Media freedom alerts

 

Pressure by a Political Party to Replace a Member of the Public Broadcaster's Supervisory Board

Update: 28 Jun 2017 Resolved
Year 16 Mar 2017 Country Ukraine Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat Non-state Partner RSF , Index Alert level Level 2
16 Mar 2017 Ukraine E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Non-state RSF , Index Level 2

On 22 February 2017, the parliamentary fraction of Oleh Lyashko's Radical Party sent a letter to the National Broadcasting Council, requesting to replace the member it previously appointed to the Supervisory Board of the National Public Broadcasting Company, Vyacheslav Kozak, by another one, Valentyna Rudenko. The parliamentary fraction did not refer to any legal ground to do so. Members of the Supervisory Board and Mr Kozak's relatives say he is under pressure to sign a letter of «voluntary resignation». The Article 10 of the Law on the Public Broadcasting Service provides an exhaustive list of possible legal grounds for the revocation of Supervisory Board members and bans any revocation based on other grounds. Its Article 8 also prevents Supervisory Board members from «performing assignments for a political party». The members of the Supervisory Board of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine issued a statement on 14 March, denouncing political interferences into their work.

Resolved On 28 June 2017, following consideration of the response of the Ukrainian authorities, the partner organisations of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.

State replies

27 Jun 2017 : Reply from the Government of Ukraine

Follow-ups

20 Mar 2017 : Independence of the Supervisory Board of the public broadcaster is of crucial importance for the reform of public broadcasting

Italian Journalist Risks Being Jailed for Thirty Months for Libel

Update: 27 Jun 2017 State replied
Year 19 May 2017 Country Italy Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner AEJ , Index Alert level Level 2
19 May 2017 Italy E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State AEJ , Index Level 2

Gabriele Carchidi, editor in chief of the online newspaper iacchite.com, has been sentenced by a court in Cosenza, in the Calabrian region of southern Italy, to a total of 30 months in prison without suspension of sentence in four libel cases between September 2016 and May 2017. The latest conviction, handed down on 10 May 2017, resulted from a lawsuit brought by the mayor of Cosenza, Mario Occhiuto, concerning references to the mayor on Facebook. The other convictions relate to reports by the journalist about the behaviour of senior carabinieri officers, mayor Occhiuto and a Cosenza magistrate, respectively. Gabriele Carchidi is free while he awaits the result of his appeals to the Appeal court against these four verdicts. Media reports say he also faces the possibility of being tried and receiving further custodial sentences as a result of more than 60 other pending defamation lawsuits against him, mostly brought by politicians, police, magistrates and other public figures.

State replies

27 Jun 2017 : Reply from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Journalist Assaulted and Left with Concussion after Investigation in North Ossetia

No reply yet
Year 27 Jun 2017 Country Russian Federation Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner Index Alert level Level 1
27 Jun 2017 Russian Federation A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state Index Level 1
No reply yet

Pyotr Pliev, a correspondent for state newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta in North Ossetia, was assaulted by an unknown person in Vladikavkaz, on 21 June 2017. According to witnesses, a young man came out of a car, quickly approached Pliev on the street, hit him in the head and then left in a car. Pliev lost consciousness and woke up in the hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion. He stated he thought the assault was connected to his professional activities. Shortly before the assault, Pliev published an investigation in Rossiskaya Gazeta into the case of the local North Ossetian businessman Murat Kisiev who reportedly built three distilleries on a local pasture. Pliev also criticised the head of the local municipality who refused to meet with inhabitants to address the problem. At the end of the article, which was published two days before the assault, Pliev wrote that he received threats: “The businessman told me that if I don't stop poking my nose into something that is not my business I will get into trouble, big time." The Ministry of Interior of the Republic of North Ossetia said it had started a police investigation following the assault.

