Disclaimer
 
20 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 14 Dec 2018 Serbia

Investigative Journalist Milan Jovanović Attacked with Molotov Cocktail

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
On 12 December 2018, the house of Milan Jovanović, an investigative journalist for the independent news website Žig Info, was set ablaze at 3:30 am in Vrčin when a Molotov cocktail was thrown through his garage window and unidentified persons fired shots at his front door to prevent the family from leaving the house, local and regional media reported. Mr Jovanović and his wife were able to escape through the back window and watched as their entire property, including a car, burned down. Jovanovic was not injured, but he claimed that the fire occurred because of his articles targeting the mafia in the municipality of Grocka, 20 km from Belgrade. The journalist reported on the "suddenly acquired property" of the head of the local Grocka municipality, as well as alleging corruption in the construction of sewage systems, after which local authorities cut down his water supply. Following the attack, he has filed several complaints to the police and written two letters to Serbian President Aleksander Vučić asking him to intervene and ensure he can work without fear of reprisal. Žig Info editor Zeljko Matorcevic said Jovanović received threats in July, after their reports on alleged misconduct in the municipality were published, according to the report.
State replies
20 Feb 2019
New Reply from the Serbian authorities (information from the Ministry of Interior)
Open in a new window show-link
20 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 09 May 2018 Montenegro

Vijesti Investigative Journalist Olivera Lakić Shot and Injured

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Investigative journalist Olivera Lakić who works for Montenegro based newspaper Vijesti was shot outside her home on 8 May 2018 around 9 pm in Podgorica by an unidentified gunman. Ms Lakić was injured in the right leg and sent to the hospital where her condition is described as stable.

Olivera Lakić is known for investigating crime and corruption in Montenegro. This attack is the second attack on the journalist after an earlier incident in 2012 when she was punched in the head multiple times following her reports on alleged illegal dealings involving a tobacco factory. The perpetrator was sentenced to jail and Olivera Lakic was put under police protection for a while.
Updates
New 20 Feb 2019
On 19 February 2019, Montenegrin police announced that they have arrested nine members of a criminal organisation who are suspected of shooting Olivera Lakić in 2018.
Follow-ups
09 May 2018
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the repeated assault on Olivera Lakić, investigative journalist at the daily Vijesti.
09 May 2018
CoE Secretary General shocked over the attack on investigative journalist in Montenegro
09 May 2018
OSCE Representative Désir strongly condemns shooting of journalist Olivera Lakić in Podgorica, call on authorities to bring perpetrators to justice
Open in a new window show-link
19 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 27 Jul 2016 Turkey

