Media freedom alerts

 

Publication Ban Imposed on News Related to a Money Laundering Investigation in Italy Involving Erdoğan's Son

Update: 26 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 04 Aug 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Alert level Level 2
04 Aug 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Level 2
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The Istanbul 9th Criminal Court of Peace blocked Gazeteport, BBC Türkçe, The Independent and Diken’s coverage of the money laundering investigation launched in Italy against Bilal Erdoğan, the Turkish President's son. The blocking request was made by Bilal Erdoğan's attorney on July 26 and approved a few hours later. The court decreed the articles about Bilal Erdoğan "cannot be considered within the limits of freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the right to information and criticism, but qualify as a violation of personal rights". The money laundering investigation followed accusations in February 2016 by Murat Hakan Uzan, a businessman and an opponent to President Erdoğan, who alleged that Bilal Erdoğan brought large amounts of money to Italy in September 2015 without declaring this to the authorities.

Follow-ups

26 Sep 2017 : The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.

New Anti-terrorism Law Allows Blocking of Online Media

Update: 26 Sep 2017 State replied
Year 23 Jun 2016 Country Poland Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner Index , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
23 Jun 2016 Poland E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Index , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ Level 2

A new anti-terrorism law came into effect on 22 June 2016 after it was ratified by the Polish President Andrzej Duda. The law was successfully passed by two parliamentary chambers of the Sejm earlier this month. The law gives Poland’s intelligence agency, the ABW (Agencja Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego), the right to “order the blocking or demand that the electronic open source service administrator block access to information data”, thereby giving the agency the right to shut down online media outlets, including websites and television programmes, Kulisy24 reported. Websites can be blocked for up to five days prior to obtaining permission by higher prosecution authorities, and up to 30 days if permission is granted, with the option to renew it for up to three months. Authorisation for a temporary access ban can also now be granted by the minister of justice. The legislation does not grant power to the source administrator to appeal against such a decision. Watchdog website Kulisy24 criticised the legislation, writing that it is not known how blocking will be executed and that the ABW is not obliged to publish its blocking order. The Polish NGO Fundacja Panoptykon started a petition against the law in late April and collected just short of 8,690 signatures by 20 June. Together with the NGO e-Państwo, it also published a protest letter addressed to the Polish president, which was shared by a number of media and NGOs, including the Helsinki Foundation of Human Rights.

State replies

Follow-ups

26 Sep 2017 : The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.

Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer

22 Jun 2016 : Opinion on the Act of 15 January 2016 amending the Police Act and certain other Acts, adopted by the Venice Commission at its 107th Plenary Session (Venice, 10-11 June 2016)

A Court Orders the Blocking and Closure of Information Websites and Users’ Profiles on Twitter

Update: 26 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 28 Sep 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Alert level Level 2
28 Sep 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Level 2
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In a judgment dated from 2 August 2016, the Criminal Court of Gölbaşı (Ankara) ordered the prohibition of access to 33 Internet addresses (17 Twitter accounts, 1 Facebook account and 15 information sites, including profiles and sites managed by journalists) on the grounds of "protecting people’s right to life and safety, the property of others, national security or the maintenance of public order." The court’s judgment considers that the sites in question are "promoting terrorism, violence or are inciting to commit crimes that threaten public order or national security." Contrary to these allegations, several of the sites in question which are managed by professional journalists, according to the European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ), provide essential information about the purges launched following the aborted coup of 15 July and the ongoing violations of media freedom in Turkey.

