Media freedom alerts

 

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

Update: 23 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 25 Aug 2015 Country Serbia Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
25 Aug 2015 Serbia A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

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

New 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

Journalists from Magločistač News Portal Receive Death Threats

Update: 23 Feb 2018 No reply yet
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
No reply yet

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.

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Serbian Weekly ‘Vranjske Novine’ Closed Following Administrative Harassment

Update: 23 Feb 2018 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
No reply yet

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.

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Serbian Reporter Lidija Valtner Attacked During New Serbian President’s Inauguration

Update: 23 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 02 Jun 2017 Country Serbia Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner RSF , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
02 Jun 2017 Serbia A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state RSF , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2
No reply yet

Lidija Valtner, a reporter for the Serbian daily Danas, was filming an altercation between supporters of Vučić’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and a protester during the President's inauguration on 31 May 2017, in Belgrade, when she was attacked by two Progressive Party supporters. One tried to grab her phone in order to prevent her from filming and, when she tried to defend herself, the two men seized her and forcibly took her away to a neighbouring park, 50 meters away. In an interview with RSF, Valtner expressed dismay that two plainclothes police officers watched this attack without coming to her help. Force was also used to prevent journalists with Vice, Radio Belgrade and the Cenzovska and Insajder websites from reporting or filming the demonstrations.

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Serbian Journalist Stevan Dojčinović Target of a Smear Campaign

Update: 23 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 04 Apr 2016 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
04 Apr 2016 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Unknown EFJ/IFJ Level 2

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

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Investigative Journalists Receive Several Death Threats, Broadcaster Claims

Update: 23 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 23 Mar 2016 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner Index Alert level Level 1
23 Mar 2016 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Unknown Index Level 1

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

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Serbian Investigative Journalist Ivan Ninić Suffers Brutal Attack

Update: 23 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 07 Sep 2015 Country Serbia Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
07 Sep 2015 Serbia A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown EFJ/IFJ Level 1

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

New 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

Journalist Philippe Bertinchamps Threatened with Expulsion in Serbia

Update: 23 Feb 2018 Resolved
Year 19 Feb 2018 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
19 Feb 2018 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

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 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

New 19 Feb 2018 : On 19 February 2018, Philippe Bertinchamps was delivered a residence visa for a year.

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Increased Verbal Abuse Against Independent Serbian Media.

Update: 23 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 21 Feb 2018 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner RSF , EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
21 Feb 2018 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Non-state RSF , EFJ/IFJ Level 2
No reply yet

Since the beginning of the year, several journalists have been threatened in Serbia, in a context of increasing verbal violence against the media that challenge the actions of a government. Journalist Tamara Skrozza published a report, highlighting that candidates from the SNS, the government’s political party, were four times more visible than candidates of the opposition on the pro-government TV channel Pink TV. In response, the private channel accused her of being an "enemy of the state" and a series of insults were addressed to her on Pink TV's account on social media. In early February, reporter Una Hajdari was attacked on social media. Following a photomontage on Twitter of the president's visit in Kosovo, she was accused of "hating Serbia, Serbs and Vucic". The same week, Dragan Janjic, redactor in chief of the independent agency Beta, also received hundreds of insults and hateful messages on social media. He suggested on 16 January, in a tweet, that the murder of the Kosovo Serb politician, Oliver Ivanović, was motivated by political considerations. Nikola Radisic, journalist for the TV channel N1 (a CNN International partner) was verbally attacked in the street by two men accusing him of being an "American spy and a traitor".

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Radio Journalist and Presenter Found Dead in Home

Update: 23 Feb 2018 Resolved
Year 20 Jun 2016 Country Serbia Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner Index , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
20 Jun 2016 Serbia A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown Index , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ Level 1

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 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

New 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.

Closure of the Serbian National Press Agency Tanjug

Update: 23 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 12 Nov 2015 Country Serbia Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
12 Nov 2015 Serbia E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ Level 2
No reply yet

On 4 November 2015, the Serbian Ministry of Culture, responsible for media, announced the Government decision to close the national news agency Tanjug, following the expiration of the deadline for privatisation of the agency (set for 31 October 2015). The decision followed the adoption of the Law on privatisation of news agencies in Serbia last August and the launch of two unsuccessful calls for action. Professional organisations of Serbian journalists (NUNS, UNS, SINOS) hold responsible the Serbian Government and the Steering Board of the Nove Telegrafska Agencija Jugoslavije (Telegraph Agency of the New Yugoslavia) for the lack of preparation of the privatisation plan and poor management of the Agency. The European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) calls on the Government to review the case in order to avoid the definitive closing down of the Agency known worldwide. The abrupt closure of Tanjug and the ongoing process of privatising Serbian mass media undermines media pluralism and generates a climate of social insecurity, pushing journalists into self-censorship. Indeed, by 31 October 2015, 36 of the 73 Serbian public mass media have been bought by new owners. The other 37 will be closed or privatised as part of a transfer of capital to the employees.