Journalists Arrested in Major Clampdown following Failed Coup in Turkey

76 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI
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.
Updates
New 19 Feb 2019
On 19 February 2019, the 3rd Penal Chamber (the court of appeal) of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice upheld the verdict on the Cumhuriyet newspaper' case. This is the final judgment for the defendants who were sentenced to prison for less than five years: journalist Kadri Gursel and lawyer Bulent Utku will not go back to prison due to time already served ; journalists Hakan Kara and Guray Oz, cartoonist Musa Kart, lawyer Mustafa Kemal Gungor, board member Onder Celik, and accountant Emre Iper will return to prison to complete their sentences. Editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, journalists Ahmet Sik, Hikmet Cetinkaya, Orhan Erinc, Akin Atalay and Aydin Engin, all sentenced to more than five years, will have to return to prison pending their appeal to a higher court.
07 Dec 2018
Journalist Murat Aksoy, who was given a 25-month prison sentence earlier this year reported to the Istanbul Courthouse on 22 November 2018 to serve that prison sentence, which was upheld in October 2018 by an appellate court. Aksoy was arrested and sent to the Metris Prison.
15 Nov 2018
On 14 November 2018, Uşak 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced Ali Ünal to 19 years and six months in jail on charge of leading a terrorist group. The Court acquitted him of "attempt to overthrow the constitutional order".
26 Oct 2018
On 24 October 2018, the 2nd Criminal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice ruled on appeals of a ruling handed down by the İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court on 8 March 2018 lodged by 25 journalists, including 19 jailed journalists. The Chamber upheld the conviction of defendants Cihan Acar, Bünyamin Köseli, İbrahim Balta, Bayram Kaya, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Ünal Tanık, Yakup Çetin, Seyit Kılıç, Hüseyin Aydın, Abdullah Kılıç, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Oğuz Usluer, Davut Aydın, Ufuk Şanlı, Yetkin Yıldız and Cuma Ulus. The court in addition ruled for a continuation of the imprisonment of the 19 journalists. In its decision, the chamber also rejected the appeals of prosecutors against lower court decisions for columnist and singer Atilla Taş and for journalist Murat Aksoy.
03 Oct 2018
On 2 October 2018, the appeal court upheld aggravated life sentences for Nazlı Ilıcak, Fevzi Yazıcı and Yakup Şimşek.
06 Jul 2018
On 6 July 2018, an Istanbul court has sentenced six former Zaman journalists to prison sentences on charges of being members of a terror organisation, while acquitting five others of all charges. The Court ordered to release Ahmet Turan Alkan and İbrahim Karayeğen under judicial control, pending appeal.
25 May 2018
On 24 May 2018, a court in İstanbul has sentenced Yeni Asya daily editor Naciye Nur Ener Kılınç to 7,5 years in prison on charge of membership of a terrorist organisation and ruled for the continuation of her house arrest pending appeal trial.
14 May 2018
On 11 May 2018, the 13th High Criminal Court of Istanbul in its interim decision ruled to release columnist Ali Bulaç and Zaman’s former Responsible Managing Editor Mehmet Özdemir from pretrial detention, while ordering the lifting of Şahin Alpay’s house arrest. The court also imposed overseas travel bans on both Bulaç and Özdemir and ordered judicial control measures for those three defendants. The next hearings are scheduled for 7 and 8 June.
10 May 2018
On 30 April 2018, an Istanbul court convicted 10 people affiliated with the shuttered Feza Media Group, publisher of the daily Zaman, on terrorism-related charges. All of the defendants were acquitted on charges of "attempting to eliminate the constitutional order”. Murat Avcıoğlu, Cuma Kaya, Alaattin Güner, Hüseyin Turan and Zafer Ozsoy were released on probation pending appeal.
30 Apr 2018
On 24 April 2018, a court in the southern city of Antalya sentenced to prison Tuncer Çetinkaya, a former reporter of Zaman newspaper and Cihan News Agency, for 7 years and 6 months on charges of "being a member of a [terrorist] organisation". The court ordered Çetinkaya released on probation to receive treatment for kidney failure.
19 Mar 2018
Journalist Şahin Alpay was released from Silivri Prison at night on Friday 16 March 2018. He remains under on house arrest.
19 Mar 2018
On 15 March 2018, the Turkish Constitutional Court re-evaluated Şahin Alpay’s application. This 2nd application was filed after the Constitutional Court’s first ruling was snubbed by local courts in January 2018. The Court reiterated its former ruling that the journalist’s rights had been violated and that he should be freed. Turkish top court ruling comes as European Court of Human Rights is set to announce its verdict on the case on 20th March.
09 Mar 2018
On 8 March 2018, the İstanbul 25th Heavy Penal Court sentenced defendants Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Muhammet Sait Kuloğlu, Multlu Çölgeçen, Seyid Kılıç, Ünal Tanık, Erkan Acar, Oğuz Usluer, Davut Aydın, Ufuk Şanlı, Yetkin Yıldız, Cuma Ulus to 7 years and 6 months in prison on charge of “being a member of an illegal organisation”. The court ruled for the re-arrest of journalist Akkuş, who had been released last April. Cihan Acar, Bünyamin Köseli, İbrahim Balta, Bayram Kaya, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Yakup Çetin, Hüseyin Aydın, Abdullah Kılıç and Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu were sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison on the same charge. 13 defendants were acquitted of “coup attempt” charges. The court sentenced Atilla Taş and Murat Aksoy for “knowingly and willingly aiding an illegal organization as a non-member” while not being “a part of the hierarchical structure within the organization”. They were respectively condemned to 3 years 1 month and 15 days in prison and 2 years and 1 month. Considering the time in prison they already served, the court rejected the prosecutor’s request for the re-arrest of Taş and Aksoy and removed the obligation to sign in at a police station regularly. Yet it ruled for the continuation of their travel ban.
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.
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.
17 Aug 2017
On 10 August 2017, the police in Istanbul detained Cüneyt Seza Özkan, former news editor at the shuttered Samanyolu TV, according to news reports. Mr Özkan was one of 35 journalists and media workers whose arrest a Turkish court mandated the week before as part of a sweeping purge of suspected followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, according to reports. Özkan’s arrest is part of an investigation into journalists and others who allegedly used the Bylock app, according to press reports. Authorities allege that use of the encrypted messaging app is proof of FETÖ/PDY membership.
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
17 May 2018
OSCE Media Freedom representative welcomes the release of journalists Ali Bulaç and Mehmet Özdemir from pre-trial detention and the vend of house arrest for Şahin Alpay, but increased sentences demanded against other defendants and continued arrests are of great concern.
20 Mar 2018
On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
19 Mar 2018
OSCE media freedom representative welcomes the release of Şahin Alpay but considers that "placing him under house arrest is contrary to the 2nd Constitutional Court ruling".
09 Mar 2018
OSCE representative Désir urges Turkey to release and drop charges against 25 media workers sentenced to prison, including journalists Aksoy and Taş
16 Feb 2018
Life sentences for Turkish journalists are an unprecedented, unacceptable attack on freedom of expression, say OSCE representative on Media Freedom.
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
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (76):