Follow-ups

26 Sep 2017 : The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.

Video Hosting Site DailyMotion Permanently Blocked in Russia

Update: 26 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 16 Feb 2017 Country Russian Federation Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ Alert level Level 2
16 Feb 2017 Russian Federation E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Article 19 , AEJ Level 2
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Video-hosting platform DailyMotion has been permanently blocked in Russia after allegations of copyright infringement were brought against the company by ‘Pyatnitsa’ TV channel. The platform, owned by French company Vivendi, is the third most popular video sharing site in the world, and has approximately 5 million users in Russia. ‘Pyatnitsa’, which is owned by Gazprom Media, first brought charges against DailyMotion in March 2016 for hosting video clips of its programmes without permission. As a result, specific URLs were blocked by court order on two occasions in 2016. Under repeat infringement legislation intended to combat piracy, in force since 2015, the site was added to a list of repeat offenders and ordered to be blocked by Moscow City Court in December. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s regulatory body with oversight of online content, implemented the decision in January 2017. Representatives of Daily Motion have said that the company was unaware of any ongoing court procedure and would “take all necessary steps to make contact with relevant authorities in Russia to resolve the issue.”

Follow-ups

26 Sep 2017 : The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.

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

Update: 26 Sep 2017 State replied
Year 05 Nov 2015 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
05 Nov 2015 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1

On 3 November 2015, an Istanbul court charged and imprisoned, Cevheri Güven and Murat Çapan, respectively the publisher and the editor of a weekly magazine Nokta. The detention pending trial is officially based on a serious charge: "incitement to armed rebellion against the government." The latest issue of Nokta featured the following headline on the cover: "Monday, 2 November 2015, the beginning of a civil war in Turkey." Remaining copies of the magazine have been seized by the police and Nokta's website has been blocked. Murat Çapan has already been prosecuted for "insulting the president" and "terrorist propaganda" after publishing on Nokta’s cover page on 14 September 2015 a picture of President Erdogan taking a ‘selfie’ beside a soldier’s coffin. Alert : 1 detention

Updates

24 May 2017 : On 22 May 2017, the İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court sentenced Cevheri Güven and Murat Çapan to 22 years and 6 months imprisonment for “inciting people to armed revolt against the Turkish government.” and issued arrest warrants. On 24 May 2017, Murat Çapan was detained along with seven other people while attempting to illegally leave Turkey for Greece, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Güven is currently living in exile.
30 Dec 2015 : On 29 December 2015, an Istanbul court ruled for the release of Nokta magazine's editor-in-chief, Cevheri Güven, and its chief news editor, Murat Çapan, pending trial.

State replies

30 Nov 2015 : Response of the Turkish Government (information provided by the Ministry of Justice)

Follow-ups

26 Sep 2017 : The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.

Ukraine Blocks Russian Social Networks and Expands Economic Sanctions Against Russian Companies

Update: 26 Sep 2017 State replied
Year 23 May 2017 Country Ukraine Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
23 May 2017 Ukraine E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Article 19 , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 2

On 15 May 2017, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko issued Presidential Decree 133 which imposes sanctions on 1228 individuals and 468 legal entities based in Russia, the occupied Crimea, and non-government controlled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Among the entities affected are some of the largest Russian-owned Internet companies and social networks, including Yandex, Mail.ru, Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. According to the decree, Ukrainian internet service providers will be required to block access to these sites for a period of three years. The websites blocked by the Presidential decree are in the top ten most popular websites in Ukraine. According to statistics provided by SimilarWeb, 17.55% of unique visits to VKontakte and 15.15% to Odnoklassniki come from within Ukraine. Yandex.ua, a search provider and e-mail client and the fifth largest website in Ukraine, received 215 million visits over the past six months. The statistics also show that more than 50% of Ukrainians use Vkontakte. The decree also lists and updates the sanctions, asset freezes and broadcast bans imposed on the Russian TV channels and adds the Russian-based RBC TV to the sanctions list. A number of human rights organisations called the decree a disproportionate measure restricting access to information but Ukrainian officials have defended the measure as a matter of national security, given that the country is a victim of disinformation, propaganda campaigns and cyber-attacks, which use the data on Ukrainian users stored on the Russian social networks.

