A similar letter was sent to 'Le Canard Enchainé' and four magistrates. According to Mediapart, Eliane Houlette, chief of the national financial prosecutor's office and three judges in charge of the investigation on the "Fillon" case (french presidential candidate) were targeted.

The public prosecutor's office in Paris launched an inquiry for "death threats".
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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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