Azerbaijani Chief Editor of News Website Sentenced to Seven Years on Extortion Charges

No reply yet
Year 22 Jun 2017 Country Azerbaijan Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner CPJ , Index Alert level Level 1
22 Jun 2017 Azerbaijan B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State CPJ , Index Level 1
No reply yet

Fikret Faramazoglu, chief editor of the news website Journalistic Research Center, was sentenced on June 14, 2017 to seven years in prison on extortion charges. The judge also ruled to ban Faramazoglu from working as a journalist for two years after serving his prison term. Faramazoglu and his lawyer told the court the journalist was severely beaten in detention and lost several teeth as a result. Faramazoglu was first detained on June 30, 2016 for allegedly receiving a large amount of money from a restaurant owner whom authorities claimed the journalist extorted. The journalist and his lawyer say the money was planted in his pocket. Faramazoglu also told the court he and his family were on a trip when the first incident of alleged extortion took place and requested that he be allowed to call witnesses. The judge denied his request. The judge also dismissed Faramazoglu's request for authorities to investigate the beating, according to reports. The journalist's lawyer, Elchin Sadygov, told CPJ that the arrest came soon after Faramazoglu reported that restaurants were allegedly operating as brothels under the protection of law-enforcement agencies. Sadygov told media following the Baku court's verdict that he thinks the case was retaliation for Faramazoglu's reporting. Sadygov said Faramazoglu will appeal the verdict. In 2006 Faramazoglu, then chief editor of the Baku-based opposition weekly 24 Saat, was found guilty of libel and sentenced to a one-year suspended prison term, which was considered by media freedom organisations as a retaliation for his articles on alleged corruption in Azerbaijani law enforcement.

Freelance Journalist, Nijat Amiraslanov, Sentenced to 30 Days Imprisonment

Update: 22 Jun 2017 No reply yet
Year 05 Jun 2017 Country Azerbaijan Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 1
05 Jun 2017 Azerbaijan B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Article 19 , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 1
No reply yet

On 22 May 2017 freelance journalist, Nijat Amiraslanov, known for his critical reports for local and regional media about poverty in the region and corruption among local officials, was detained in the Gazakh region of north-western Azerbaijan. On 23 May 2017 Amiraslanov appeared before Gazakh Regional Court, which found him guilty under Article 535.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences (‘disobeying police orders’) and sentenced him to 30 days’ administrative arrest. According to reports by the Turan news agency in Azerbaijan, human rights activist, Bashir Suleymanly, believes that Amiraslanov was detained as a result of recent posts he has made on social media which are critical of the Azerbaijani authorities.

Updates

22 Jun 2017 : On 22 June 2017 Nijat Amiraslanov was released at the end of the administrative detention.
09 Jun 2017 : On 3 June 2017, Nijat Amiraslanov appeared before the Gazakh district court of appeal. According to his lawyer, Amiraslanov was forced to retract his appeal against the court’s decision sentencing him to administrative arrest. He was reportedly submitted to torture during his detention.

Two Media Outlets and Four Journalists Sued by Judge

No reply yet
Year 15 Jun 2017 Country Albania Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat Non-state Partner Index , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
15 Jun 2017 Albania E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Non-state Index , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 2
No reply yet

Gjin Gjoni, a judge for a court of appeals in Tirana, and his wife filed a lawsuit against four journalists and two media outlets on 9 June, 2017 for their reports over his criminal investigations and his family's declared assets. They have filed charges against Balkan Investigation Reporting Network (BIRN) along with their journalist Besar Likmeta and Aleksandra Bogdani and Shqiptarja newspaper, along with their journalists Adriatic Doci and Elton Qyno. The judge reported that their media coverage has caused reputational damage and pain. Gjoni and his wife are asking for 7 million Lek (54, 000 EUR) in compensation from Balkan Investigation Reporting Network, BIRN in Tirana and two of their journalists; They are asking for 4 million Lek (30,000 EUR) from Shqiptarja newspaper and from two of their journalists. BIRN Albania declared that they "stand by the article and are ready to face all the claims in the court." The Union of Albanian Journalists also condemned the lawsuit: “The Union of Albania Journalists has been informed of the judicial assault launched by the member of the High Council of Justice, Gjin Gjoni, against several journalists and respective media, with the legal pretense that his image has been tainted,” the Union said in a statement.