State replies

17 Jul 2017 : Reply from the Government of Ukraine

Follow-ups

26 Sep 2017 : The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.

Azadliq Newspaper Stops Publishing in Azerbaijan After Arrest of Financial Director

Update: 26 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 18 Jan 2017 Country Azerbaijan Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 1
18 Jan 2017 Azerbaijan E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 1
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Azadliq, the main opposition newspaper in Azerbaijan, has been forced to stop publishing following the arrest of their financial director, Faiq Amirov, and ongoing financial pressures from state-owned or affiliated companies. Faiq Amirov was arrested on 20 August 2016 on charges of “inciting religious hatred” and “infringing the rights of citizens under the pretext of conducting religious rites”, after police allegedly found materials produced by Fethullah Gülen in his apartment and car. He is currently being held in pre-trial detention, accused of being an imam in the Gülenist movement. Rights groups believe the charges to be unfounded and politically-motivated; while Amirov has denied that the Gülenist materials are his, believing that the police planted them among his belongings. Amirov faces between two and five years in jail if convicted. According to his lawyer, Amirov has been denied medical treatment while in jail. Azadliq has long faced financial pressures, which have been exacerbated by Amirov’s arrest, resulting in the paper’s inability to pay the state owned printer a 20,000 manat (approx. 10,000 EUR) debt. The printer subsequently refused to work with the paper, and it has not been published since September 2016. Azadliq was unable to pay this debt on two grounds: first, Azadliq’s bank have refused to recognize Azadliq’s new financial director, meaning that the newspaper cannot access its funds. Second, according to a newspaper spokesperson, Azadliq was owed and 70,000 manat (approx. 35,000 EUR) by the state-owned distribution company GASID. Since being forced to stop publishing, the online version of Azadliq has reportedly faced repeated attempts to block access to the website. According to Qurium, the hosting provider of Azadliq’s website, there have been five incidences since November 2016 in which they recorded repeated attacks on the site, affecting the site’s ability to load, significantly restricting the ability of people inside Azerbaijan to access the site. In the most severe incident, on 15 December 2016, the site was fully unreachable within Azerbaijan. The site is continuing to experience DDOS attacks.

Updates

15 Sep 2017 : On 15 September 2017, the Baku Court of Appeal decided to release Faiq Amirov and place him on a three-year probation.
26 Jul 2017 : On 24 July 2017, a Baku court sentenced Faiq Amirov to three years and three months in prison. He was also fined 39,000 manats (20,000 euros).

Follow-ups

26 Sep 2017 : The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.

Serbian Weekly ‘Vranjske Novine’ Closed Following Administrative Harassment

No reply yet
Year 25 Sep 2017 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
25 Sep 2017 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 2
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Serbian weekly Vranjske novine will cease publishing, announced founder and editor-in-chief Vukasin Obradovic on 18 September. The paper claims it has been subject to intense political and economic pressures, including financial inspections allegedly aimed at compromising its finances. According to the Independent Journalists’ Association (NUNS), Vranjske novine has been subjected to political and economic pressure since its creation in 1994, as the weekly is known for revealing abuse of public office, such as corruption and organised crime. Obradovic, his family and his colleagues experienced multiple non-investigated instances of harassment and persecution, ranging from repeated direct threats, car tampering, offices robbed, to inspections and controls leading to the economic suffocation of the newspaper, peaking this year. A recent attempt to inspect Vranjske beginning on 16 August 2017, was followed by an unexpected financial inspection on 4 September. NUNS states that although the inspections are legitimate, the question is whether they were prompted by the publication of an interview with a former Vranje Tax Authority head. Soon after the publication, Obradovic was warned off the record, to expect an inspection with the intention of harassing the newspaper. He wrote in an open letter to the tax administration authority published on 21 September, that Vranjske has been operating in accordance with the law since its creation. Vukasin Obradovic received many awards for his investigative work. In 2009, he was awarded OSCE media personality of the year. He was also President of NUNS, between 2010 and February 2017.