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Impunity in the Case of the Murder of Dada Vujasinovic

Update: 23 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 02 Apr 2015 Country Serbia Category D. Impunity Source of threat State Partner RSF Alert level Level 1
02 Apr 2015 Serbia D. Impunity State RSF Level 1
No reply yet

Radislava Dada Vujasinović, a Serbian journalist and reporter, was found shot dead at her parents’ home in Belgrade in the early hours of 8 April 1994. Immediately after the body’s discovery, the police said Vujasinović had shot herself with a hunting rifle but the family disputed this, pointing to omissions and inconsistences in the investigation including the failure to question neighbours and analyse evidence found at the scene, and the fact that the suicide ruling was reached without referring to a judge. The family obtained independent expert opinions and repeatedly but unsuccessfully asked the judicial authorities to pursue the case. Independent reports finally led to the reopening of the investigation but the Serb authorities were incapable of shedding any light on her death. In January 2013, the Serb government supported the creation of a commission of enquiry into the deaths of Vujasinović and two other Serb journalists, Slavko Ćuruvija and Milan Pantić. The commission of enquiry was launched by Veran Matić. But still today, progress has to be made to reach the truth.

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Journalist Stefan Cvetkovic Sentenced to Jail for Unauthorised Publication

Update: 23 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 30 Mar 2017 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Alert level Level 2
30 Mar 2017 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Level 2
No reply yet

On 14 March 2017, freelance journalist Stefan Cvetkovic was found guilty by the court of the city of Vršac (Serbia) of unauthorised publication and presentation of somebody else’s texts and recordings. The journalist received a two year and three month jail sentence and must pay a €17,000 fine for insult. According to the legal advisor of Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS), Cvetkovic has appealed against the judgment and is waiting for the second instance court ruling. His sentence is suspended and he remains free. Mr Cvetkovic was prosecuted after three officials from the ruling party filed a complaint against him. The Serbian journalist was investigating the role of the said officials in criminal matters. Previously he had filed a complaint against local authorities on the grounds of misuse of public funds in 2014.

Updates

11 Apr 2017 : On 11 April 2017 the Pančeva Supreme Court annulled the initial sentence and returned the case to the primary court in Vršac for a re-trial.

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’

Intimidation Campaign against NUNS (Independent Journalists Association of Serbia)

Update: 23 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 07 Feb 2018 Country Serbia Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ Alert level Level 2
07 Feb 2018 Serbia C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Unknown EFJ/IFJ , AEJ Level 2
No reply yet

On two separate occasions (04/02/2018 and 05/02/2018), the Belgrade office of the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (NUNS or IJAS) has been the target of insults and intimidation with a printed flyer describing IJAS as an “Unhappy Association of Enemies of Serbia”. The flyers were glued into the glass entrance of the House of Journalists where the head office of the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia is located. It is suspected to be a professionally organised hate campaign because the flyers were printed in color, on quality paper, and probably in a larger circulation, in order to be distributed in other public places. The incidents were reported to the police and to the prosecutor's office which immediately started gathering evidence.

Follow-ups

New 23 Feb 2018 : Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
New 07 Feb 2018 : Labelling NUNS as the enemy of State can severely endanger safety of journalists and the work of this journalists’ association in Serbia, says OSCE Media Freedom representative who expects this incident to be swiftly investigated.

Two Ukrainian Journalists Sentenced to 9 Years’ Imprisonment for Assisting Separatism

Update: 22 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 31 Dec 2017 Country Ukraine Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
31 Dec 2017 Ukraine B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
No reply yet

On 28 September 2017 the Ukrainian journalist Dmytro Vasylets and cameraman Yevhen Timonin were sentenced to 9 years’ imprisonment, after being found guilty of assisting separatism by a district court in Zhytomyr. The prosecution ruled that Vasylets and Timonin helped to rebroadcast content from the separatist Novorossiya TV on YouTube. This sentence includes the two years they had spent in jail since the beginning of the case in 2015. It was read out in absence of the defendants, since Vasylets was removed from the courtroom after criticising the court’s ruling. Currently in detention under this alert (2): Dmytro Vasylets and Yevhen Timonin. Alert : 2 detentions

Updates

New 22 Feb 2018 : On 21 February 2018, the Kyiv Appeal Court overturned the Andrushevskyi District Court of the Zhytomyr Region's decision that found journalists Dmytro Vasylets and Yevhen Tymonin guilty of aiding the activities of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" and inciting ethnic hatred on the basis of procedural flaws. Vasylets and Tymonin were released from custody, placed under house arrest for 2 months and ordered to wear electronic bracelets. The appeal court returned the case to the court of first instance for review .

Ukraine: New draft Bill Risks Interfering with the Editorial Policy of the Public Service Media

Update: 22 Feb 2018 Resolved
Year 07 Feb 2018 Country Ukraine Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EBU , Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
07 Feb 2018 Ukraine E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EBU , Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 2

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is scheduled to discuss a draft Law No. 7395 "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding the Procedure for Informing on the Activities of the Authorities or Public Officials”. One of the proposed provisions in the draft Law reads “Members of Parliament of Ukraine shall have the right to have their representative activities covered by the public joint-stock company “National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine” (UA:PBC) according to the procedure established by the UA:PBC in a programme which lasts as least 25 minutes. The MPs activity shall be covered by a corresponding separate structural subdivision of UA:PBC. The right to have their activities covered shall be held by the MPs elected in a single-member constituency or in a national multi-member constituency and assigned to a certain region of Ukraine by a parliamentary faction (group). UA:PBC shall cover the activities of MPs of Ukraine exclusively in the manner prescribed by this Law”. The above mentioned provision in the draft Law prescribing how the public broadcaster should cover the activities of MPs risks interfering with the editorial policy of the public broadcaster. Imposing such an obligation is not in line with international standards for editorial independence of public service media, and in particular CoE Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe No. R (96) 10 on "The Guarantees of Independence of Public Service Broadcasting". According to CoE Rec 1996 (10) on the independence of PSM, under Guideline VI, PSM should be obliged to transmit content, which is not under its editorial control only in exceptional circumstances. “ The cases in which public service broadcasting organizations may be compelled to broadcast official messages, declarations or communications, or to report on the acts or decisions of public authorities, or to grant airtime to such authorities should be confined to exceptional circumstances expressly laid down in laws or regulations”.