Journalist Zehra Doğan Arrested and Charged with "Membership of an Illegal Organisation"

Update: 14 Jun 2017 No reply yet
Year 25 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Alert level Level 1
25 Jul 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Level 1
No reply yet

Zehra Doğan, JINHA editor (women's news agency) and a painter, was arrested by the police in Mardin, south-east of Turkey, on 22 July. She was taken to the Nusaybin police office the day after. According to reports, the authorities accused her of "being a member of the terrorist organisation PKK". The police presented Doğan 's paintings, along with her news reports and her social media posts, as evidence of this membership. The reason cited for the decision to detain her was a testimony by a confidential witness who reportedly claimed that Zehra had worked alongside DİHA reporter Bilal Gülden, also reporting from Nusaybin. Doğan was sent to the court which ordered her pre-trial detention and was transferred to Mardin Women's Prison. Alert : 1 detention

Updates

14 Jun 2017 : After losing her final appeal (2 June 2017), Zehra Doğan was arrested on 12 June 2017 and sent to Diyarbakır Prison.
02 Mar 2017 : In March 2017, the court ruled that Ms Doğan be acquitted of the crime of "being a member of a terrorist organisation" but sentenced her for "propagandising for a terrorist organization" to 2 years, 9 months and 22 days in prison for her social media postings.
06 Dec 2016 : On 6 December 2016, Zehra Doğan was released pending trial.

Two Danish Journalists Prosecuted for Exposing a Public Health Hazard

Update: 31 May 2017 Resolved
Year 02 Apr 2015 Country Denmark Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner RSF Alert level Level 2
02 Apr 2015 Denmark E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State RSF Level 2

In Denmark, two journalists, Nils Mulvad and Kjeld Hansen who exposed a public health scandal were fined in October 2014 for an article published in 2010. In the article, they expose the names of farms where the drug-resistant bacteria MRSA was spreading. They have been charged for publishing secret information on the farmers' health. Their lawyer accused the authorities of persecuting the “messenger” instead of addressing the problem raised by the journalists. The two journalists appealed against these sanctions.

Resolved On 22 January 2016, the Danish Supreme Court ruled that a pending trial has no suspensory effect on the disclosure of information for documents “with a significant public interest”. The Danish Journalist Association expressed its satisfaction with the judgment, stating that it was “important that media and journalists are not prevented from access to data of public interest even when large organisations or companies try to bring proceedings” preventing it. On 31 May 2017, following consultations and consideration of the implications of the judgment, the partner organisations of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding that it was no longer an active threat to media freedom. Danish Supreme Court ruling

State replies

15 May 2015 : Response from the Danish Government

Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer

Five Turkish Journalists Face Prison Sentences of between 50 and 72 Years

Update: 30 May 2017 No reply yet
Year 12 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
12 Jul 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 2
No reply yet

On 20 June 2016, the Istanbul High Criminal Court accepted an indictment served by a prosecutor from the Office of Terrorism and Organised Crime, against five journalists: Ahmet Altan and Yasemin Çongar, former editors of the daily newspaper Taraf; and journalists Mehmet Baransu. Yıldıray Oğur and Tuncay Opçin. The court case will take place in September. Altan, Çongar and Oğur face up to 50 years’ imprisonment each on charges of acquiring, damaging, misusing and stealing documents concerning state security and revealing information concerning the security of the state and its political interests. Baransu and Opçin, are additionally accused of membership and administration of a terrorist organisation and face up to 72 years’ imprisonment each. According to the lawyers of two of the indicted journalists, the indictment raises several questions and concerns. First, 46 pages of the indictment have been copied word-for-word from an indictment written in the case against journalist Can Dündar, who has been named in an entirely separate case. Second, no evidence against the accused is provided or referred to in the indictment. Third, while the indictment focuses in detail on the so-called Balyoz (“Sledgehammer”) papers – a series of documents that Taraf published in 2010 connected to an alleged military coup – the prosecutor does not regard Taraf’s decision to publish the Balyoz papers as criminal and Balyoz does not figure in the charges at all. Instead, the indictment brings charges against the five journalists concerning the “Egemen Operation” plan – a military war plan. However Taraf newspaper did not publish this plan, as a prior judgment of the Turkish Constitutional Court affirms, and denies all charges related to this.

Updates

30 May 2017 : As of 30 May 2017, the 5 journalists have either been arrested (Mehmet Altan and Mehmet Baransu are in jail) or escaped the country (Yasemin Çongar, Yıldıray Oğur and Tuncay Opçin are at large).