Journalists from Magločistač News Portal Receive Death Threats

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Year 21 Sep 2017 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
21 Sep 2017 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index , RSF Level 1
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On 4 September 2017, journalists and media workers working for the Serbian Subotica Magločistač news portal received explicit death threats following the publication of an article entitled “We are all Gosa workers, and all the rulers are Labans” (Svi smo mi radnici Goše, a vladari Labani). The team of journalists was threatened with harsh words in the comments section. The article referred to the death threats made by Bogdan Laban, the mayor of Subotica, directed against one of his party colleagues, Magločistač news portal reported about that event.

Political Appointments to Head Spanish and Catalan Public TV Channels

Update: 21 Sep 2017 State replied
Year 16 Mar 2016 Country Spain Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
16 Mar 2016 Spain E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

On 8 March 2016, the Board of Directors of the Spanish public channel RTVE decided to appoint as director, Eladio Jareno, a former head of communication for the Catalan Popular Party. The Spanish Federation of Journalists' Unions (FeSP), in a statement, condemned this decision that is likely to reinforce governmental control over the national public channel. On 28 February 2016, the Union of the Journalists of Catalonia (PSC) in the same manner deplored political appointments within the new leadership of Catalan public media (TV3 and Catalunya Radio), entrusted to individuals with known allegiance to parties forming the Catalan government coalition, namely the ERC and CDC. Journalists' unions are calling for legislative reforms aimed at guaranteeing the independence of public media from the interference from political parties, notably by making possible the appointment of public media board members by a qualified vote of the Parliament.

State replies

Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer

Azerbaijani Journalist Elchin Ismayilli Sentenced to 9 year in Prison

Update: 18 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 23 Feb 2017 Country Azerbaijan Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 1
23 Feb 2017 Azerbaijan B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 1
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On 17 February 2017, Elchin Ismayilli, founder and editor of Kend.info, an on-line news portal known for its reporting on corruption and human rights violations in the Ismayilli region of Azerbaijan, was detained by police. He is accused of threatening a local government employee, and has been charged with extortion and abuse of a position of influence. Ismayilli denies all the charges. On 18 February, the Nasimi District court sentenced Ismayilli to pre-trial detention for an initial period of 24 days. Ismayilli is currently being held in the Kurdakhani pretrial detention centre. Alert : 1 detention

Updates

18 Sep 2017 : On 18 September 2017, the Sheki Court for Grave Crimes sentenced Elchin Ismayilli to 9 years imprisonment. The court found him guilty under articles 182 (extortion of money by threats), 308 (abuse of office) and 311 (bribery) of the Criminal Code.
03 Aug 2017 : Elchin Ismaylli`s preliminary investigation ended on 3 August 2017, but new charges of bribery were brought against him. He is now facing a jail sentence from 8 to 12 years.
03 Mar 2017 : On 3 March 2017 Elchin Ismaylli`s pre-trial detention time was extended to three more months.

French Journalist Detained at Iraq Border, Arrested on Terror Charges

Update: 15 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 03 Aug 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Index , EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
03 Aug 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Index , EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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French journalist Loup Bureau was arrested in Şırnak on charges of assisting a terror organisation on 2 August 2017.The journalist was first detained on 26 July at the Habur crossing, where he was crossing into Turkey from Iraq. Authorities have said the French journalist was arrested on charges of “aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation.” He was placed in Şırnak Prison and a gag order was imposed on his case. BBC Turkish reported that the journalist visited Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, and returned two weeks ago to Turkey, where he was detained under a prosecutorial warrant. An academic thesis he wrote on the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia force in Syria, and some of the photographs he had taken were used as evidence.

Updates

15 Sep 2017 : On 15 September 2017, Loup Bureau's lawyers announced that he had been released from prison and was soon to be expelled from Turkey.

Follow-ups

07 Aug 2017 : OSCE Media Freedom Representative addressed the Turkish authorities demanding immediate release of French journalist Loup Bureau and to drop charges.