Resolved On 22 February 2018, following the withdrawal of the draft bill by the Verkhovna Rada, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be ”resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.

Updates

New 16 Feb 2018 : On 7 February 2018, the draft has been withdrawn.

Journalists Arrested in Major Clampdown following Failed Coup in Turkey

Update: 21 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 27 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , IPI Alert level Level 1
27 Jul 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , IPI Level 1
No reply yet

On 25 July 2016, the Turkish anti-terrorism Prosecutor Irfan Fidan has today issued arrest warrants for 42 journalists in the wake of the failed coup against President Erdoğan. According to Anatolian News Agency, the journalists targeted are: Abdullah Abdulkadiroğlu, Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Dönmez, Ali Akkuş, Arda Akın, Nazlı Ilıcak, Bayram Kaya, Bilal Şahin, Bülent Ceyhan, Bülent Mumay, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cevheri Güven, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Erkan Akkuş, Ertuğrul Erbaş, Fatih Akalan, Fatih Yağmur, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, İbrahim Balta, İnan Kızılkaya, Kamil Maman, Kerim Gün, Levent Kenez, Mahmut Hazar, Mehmet Gündem, Metin Yıkar, Muhammed Fatih Uğur, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mürsel Genç, Selahattin Sevi, Seyid Kılıç, Turan Görüryılmaz, Ufuk Şanlı, Ufuk Emin Köroğlu, Yakup Sağlam and Yakup Çetin. Among those targeted by the warrants was prominent journalist and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicak who was fired from the pro-government Sabah daily in 2013 for criticising ministers caught up in a corruption scandal, NTV and CNN-Turk reported. On 27 July 2016, journalist Nuriye Akman was taken into custody. On 27 July 2016, Istanbul prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 47 former executives and columnists of Zaman newspaper. Those named in the warrants include the following former columnists and executives : Osman Nuri Öztürk, Ali Akbulut, Bülent Keneş, Mehmet Kamış, Hüseyin Döğme, Süleyman Sargın, Veysel Ayhan, Şeref Yılmaz, Mehmet Akif Afşar, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Faruk Kardıç, Metin Tamer Gökçeoğlu, Faruk Akkan, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Sevgi Akarçeşme, Ali Ünal, Mustafa Ünal, Zeki Önal, Hilmi Yavuz, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu, Ali Bulaç, Bülent Korucu, İhsan Duran Dağı, Nuriye Ural, Hamit Çiçek, Adil Gülçek, Hamit Bilici, Şenol Kahraman, Melih Kılıç, Nevzat Güner, Mehmet Özdemir, Fevzi Yazıcı, Sedat Yetişkin, Oktay Vızvız, Abdullah Katırcıoğlu, Behçet Akyar, Murat Avcıoğlu, Yüksel Durgut, Zafer Özsoy, Cuma Kaya, Hakan Taşdelen, Osman Nuri Arslan, and Ömer Karakaş. On the same day, Zaman daily columnist, Şahin Alpay, has been detained after police raided his house in the early morning hours. Lale Sarıibrahimoğlu, who used to work for Zaman and Today’s Zaman and currently reports for IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, was taken by police from her home early on that day too. She has reported in detail about issues concerning the Turkey armed forces, their financial assets, and shortcomings in terms of transparency and accountability. She has suffered for several years from poor health and has need of assured access to medical attention. Currently in detention under this alert (79) : Abdullah Kılıç, Abdürrahim Ersöz, Ahmet Memiş, Ahmet Yavaş, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Alaattin Güner, Ali Aşikar, Ali Ahmet Böken, Ali Bulaç, Ali Ünal, Ali Yüce, Ayşenur Parıldak, Aytekin Gezici, Aziz İstegün, Bayram Kaya, Beytullah Özdemir, Burçin Dokgöz, Cemal Kalyoncu, Cuma Kaya, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Erdal Şen, Erol Yüksel, Faruk Akkan, Fevzi Yazici, Gültekin Avcı, Habip Güler, Hakan Aksel, Hakan Taşdelen, Halil Ibrahim Mert, Hamza Günerigök, Hanim Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, Hüseyin Turan, Ibrahim Balta, İbrahim Karayeğen, Idris Okur, Ilker Ilkan, Isa Siyi, İsmail Avcı, İsmail Efe, Lokman Erdoğan, Mehmet Kuru, Mehmet Özdemir, Mümtazer Türköne, Murat Avcioğlu, Murat Dağdeviren, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mustafa Ünal, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Nazlı Ilıcak, Nadir Yücel, Nuri Durna, Nurullah Kaya, Ozan Kaplanoğlu, Ömer Oruç, Ömer Özdemir, Özcan Keser, Osman Yakut, Rabia Özkaya, Ramazan Alkan, Resul Cengiz, Şahin Alpay, Serhat Şeftali, Şeref Yılmaz, Seyid Kılıç, Şirin Çoban, Tahsin Kürklü, Tuncer Çetinkaya, Ufuk Şanlı, Ünal Tanık, Vahit Yazgan, Yakup Çetin, Yakup Şimşek, Yalçın Güler, Zafer Özsoy. Alert : 79 detentions