Abdullah Kılıç, Abdürrahim Ersöz, Ahmet Memiş, Ahmet Yavaş, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Ali Akkuş, Ali Aşikar, Ali Ahmet Böken, Ali Ünal, Ali Yüce, Ayşenur Parıldak, Aytekin Gezici, Aziz İstegün, Bayram Kaya, Beytullah Özdemir, Burçin Dokgöz, Cemal Kalyoncu, Cuma Kaya, Cuma Ulus, Cüneyt Seza Özkan, 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, Idris Okur, Ilker Ilkan, Isa Siyi, İsmail Avcı, İsmail Efe, Lokman Erdoğan, Mehmet Kuru, 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, Serhat Şeftali, Şeref Yılmaz, Seyid Kılıç, Şirin Çoban, Tahsin Kürklü, Ufuk Şanlı, Ünal Tanık, Vahit Yazgan, Yakup Çetin, Yakup Şimşek, Yalçın Güler, Zafer Özsoy, Murat Aksoy.
Open in a new window show-link
19 Feb 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 19 Feb 2019 Greece

Athens Review of Books faces risk of closure after a politician in defamation case obtained a freeze on its bank accounts

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner AEJ
No state reply yet
Partner AEJ
The literary, cultural and historical journal the Athens Review of Books (ARB) is at risk of being forced to close. A former Greek foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias, has sued the magazine for defamation, for publishing a reader’s letter in 2017, which described Kotzias as a “gauleiter of Stalinism”. The ex-Minister demanded damages of 250,000 euros. He won the lawsuit and the Court awarded him 22,000 euros but, additionally, blocked ARB’s revenues from the press distribution agency and froze the bank accounts of its publisher and chief editor.

The magazine appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that last year Mr Kotzias publicly acknowledged that he had served the ‘Stalinist left’. Meanwhile, the serious risk that the ongoing action will put a leading European cultural publication out of business has prompted an appeal by hundreds of eminent international academics and writers. They have called on top European Union figures, namely the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, to do everything in their power to save the ARB from the threat of closure.