Journalist Vladimir Otasevic Faced Insults and Death Threats

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Year 14 Sep 2017 Country Montenegro Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
14 Sep 2017 Montenegro C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index , RSF Level 1
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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.

Follow-ups

13 Sep 2017 : OSCE media freedom representative calls on authorities in Montenegro to swiftly investigate death threats against journalist.

Blogger Rashad Ramazanov Jailed for Nine Years

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Year 14 Sep 2017 Country Azerbaijan Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
14 Sep 2017 Azerbaijan B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 1
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The Azerbaijani blogger Rashad Ramazanov is serving a nine-year sentence in Baku Prison #2, which media freedom organisations link with his writings. Ramazanov was arrested on 9 May 2013, charged for drug possession, and on 13 November 2013 sentenced to nine years in jail. The Baku Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court later upheld this sentence. Ramazanov used to actively post micro blogs on social media networks, particularly on Facebook, in which he criticized the governmental policy and high-ranking Azerbaijani officials, including the President. After the arrest, he was unlawfully held in the Ministry of Internal Affairs Organized Crime Department for 11 days. His lawyer Aslan Ismayilov stated that Ramazanov was subjected to torture and beatings while in custody. Ismayilov's demands for investigation of the journalist's case yielded no results and he ended up being detained by police as well. Despite the repeated calls for release from local and international organisations, Ramazanov is still in prison. Alert : 1 detention

Israeli-Russian Blogger Aleksandr Lapshin to Be Tried in Azerbaijan

Update: 14 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 07 Mar 2017 Country Azerbaijan Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner CPJ , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 1
07 Mar 2017 Azerbaijan B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State CPJ , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 1
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Aleksandr Lapshin, an Israeli-Russian travel blogger, was detained in Minsk, Belarus, on 15 December 2016, at the request from Azerbaijan and extradited to Baku on 7 February 2017. Lapshin faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison on charges of illegally crossing Azerbaijan's state borders during his April 2011, October 2012, and June 2016 visits to Nagorno-Karabakh, and for making "anti-state calls to the public" and criticizing Azerbaijani policies. Currently, Alexander Lapshin is in the Kurdakhani Pre-trial Detention Centre of the Baku Investigative Prison Nr 1.

Updates

14 Sep 2017 : On 14 September 2017, Alexander Lapshin left Azerbaijan.
11 Sep 2017 : On 11 September 2017 Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev pardoned Aleksandr Lapshin.
20 Jul 2017 : On 20 July, Aleksandr Lapshin was sentenced to 3 years in prison by the Baku Court of Grave Crimes.

Follow-ups

11 Sep 2017 : OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media welcomes the pardon and release of Aleksandr Lapshin.

Italian Journalist Lirio Abbate Faces Hate Speech in Courtroom

Update: 11 Sep 2017 Resolved
Year 04 Feb 2016 Country Italy Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , CPJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
04 Feb 2016 Italy C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , CPJ , RSF Level 2

Lirio Abbate, a journalist of the weekly L'Espresso, who has been under police protection since 2007 after he exposed an alleged network of corruption and mafia-related affairs in Rome, is now a target for hate speech and slander. He is one of the main witnesses in the on-going court case (dubbed Mafia Capitale). Abbate has been a constant target for the main defendant accused of mafia crimes Massimo Carminati.

Resolved On 11 September 2017, after consideration of the judgment of the Civil Court of Rome which dismissed the action of libel against Abbate, the partners of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.

Updates

04 Nov 2016 : On 4 November 2016 the judge of the Civil Court of Rome dismissed the action for libel against Abbate and sentenced Massimo Carminati to bear the legal costs incurred by the weekly ‘l’Espresso’.