Updates

New 21 Feb 2018 : On 20 February 2018, Nur Ener Kılınç was released pending trial and placed under house arrest. Her next hearing is set for 19 Aprill.
New 16 Feb 2018 : On 16 Febuary 2018, Nazlı Ilıcak, Yakup Şimşek and Fevzi Yazıcı were handed aggravated life sentences.
16 Jan 2018 : On 12 January 2018, after reviewing the reasoned judgement of the Constitutional Court, the Istanbul 13th Criminal Court overruled the Constitutional Court’s verdict by saying it overstepped its jurisdiction and usurped the Criminal Court’s authority. On 15 January 2017, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court rejected Şahin Alpay’s appeal for release.
12 Jan 2018 : On 11 January 2018 Turkey`s Constitutional Court ruled to release Şahin Alpay. His release was halted by Istanbul`s 13th High Criminal Court, which announced that his detention would be reviewed after the Constitutional Court’s reasoned decisions were formally communicated.
22 Nov 2017 : On 21 November 2017, the 14th High Criminal Court of Ankara sentenced Ayşenur Parıldak, a correspondent for Zaman newspaper, to seven years and six months in prison for being a member of an armed terrorist organisation.
22 Nov 2017 : On 8 November 2017, an Istanbul court ordered the release of Izmir-based journalist Bekir Gökmen Ulu from the Sözcü daily. The journalist is also under an international travel ban.
25 Oct 2017 : Murat Aksoy was released from pretrial detention by an İstanbul court on 24 October 2017. According to the decision of the İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court, Aksoy was released after the court determined that the suspect had no bank account with Bank Asya and never used the ByLock mobile phone application, both considered by Turkish authorities to be evidence of links to the Gülen movement.
23 Oct 2017 : On 17 October 2017, the Eskişehir 2nd court of severe crimes sentenced Mehmet Kuru to six years and three months' imprisonment for 'membership in a terrorist organization'.
15 Oct 2017 : Murat Dağdeviren, owner of the Demokrat Gebze newspaper, was arrested on 31 July 2016. On 10 October 2017, he was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison on charge of membership to a terror organization. Demokrat Gebze newspaper was shut down by decree.
05 Oct 2017 : Yüksel Durgut was released pending trial for health reasons on 29 September 2017.
29 Sep 2017 : Abdullah Özyurt was released on 15 September 2017.
29 Sep 2017 : On 22 September 2017, Mediha Olgun was released.
18 Sep 2017 : Burak Ekici, the online editor for daily newspaper Birgün, was ordered arrested on 16 August 2017 on accusations of links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Ekici was detained for allegedly having used mobile phone encryption application Bylock, which prosecutors consider to be evidence of membership in the Gülen movement.
07 Sep 2017 : Mehmet Dener and Muhammet Taşçılar were released on 1 September 2017.
23 Aug 2017 : On 18 August 2017, the 25th court for severe crime of Istanbul released pending trial Cihan Acar, journalist for Bugün, and Aksiyon magazine journalist, Bünyamin Köseli, prosecuted for «coup attempt».
21 Aug 2017 : On 18 August 2017, Ali Ahmet Böken, a former TRT News coordinator and former columnist for the now-closed Samanyolu TV, was arrested. Accused of “membership in a terrorist organisation”, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
25 Jul 2017 : Hülya Karakaya was released on 18 July 2017 and placed under judiciary control.
20 Jul 2017 : Nizamettin İzgi, owner of the Batman newspaper, was arrested on 11 December 2016. On 17 July 2017, a court ordered his release under judicial control.
01 Jun 2017 : On 27 May 2017, a Turkish court formally arrested Mediha Olgun (internet editor) and Gökmen Ulu (press correspondent in Izmir), two opposition journalists working for Sözcü daily newspaper for "a story and photographs in the paper revealing where Erdogan was spending his vacation a day before the coup, and a crossword puzzle with the president’s name hidden in it", according to state-run Anadolu news agency. The two jailed Sözcü journalists face charges including “knowingly aiding and abetting the FETÖ terrorist organisation without being part of its hierarchical structure”, and “aiding the assassination attempt of the president”.
30 May 2017 : Idris Okur, Cihan reporter in Çorum, was put in custody on 1 August 2016. His trial started in May 2017 before the Çorum 2nd Heavy Penal Court.
29 May 2017 : Özkan Mayda was released on 24 May 2017.
26 May 2017 : Olgun Matur was released on 29 March 2017 and was arrested again 3 days later on 2nd April. He was released again on 24 May 2017.
05 May 2017 : On 4 may 2017, Ozan Kaplanoğlu, editor of the online platform @BursaMuhalif and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bursa Branch of the Contemporary Gazeteciler Derneği, was detained during an early morning raid on his home. The journalist was arrested by a Bursa court on 5 May on the charge of spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation on his social media account.
02 May 2017 : İbrahim Karayeğen, an editor for Zaman newspaper, was ordered arrested on 26 September 2016 as part of the coup attempt investigation. Karayeğen, who was detained on 16 July 2016 in İstanbul Atatürk Airport was formally put on pre-trial detention on 24 July 2016 by an investigating judge at İstanbul No.2 Criminal Court of Peace. On 27 April 2017, an Istanbul court indicted Karayeğen and 29 other former Zaman Media Group employees with attempting to overthrow the government, the Constitution and Parliament. Each suspect risks three consecutive life sentences. The indictment also seeks another 15 years for each suspect on charges of being members of a terrorist organisation.
20 Apr 2017 : Ali Akkuş was released on 31 March 2017 and detained a few hours later. He was released again on 15 April 2017.
18 Apr 2017 : On 5 August 2016, Yakup Şimşek, the former Brand Marketing Manager of Zaman was taken into custody, as part of a probe into a controversial commercial allegedly hinting at an impending coup bid some nine months before the 15 July coup attempt. The indictment drafted on 14 April 2017 by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office seeks three consecutive life sentences for 16 people, including Şimşek, on coup charges. On 29 March 2016, court-appointed trustees had fired Simsek along with 5 colleagues from the daily newspapers Zaman and Today's Zaman, for "abusing the trust of the employer" and "acting against the good will and morals, as well as the company's image".