Editor-in-Chief of Local Newspaper Shot Dead

No reply yet
Year 29 May 2017 Country Russian Federation Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner Index , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , INSI , RSF Alert level Level 1
29 May 2017 Russian Federation A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown Index , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , INSI , RSF Level 1
No reply yet

Dmitri Popkov, editor-in-chief and founder of local newspaper Ton-M, was shot dead in the town of Minusinsk in the Krasnodarski province on 24 May, 2017. The Regional Investigative Committee reported that Popkov was shot five times by an unidentified perpetrator. His body was found in the sauna in his backyard. Popkov is well known in his region since he became a regional parliament deputy for the Communist Party. The Moscow times reported that Popkov founded the publication after he was stripped of his position on Minusinsk City Council in 2012, when a court found him guilty of beating a child. Popkvov has maintained his innocence, claiming that the case was an excuse to fire him. He also funds the newspaper he edits, whose investigations, including on police corruption, have garnered significant public attention. According to RFE/RL, in one of his interviews, Popkov claimed his newspaper became “an obstacle” for local officials who are now “threatening and intimidating journalists”.

Armenian Journalist Attacked While Covering Parliamentary Elections

Update: 29 May 2017 State replied
Year 20 Apr 2017 Country Armenia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
20 Apr 2017 Armenia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , RSF Level 2

Sisak Gabrielian, a journalist for the Armenian service of Radio Free Europe (RFE), was attacked by activists of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), the ruling party in Armenia, while covering parliamentary elections in Yerevan on 2 April, 2017. The journalist claimed that after he noticed that many voters at a polling station in Yerevan’s Kond quarter were heading to a local campaign office of the HHK before going to a nearby polling station to vote there, and that some of them were leaving with money in their hands, he was forcibly removed from the office. Some of the HHK activists hit him in the face and out took away his mobile phone, which he was using to film the conversation.

State replies

29 May 2017 : Reply from the Armenian authorities (Police and the Special Investigative Service of the Republic of Armenia)

Czech President Says He Wishes to "Liquidate" Journalists

No reply yet
Year 16 May 2017 Country Czech Republic Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner Index , EFJ/IFJ , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 2
16 May 2017 Czech Republic E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State Index , EFJ/IFJ , IPI , RSF Level 2
No reply yet

During a press conference held in China on 14 May 2017, Czech President Miloš Zeman joked to Russian President Vladimir Putin that there were too many journalists and that they should be "liquidated", broadcasting station Radio Praha reported. Putin reacted with a smile and indicated that such measures were not required but that the number of journalists could be "reduced", Radio Praha reported. Their conversation was captured by a television microphone and posted on social media. On Sunday, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek expressed a strong objection to what Zeman’s office later claimed was a “joke”, suggesting that such remarks were inappropriate with Mr Putin or anyone else. The president's spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, described Mr Zeman's remarks as a mere witticism or bon mot, Radio Praha reported.

Croatian Journalist Mladen Mirković Attacked by Požega Mayor

Update: 15 May 2017 No reply yet
Year 12 May 2017 Country Croatia Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , CPJ , Index Alert level Level 2
12 May 2017 Croatia A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , CPJ , Index Level 2
No reply yet

Mladen Mirković, a journalist of the Croatian local website 034portal.hr, was attacked by the Požega Mayor Vedran Neferović on 12 May 2017. The attack happened after the mayor invited him to a meeting in his office. He wanted to know who had written some articles published on the website the journalist is working for. According to the journalist, the major started to shout at him and became aggressive, threatening to kill him and everybody working for the website. He then pushed the journalist against the wall and smacked his head against it. He threw him out of the office while kicking him and continued to do so as he pushed him towards the stairs, reported Mirković. People in the hall witnessed the attack and some administration employees asked the mayor to stop. The Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) reported the incident to the police on the journalist’s behalf and called for an investigation into this issue.

Updates

15 May 2017 : On 12 May 2017 the Požega mayor was charged with misdemeanour by a local court. The police filed a criminal charge against him for issuing public threats and issued a restraining order of the duration of 8 days to protect Mladen Mirković.