State replies

21 Jun 2016 : Reply from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Journalist Brutally Assaulted in Melilla, Spain

Update: 11 Sep 2017 Resolved
Year 26 Jun 2015 Country Spain Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
26 Jun 2015 Spain A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ Level 1

Spanish journalist Javier Garcia Angosto was brutally assaulted, on Thursday, 25 June 2015, in Melilla, following the publication of a series of articles denouncing alleged irregularities in the awarding of a public tender for the use of one of the beaches in the locality of Melilla to one Horeca agency. The journalist was attacked in front of his home, where the owner of the agency and one accomplice laid in wait for him. The journalist, who suffered serious physical injuries, was abandoned in a semi-cosncious state by his assailants. Local media, Cablemel TV, Luz de Melilla and Vinilo FM, as well as the Spanish Federation of the Journalists Unions (FESP), member of the IFJ and EFJ have condemned that savage assault which they regard as an intolerable violation of the freedom of the Press. The representatives of professional organizations have called upon law enforcement and justice agencies to make every effort to bring the aggressors to justice.

Resolved On 11 September 2017 the partners of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.

Updates

12 Dec 2015 : On 12 December 2015 a Melilla Court found Juan Carlos García Sola, the owner of the agency exposed in Angosto`s reports, guilty of assault against the journalist and sentenced him to a 2.400 euro fine.

Home of Novaya Gazeta Journalist Attacked With Noxious Gas

Update: 11 Sep 2017 No reply yet
Year 21 Jul 2017 Country Russian Federation Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner Index , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
21 Jul 2017 Russian Federation A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown Index , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 1
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The home of Yulia Latynina, a prominent columnist and contributor to independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and radio station Echo Moskvy, was sprayed with noxious gas on 19 July 2017. She and her parents noticed a strong smell of an “unknown caustic gas” in her house near Moscow. She claimed her and the neighbours’ house was “full of unknown disgusting gas impeding our breathing”. Later it was established that the gas was sprayed over the windows and doors of the whole house. She reported that eight people including her parents and neighbours’ children were poisoned, saying it irritated eyes and upset stomachs. The neighbours said they witnessed an unidentified car driving away quickly from the house afterwards. Latynina said she is convinced the attack is related to her professional activities, but has decided not to file a report with the police. The editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta Dmitri Muratov filed a complaint to the chief of the Public Council with the Ministry of Interior Anatoli Kucherena, who promised to investigate the case. In August 2016, unidentified individuals threw faeces over Latynina in the centre of Moscow. She connected the assault with her publications into Evgeni Prigozhin, alleged ally of the Russian President.

Updates

11 Sep 2017 : On 10 September 2017 Yulia Latynina announced she was fleeing Russia due to the series of threats received.
06 Sep 2017 : On 3 September 2017 Yulia Latynina reported that she found her car burning outside her house. She believes the act to have been deliberate and has linked it to the previous attack on her apartment that occurred on 19 July 2017. The police have opened an investigation.

The Website 888.hu Publishes a List of Eight Journalists Described as "Propagandists"

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Year 08 Sep 2017 Country Hungary Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
08 Sep 2017 Hungary E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Non-state EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 2
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On 5 September 2017, the Hungarian internet portal 888.hu published a list of journalists accused of serving the interests of the American billionaire of Hungarian origin George Soros. The article explicitly names eight journalists, including a photographer and a producer who are Hungarian or of Hungarian origin, working abroad for Politico Brussels, the German public television ZDF, Bloomberg, and the Reuters news agency. These journalists are described as "foreign propagandists" and "spokespeople" of George Soros. The international media are presented as "biased” and “stigmatizing." Their only aim would be to "discredit" Hungary on the international scene.

Hatay Journalist Ceren Taşkın Detained for Social Media Posts

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Year 07 Sep 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
07 Sep 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
No reply yet

Ceren Taşkın, a reporter for the local Hatay Ses newspaper, was detained on the basis of her social media posts on 12 January 2017. On the same day, a court ordered Taşkın arrested for “spreading propaganda for a terrorist group” over her posts. Alert : 1 detention

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OCTOBER 2017 Factsheet on detention with a view to expel, return, transfer or extradite a person to another country