17 Apr 2017 : Yakup Çetin and Yetkin Yıldız were released on 31 march 2017 and detained again a few hours later. They were re-arrested on 15 april 2017.
13 Apr 2017 : On 11 April 2017 an indictment of journalists and columnists of Zaman daily was filed to the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court. The indictment seeks three consecutive life sentences for the 30 defendants on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. 30 journalists, 21 of whom are already under arrest, were indicted. The defendants include former Zaman writers Mümtazer Türköne, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Şahin Alpay, Mustafa Ünal and Ali Bulaç. The journalists are charged with "attempting a coup d'Etat" for which the prosecutor demands three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Additionally, the prosecutor demands up to 15 years in prison for all the suspects on charges of "membership in a terrorist organisation." Anatolia News Agency reported that the defendants are Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Alaattin Güner, Cuma Kaya, Faruk Akkan, Hakan Taşdelen, Hüseyin Belli, Hüseyin Turan, İbrahim Karayeğen, İsmail Küçük, Mehmet Özdemir, Murat Avcıoğlu, Mustafa Ünal, Onur Kutlu, Sedat Yetişkin, Şeref Yılmaz, Yüksel Durgut ve Zafer Özsoy tutuklu, Ahmet İrem, Ali Hüseyinçelebi, Süleyman Sargın, Osman Nuri Arslan, Osman Nuri Öztürk, Lalezer Sarıibrahimoğlu, Nuriye Ural and Orhan Kemal Cengiz. Sarıibrahimoğlu, Ural and Cengiz are listed as suspects pending trial outside of prison.
05 Apr 2017 : Serhat Şeftali, Zaman regional burea Chief for the Med region, was arrested on 21 July 2016. He stands accused of preparing the ground for July 2016 coup attempt on behalf of the Hizmet movement. On 1 April 2017, Serhat Şeftali was ordered released on judicial probation by the Antalya 2nd High Criminal Court along 20 police officers and seven other journalists including Tuncer Çetinkaya and Olgun Matur pending the conclusion of their trial. However, the Antalya 3rd High Criminal Court ruled for the re-arrest of 16 of them, including Şeftali following objections to their release by prosecutors.
05 Apr 2017 : Tuncer Çetinkaya was released on 29 March 2017 and re-arrested on 2 April.
31 Mar 2017 : Kenan Baş was released on 29 March 2017.
10 Mar 2017 : Nur Ener, the news-editor of Yeni Asya newspaper, was detained on 3 March 2017 as a part of the purge of journalists allegedly linked to the Gülen movement. Ener was formally arrested on 6 March 2017 for allegedly having used the mobile phone encryption application Bylock, which Turkish prosecutors consider to be evidence of membership in the Gülen movement. Ener is currently in pre-trial detention in the Bakırköy Women’s Closed Prison in Istanbul.
06 Mar 2017 : Erdem Mühirci was released on 28 February 2017.
28 Feb 2017 : Vedat Demir was released on 18 February 2017.
03 Feb 2017 : Hamza Günerigök, an anchor with of state-owned TRT, was arrested on 30 January 2017 by border security in military zone as he was trying to flee from Turkey to Greece in illegal ways. The authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Günerigök over his alleged link with the Gülen movement.
30 Jan 2017 : On 18 January 2017, Ünal Tanık, owner and editor-in-chief of the Rota Haber news portal, which is among the media outlets closed down in the aftermath of the coup attempt, was arrested after being detained in Yalova the day before. The arrest verdict of İstanbul’s 11th Penal Court of Peace was based on the charge of alleged membership to the Gülen movement. Tanık faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
23 Dec 2016 : Özcan Keser, reporter for state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Network (TRT), who had previously worked with Cihan News Agency, was detained on 12 August 2016. He was formally arrested on 19 December.
22 Dec 2016 : Ömer Oruç, a former reporter of the Cihan News Agency, was arrested on 18 December 2016. Oruç is currently imprisoned in Isparta prison.
19 Dec 2016 : Eda Şanlı was released pending trial on 18 December 2016.
16 Dec 2016 : On 14 December 2016, Mehmet Anıl was released.
12 Dec 2016 : Nadir Yücel, editor in chief of the Çorum Yıldız, was ordered arrested on 4 December 2016 as part of a purge of journalists allegedly linked with Fethullah Gülen.
31 Oct 2016 : Beytullah Özdemir, the Düzce representative for the newspaper Zaman, was ordered arrested on 27 October 2016 as part of the ongoing investigation into the failed 15 July 2016 coup attempt.
26 Oct 2016 : As of 26 October 2016, the list of detained journalists was updated, adding the following 24 journalists, arrested under State of emergency as part of the coup investigation: Abdullah Özyurt, Ahmet Yavaş, Ayşenur Parıldak, Aytekin Gezici, Aziz İstegün, Bayram Parlak, Cumali Önal, Gültekin Avcı, Eda Şanlı, Halil İbrahim Mert, İbrahim Karayeğen, Kenan Baş, Lokman Erdoğan, Mehmet Kuru, Murat Aksoy, Nurullah Kaya, Nuri Durna, Olgun Matur, Osman Yakut, Özkan Mayda, Tuncer Çetinkaya, Vahit Yazgan, Vedat Demir and Yalçın Güler. Most of them were former Zaman journalists and executives. Additionally, 11 journalists, arrested during the State of emergency outside the coup probe, were also added to the list of detained journalists: Erdem Mühirci, Hülya Karakaya , İlker İlkan, Mehmet Anıl, Mehmet Arslan , Necmiye Alpay, Nizamettin Yılmaz, Rabia Özkaya, Selahattin Koyuncu , Şirin Çoban and Zeynel Abidin Bulut.
18 Oct 2016 : As of 18 October 2016, 35 of the 89 journalists targeted by one of the 2 mass warrants issued after the coup attempt have been arrested : Abdullah Kılıç, Ali Akkuş, Nazlı Ilıcak, Bayram Kaya, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, İbrahim Balta, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Seyid Kılıç, Ufuk Şanlı, and Yakup Çetin - Şeref Yılmaz, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Faruk Akkan, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ali Ünal, Mustafa Ünal, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Ali Bulaç, Mehmet Özdemir, Fevzi Yazıcı, Murat Avcıoğlu, , Zafer Özsoy, Cuma Kaya, and Hakan Taşdelen. On Oct 12, former Taraf and Zaman columnists Lalezar Sariibrahimoglu and Nuriye (Akman) Ural were released from prison pending trial. An Istanbul Criminal Court decided that there were sufficient grounds for suspecting that both were members of the so-called Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure, or FETÖ/PDY, but also indicated that the case against them would be subject to further assessment to ascertain whether it could be shown to be strong enough to proceed. On that basis they were released from custody on appeal with certain legal controls. Both are banned from travelling abroad. To date, ten journalists have been released: Arda Akın, Bülent Mumay, Mehmet Gündem, and Yakup Sağlam -Zeki Önal, Hilmi Yavuz, Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu (Lale Kemal), İhsan Duran Dağı, Nuriye (Akman) Ural and Osman Nuri Arslan.