Pressure by Prime Minister on Public Broadcaster over Coverage

Update: 12 May 2017 State replied
Year 13 Apr 2017 Country Slovak Republic Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner IPI , AEJ Alert level Level 2
13 Apr 2017 Slovak Republic E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State IPI , AEJ Level 2

In a 6 April 2017 address to Slovakia’s parliament, Prime Minister Robert Fico, speaking as chair of the Direction – Social Democracy (Smer-SD) party, announced that he would instruct deputies to make a change in the leadership of public broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS). Parliament is expected to decide in June whether to retain or replace current RTVS Director General Václav Mika, who is nearing the end of a five-year term. Fico criticised the broadcaster’s news coverage, accusing it of being biased and asking unfair questions, and he said he would give lawmakers “clear guidance” recommending a change in RTVS’ leadership. The call echoed Fico’s statements earlier in the week accusing the broadcaster of being “no longer a public-service” and “opposition-oriented”. RTVS has faced criticism from Slovak National Party (SNS) lawmakers since they joined a coalition government with Smer in 2016. Smer lawmakers faced similar accusations of pressure in 2012 when they elected Mika to a five-year term after then-RTVS Director General Miroslava Zemková’s term was controversially cut short over her failure to inform lawmakers about the launch of a tender. Most opposition parties boycotted the 2012 vote electing Mika, calling it an effort by Smer to assert political control over RTVS.

State replies

Follow-ups

02 May 2017 : The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights details the prerequisites for well-funded and strong public service media.

Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer

15 Dec 2016 : Recommendation CM/Rec(2012)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on public service media governance (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 15 February 2012 at the 1134th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

Attack on Office of Kathimerini in Thessaloniki

Update: 12 May 2017 State replied
Year 26 Apr 2017 Country Greece Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 2
26 Apr 2017 Greece A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 2

Unidentified assailants attacked the office of Kathimerini, a Greek daily, in Thessaloniki on 24 April 2017. Approximately ten masked people stormed the office, threw green paint all over the place and spread leaflets with the message “ A good story is a stone to a journalist’s head,” written on them. The administrative staff who was in the office at the time of the attack called the police after the intruders ignored her pleas to stop and leave. They left before the police arrived.

State replies

Hungarian Journalist Júlia Halász Attacked and Violently Expelled from Fidesz’s Public Meeting in Budapest

No reply yet
Year 12 May 2017 Country Hungary Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
12 May 2017 Hungary A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , RSF Level 2
No reply yet

Júlia Halász, a reporter for the Hungarian 444.hu website, was violently expelled from a public forum organised by the ruling party Fidesz party held at Saint Imre (Saint Emeric) Secondary School in Budapest on 4 May 2017. Halász had started editing her report when she was approached by three men, believed to be bodyguards of the country’s economy minister Mihály Varga and defence minister István Simicskó, who told her to leave claiming she could not film the event without registration. Halász later returned to the room and took some photos with her cell phone, but had to leave again to take a phone call in the corridor. She was followed by László Szabó, the Fidesz’s deputy chief of staff in the district and the organiser of the meeting, who, according to the journalist, aggressively tried to take her out of the building when she finished her call. He accused her of filming the event and snatched her the cell phone which he refused to return and deleted photos from the telephone while pushing the journalist around and refusing to let her back in the room to retrieve her equipment. Halász started yelling for help, but László Szabó grabbed her by the arm and dragged her outside the building where he continued to threaten her and other Fidesz’s supporters attacked her, as well. The police was called by one school’s employee but, upon their arrival, Szabó had left the venue by the back door and nobody at the Fidesz’s event was willing to identify him as the man who had attacked Halász. The journalist said that Economy minister, Mihály Varga, later tried to mitigate the incident by promising that Ms. Halász’s equipment would be returned and offering to make himself available to her for an exclusive interview.

Greek Journalist Arrested on Libel Charges

Update: 10 May 2017 State replied
Year 11 Apr 2017 Country Greece Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner IPI , Index Alert level Level 1
11 Apr 2017 Greece B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State IPI , Index Level 1

Greek investigative journalist Kostas Vaxevanis was detained by police on libel charges after arriving voluntarily at Kallithea police station in Athens on 10 April 2017. A prosecutor later ordered his release pending preliminary investigation. The charges relate to a report published on 9 April 2017 in the newspaper Documento alleging that Stavroula Nikolopoulou-Stournara, wife of the Governor of Greece's central bank, had taken advantage of her husband's influence to secure public funding for organising medical conferences without going through a public tender. The report also raised questions about Nikolopoulou-Stournara's links to the pharmaceutical industry as well as the involvement of her husband, Yannis Stournaras, in the conferences. Nikolopoulou-Stournara, whose home was raided last year as part of an investigation into possible corruption involving Greece's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, denied the report's claims and filed libel charges against Vaxevanis. In March 2015, a court sentenced Vaxevanis to 26 months in prison for defaming a prominent Greek businessman, Andreas Vgenopoulos, as part of an investigation into the 2012 to 2013 Cyprus financial crisis. A three-judge panel of the Athens Court of Appeal unanimously overturned the conviction in September 2016.