05 Oct 2016 : Ramazan Alkan, a journalist for Yeni Akit newspaper, was ordered arrested on 30 September 2016 for allegedly having used the mobile phone encryption application Bylock, which Turkish prosecutors consider to be evidence of membership in the Gülen movement.
12 Sep 2016 : Mutlu Çölgeçen, an editor with Millet newspaper, was ordered arrested on 9 September 2016. Çölgeçen is one of 29 journalists charged in a case accusing them of having been part of the Gülen movement’s “media wing”. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
05 Sep 2016 : On 2 September 2016, Ahmet Memiş, a reporter for Haberdar news website, was arrested as part of a purge of journalists allegedly linked to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Mr Memiş is accused of having been part of the Gülen movement’s “media wing” and is kept in detention at Silivri prison camp.
01 Sep 2016 : In August 2016, Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has ordered detention for 34 employers of TRT (Turkey's Public Broadcasting Service) claimed to be users of ByLock, an encrypted communication software allegedly used among members of the Gülen Community. According to Bianet, there are eight TRT employees among journalists taken into custody under the State of Emergency declared on July 20 and put behind bars. The names of the eight former TRT employees are as follows: Ahmet Yavaş (TRT radio Erzurum correspondent), Ali Yüce (TRT radio broadcasting manager), Ersin Şanlı (TRT domestic news manager), Hakan Aksel (TRT News and Sports Department Coordinator Assistant and Producer), Halil İbrahim Mert (TRT TV Erzurum cameraperson), Nuri Durna (TRT Erzurum correspondent), Yalçın Güler (TRT Erzurum correnspondent), Seyid Kılıç (TRT correspondent). Since August 2016, those eight journalists are kept in detention as part of the government’s investigation following the 15 July 2016 coup attempt.
29 Aug 2016 : On 21 August 2016, a court in Van arraigned Ali Aşikar, a journalist working for the Kurdish-language daily newspaper Azadiya Welat, and ordered him jailed pending trial on charges of "committing crimes in the name of [terrorist] organizations" and possessing explosives. Mr Aşikar is kept in detention at Van M type prison since 28 August 2016.
25 Aug 2016 : Burçin Dokgöz, a reporter for Zaman newspaper and for Cihan News Agency in the northern Anatolian city of Çorum, was ordered arrested on 21 August 2016.
24 Aug 2016 : İsmail Efe, the press consultant of the İzmir Directorate of Tourism, was arrested as a part of ongoing operations against alleged followers of Fethullah Gülen following the failed coup attempt. Efe is currently imprisoned in Aliağa prison in İzmir
24 Aug 2016 : Erol Yüksel, a vice president of the news department of state-owned TRT, was ordered arrested on 19 August 2016 as part of the investigation following the coup attempt.
15 Aug 2016 : On 10 August 2016, Habervaktim site and founder of Vahdet newspaper, Yener Dönmez, was detained at the Habervaktim Ankara bureau, in the scope of an investigation into the leaking of a sex tape featuring former leader of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal. The video was first published on Akit's unofficial website Habervaktim in 2010. An investigation at the time produced no arrests. Dönmez had been detained earlier in the post-coup investigation.
15 Aug 2016 : On 13 August 2016 Tahsin Kürklü, head of Logistics Department of the now-closed Zaman newspaper, was detained by gendarmerie officers in Gürün district of Sivas province and later ordered arrested by a Sivas court. He is said to be the former chauffeur of Ekrem Dumanlı, the former editor-in-chief of daily Zaman who was jailed for “attempting a coup” and “forming an organisation with felonious intent.”
11 Aug 2016 : On 10 August 2016, an Ankara court of penal peace arraigned Erdal Şen, former Ankara correspondent for the daily newspaper Habertürk, on suspicion of assisting an alleged high-ranking member of the Hizmet movement to escape after the failed coup. He was released on 21 April 2017, and re-arrested the next day upon objection of the prosecutor’s office.
08 Aug 2016 : İsmail Avcı, a former reporter for Zaman newspaper and Cihan News Agency, was arrested on 1 August 2016 as a part of the purge of journalists allegedly linked to Fethullah Gülen. Avcı was reportedly detained in the Yalvaç district of Isparta while trying to hide from police. He is currently being held in the Diyarbakır D-type prison.
08 Aug 2016 : On 5 August 2016, police in the western Turkish province of Denizli, detained Resul Cengiz, a former reporter for the shuttered Cihan News Agency. A local court ordered Cengiz jailed pending trial on terrorism charges on 10 August 2016.
01 Aug 2016 : Isa Siyi, journalist for Haberdar news site, was arrested on 28 July 2016, among the 88 journalists for whom arrest warrants were issued as part of the reaction to the July 15 military coup attempt.
01 Aug 2016 : Abdurrahim Ersöz, a local press correspondent for Cihan news agency In Antalya, was arrested on 28 July 2016 as part of a purge of journalists allegedly linked to the movement headed by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. Mr Ersöz was arrested along with Antalya correspondent Ömer Özdemir from Zaman newspaper and is kept in detention at Antalya L Type Closed Criminal Infrastructure Authority since July 2016.
26 Jul 2016 : In the early morning of 26 July 2016, journalist and former parliamentarian Nazlı Ilıcak, one of the 42 journalists named in the arrest warrants as part of the post-coup attempt crackdown operations, was detained in the Bodrum district of the Aegean province of Muğla. According to Turkish media reports, six other journalists appearing on the list were also detained: Yakup Sağlam, İbrahim Balta, Seyit Kılıç, Bayram Kaya, Cihan Acar and Hanım Büşra Erdal.
25 Jul 2016 : Mehmet Dener, the owner of the local sanliurfa.com website, was ordered arrested on 22 July 2016 along with the editor-in-chief of the website, Muhammet Taşçılar, as a part of the ongoing investigation into the failed 15 July 2016 coup attempt.