State replies

10 May 2017 : Response from the Greek authorities

An Albanian Journalist Received Death Threats

Update: 09 May 2017 State replied
Year 10 Apr 2017 Country Albania Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner RSF , INSI , IPI Alert level Level 1
10 Apr 2017 Albania A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State RSF , INSI , IPI Level 1

Journalist Isa Myzyraj received death threats from the Mayor of Has Municipality, Adem Lala. Myzyraj works for the information website Gazeta Impakt and 24.al. He was investigating delays in social assistance payments for poor families in two villages in Has District, in north-eastern Albania. The journalist recorded the conversation between him and the mayor, who asked him to stop his investigation. The recording was broadcast on several media. The journalist lodged a complaint to the Tirana Prosecutor on the 6 April 2017.

State replies

09 May 2017 : Response of the Albanian authorities

Russian Police Raid Journalist’s Home

Update: 03 May 2017 No reply yet
Year 28 Feb 2017 Country Russian Federation Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
28 Feb 2017 Russian Federation C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State Article 19 , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2
No reply yet

On 28 February 2017, the home of Russian journalist and long-time human rights campaigner Zoya Svetova was raided in Moscow for over 4 hours. Her lawyer Anna Stavitskaya reported that 10 plain clothed investigators and 2 representatives of the Federal Security Bureau entered the property after 11am, and searched her computer, personal papers and books. Investigators prohibited anyone inside the flat from using their phones, including journalists who had arrived at the scene. According to Stavitskaya, the search was linked to the first YUKOS case, a criminal case launched in 2003 against the biggest oil company in Russia, for alleged tax evasion. Stavitskaya stated that Russian law enforcement agencies believe the proceeds of Yukos tax evasion are now being used to fund organisations and individuals, including Svetova. Svetova is a columnist for the Moscow Times and has been recognised for her work by both Amnesty International and the Russian Union of Journalists.

Updates

03 May 2017 : On 3 May 2017 the Moscow City Court recognized the Basmanny Court decision as legitimate.
09 Mar 2017 : On 9 March 2017 Moscow's Basmanny District Court rejected the complaint submitted by Svetova against the manner in which the search of her apartment had been conducted.

Russia: Blogger Ilya Varlamov Attacked at Stavropol Airport

Update: 03 May 2017 No reply yet
Year 27 Apr 2017 Country Russian Federation Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner Article 19 , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , IPI Alert level Level 2
27 Apr 2017 Russian Federation A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown Article 19 , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , IPI Level 2
No reply yet

On 26 April 2017 blogger Ilya Varlamov was attacked by unknown assailants after landing at Stavropol airport in Southern Russia. As reported on social media and on his blog, a group of men were waiting for Varlamov when he arrived and immediately threw green paint and iodine over him, which went into his eyes, clothes and equipment. The assailants shouted “Go back to that America of yours”. The attack was witnessed by police officers who failed to react. Varlamov reported the attack to the local police station but was again attacked later the same day, again with green paint and flour by a similar group who then tried to ram into his car. Ilya Varlamov is one of the most popular Russian bloggers, with over 200,000 followers on social networks and also contributes to online outlets such as Echo of Moscow Radio

Updates

03 May 2017 : On 3 May 2017, the District Court of Stavropol fined three individuals involved in the attack on Ilya Varlamov for 500 rubles; two more were sentenced to administrative arrest for two days. Varlamov complained that a criminal investigation had never been initiated and that the incident had been treated as a case of petty hooliganism.
follow us follow us
Follow-ups to alerts Follow-ups to alerts
Twitter feed Twitter feed
Partners Partners
Thematic factsheets Thematic factsheets
October

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