Follow-ups

New 16 Feb 2018 : Life sentences for Turkish journalists are an unprecedented, unacceptable attack on freedom of expression, say OSCE representative on Media Freedom.
New 19 Jan 2018 : The Council of Europe Secretary General refers to the recent decisions of Turkey’s Constitutional Court in his address to the Committee of Ministers
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
14 Mar 2017 : Opinion of the Venice Commission on the Measures provided in the recent Emergency Decree Laws with respect to Freedom of the Media
15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

Azerbaijani Director of Internet Television Re-arrested

Update: 20 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 30 Jun 2017 Country Azerbaijan Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
30 Jun 2017 Azerbaijan B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 1
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Aziz Orujov, director of internet television Kanal 13, was re-arrested on 1 June 2017 in Azerbaijan. On 2 May he was found guilty by court of committing an administrative offence - disobedience to a lawful order by police officer - and sentenced for 30 days. On 1 June, two hours before his expected release, he was taken to the Serious Crimes Investigation Department, then charged with illegal entrepreneurship with large income and abuse of official power. The judge has ordered the journalist's pre-trial detention for four months. After Ojurov's arrest, searches have been conducted in his apartment and in the office of Kanal 13. Computers, electronic carriers and documents were confiscated. Orujov's wife said that she is concerned about Ojurov's health because he suffers from chronic diseases. Media reported that the case against Ojurov is connected with his professional activities. Kanal 13 produces programmes on social and economic topics, presenting, among other things, positions of independent experts and opposition politicians. Alert : 1 detention

Updates

New 20 Feb 2018 : On 20 February 2018, the Baku Appeal Court upheld the verdict against Aziz Orujov. The defense intends to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.
18 Dec 2017 : On 15 December 2017 the Baku Court for Serious Crimes sentenced Aziz Orujov to 6 years for illegal business and misappropriation of funds.

Follow-ups

18 Dec 2017 : OSCE media freedom representative calls on Azerbaijan authorities to end restrictive measures detrimental to journalists’ freedom and safety

Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan Detained for Words Used on TV

Update: 16 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 13 Sep 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
13 Sep 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , RSF Level 1
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On 10 September 2016, Ahmet Altan (journalist and writer) and his brother Mehmet Altan (professor and journalist) were detained by Turkish authorities for the words they used on the "Özgür Düşünce" programme that was broadcast on Can Erzincan TV on July 14. According to the Anadolu Agency, both journalists are accused of "delivering subliminal messages evoking the coup" and they gave "the impression that they already knew about the coup". Because the prosecutors in charge of the case are currently on holiday, no access to files has been granted to their lawyers and an appeal procedure against the detention has been refused to both defendants. Alert : 2 detentions

Updates

New 16 Feb 2018 : On 16 Febuary 2018, the Altan brothers were handed aggravated life sentences.
16 Jan 2018 : On 15 January 2018 Istanbul's 27th High Criminal Court rejected Mehmet Altan’s appeal for release.
12 Jan 2018 : On 11 January 2018 Turkey`s Constitutional Court ruled to release Mehmet Altan. His release was halted by Istanbul`s 26th High Criminal Court, which announced that his detention would be reviewed after the Constitutional Court’s reasoned decisions were formally communicated.
17 Nov 2017 : On 13 November 2017, the third hearing in the Altans case took place in Istanbul. The judge dismissed the Altans’ entire defence team, on the grounds that they were in contempt of court. The case was not adjourned, and the Altans, who were not present in court but observed the proceedings via video link from Silivri prison, were forced to represent themselves.
12 Jan 2017 : The Altans legal team has applied to the European Court of Human Rights on 12 January 2017 to challenge the journalists continuing detention. The Altans are still waiting on applications lodged with the Turkish Constitutional Court on 8 November 2016.

Follow-ups

New 16 Feb 2018 : Life sentences for Turkish journalists are an unprecedented, unacceptable attack on freedom of expression, say OSCE representative on Media Freedom.
New 19 Jan 2018 : The Council of Europe Secretary General refers to the recent decisions of Turkey’s Constitutional Court in his address to the Committee of Ministers
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

"Die Welt" Correspondent in Turkey Deniz Yücel Detained

Update: 16 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 24 Feb 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 1
24 Feb 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 1
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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

New 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

New 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

Novaya Gazeta Correspondent to be Deported

Update: 15 Feb 2018 No reply yet
Year 08 Aug 2017 Country Russian Federation Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Index , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
08 Aug 2017 Russian Federation B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Index , CPJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 1
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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. Alert : 1 detention

Updates

New 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.
New 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.
New 02 Feb 2018 : On 2 February 2018, a Moscow court allowed Novaya Gazeta’s journalist Ali Feruz to leave Russia.
New 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

New 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".

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

Update: 14 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 08 Jul 2016 Country Germany Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner RSF , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
08 Jul 2016 Germany E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State RSF , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2

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

New 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.

Greek Sport Journalist Aris Asvestas Assaulted for Second Time

No reply yet
Year 14 Feb 2018 Country Greece Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
14 Feb 2018 Greece A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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Journalist Aris Asvestas, sport editor at Sport FM in Athens, was attacked by unidentified assailants on his way home after presenting his programme on 27 January 2018. The attack happened outside a mini market where Asvestas had stopped to buy cigarettes. He was riding a motorbike and, as soon as he removed his helmet, he was set upon by two unknown men who brutally attacked him. The journalist was briefly hospitalised for medical treatment but allowed to return home. This was the second attack against Aris Asvestas after another incident on 3 September 2012 when he was also attacked outside his home by unknown assailants as he was returning home late from his work at the radio station. His attackers struck when he removed his helmet and hit him with an iron object. No one has been arrested in connection with these incidents.

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

Update: 12 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 18 Oct 2017 Country Iceland Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
18 Oct 2017 Iceland E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

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

New 12 Feb 2018 : Response from the Icelandic authorities

Follow-ups

19 Oct 2017 : OSCE media freedom representative concerned about ban on reporting about Icelandic bank

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

Update: 12 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 27 Jul 2016 Country France Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
27 Jul 2016 France E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Non-state EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2

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.

State replies

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

Update: 12 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 12 Nov 2015 Country France Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
12 Nov 2015 France A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2

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.

State replies

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

Around Ten Journalists from France Télévisions Assaulted by Residents

Update: 12 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 12 Nov 2015 Country France Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
12 Nov 2015 France A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ Level 2

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".

State replies

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

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Year 09 Feb 2018 Country France Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
09 Feb 2018 France E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 2
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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.

Programme Cancellation and Dismissal Threats Within the French Channel Canal+

Update: 09 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 12 Nov 2015 Country France Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
12 Nov 2015 France E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Non-state EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2

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.

State replies

Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer

Journalists Victims of Police Violence During Demonstrations

Update: 09 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 03 Jun 2016 Country France Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Alert level Level 1
03 Jun 2016 France A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Level 1

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.

State replies

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