Press freedom advocates have further argued that the persecution of the ARB is an abuse of the ability that Greek law affords to politicians to file lawsuits against the press and request excessive sums of money; and that the latitude provided by Greek law in such circumstances allows politicians to intimidate the press and deter political criticism.
Open in a new window show-link
19 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 13 Feb 2019 Russian Federation

Russia Investigates Reporter, Seizes Property over Allegations of "Justifying Terrorism"

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner CPJ
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ
Svetlana Prokopyeva, a Pskov-based stringer for the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Russian service and the Echo of Moscow news radio station, is being investigated for comments critical of Russian authorities in relation to a suicide bombing last year, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the journalist, who spoke to CPJ. Russia's federal media regulator, Roskomnadzor, said those comments, made during a broadcast on the Pskov affiliate of Echo of Moscow, amounted to "justifying terrorism."

On 6 February 2019, armed special forces police raided Prokopyeva's home and seized two cell phones and three laptop computers, as well as many documents relating to her work, Prokopyeva told CPJ. She said police took her to a local station, where she was interrogated before being released. Prokopyeva's lawyer was present during the search and interrogation, according to the Russian office of Human Rights Watch. On the same day, local police conducted a "crime scene examination" of Echo of Moscow. Prokopyeva told CPJ that she was interrogated by police again on 7 February and that police forced her and her lawyer to sign an agreement stating that they would not disclose sensitive information about the investigation. Pskov police could not be reached by phone for comment.

The investigation into Prokopyeva stems from comments she made while hosting a show on the Pskov affiliate of Echo of Moscow on 7 November 2018, during which she discussed a suicide bombing attack in Arkhangelsk in October, when a 17-year-old detonated a homemade bomb inside a local Federal Security Service building. Prokopyeva said on-air that the bomber was "a teenager who grew up under Putin's rule" and that "a 'ruthless state' had raised someone who saw violence as the only path," according to a summary of her remarks by Human Rights Watch.

A transcript of the broadcast was published on Echo of Moscow's website and by local news portal Pskov Newsfeed. In December 2018, Roskomnadzor issued a warning to both outlets and both removed the transcripts. Later that month, Roskomnadzor fined the radio station 150,000 rubles (approximately US$2,280) and Pskov Newsfeed 200,000 rubles (approximately US$3,040) for carrying her comments. Prokopyeva could face charges under Article 205.2(2) of the Russian criminal code, which penalizes the public justification of terrorism; if found guilty, she could face up to seven years in prison.
Follow-ups
19 Feb 2019
New On 19 February 2019, CoE Human Rights Commissioner published a letter in which she asks the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, Tatiana Moskalkova, to accord close attention to the case of Svetlana Prokopyeva, stressing that misuse of anti-terrorism legislation limits media freedom and freedom of expression.
13 Feb 2019
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative calls for dropping of criminal charges against Radio Ekho Moskvy journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva in Russia.
Open in a new window show-link
15 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 26 Nov 2018 France

Repeated Attacks on Journalists by the 'Yellow Vest' Protestors

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ RSF
The French journalists unions SNJ, SNJ-CGT and CFDT Journalistes denounce the multiplication of attacks on journalists during the "Yellow Vest" protests in several French cities. Since 17 November 2018, the insults or threats by some "yellow vests" against journalists have become commonplace during demonstrations and on social networks. Several journalists were also victims of physical assaults. TV news outlets had to take special measures to protect their reporters. On Saturday, 24 November, uninhibited violence was unleashed against several television crews who were covering the demonstrations. In Besançon, on 17 November, journalists from the BIP community radio were subjected to racist insults. One of them was hit in the face. Suffering from a broken bone, he filed a complaint. In Montpellier, on 18 November, several television reporters were attacked by dozens of protesters. Protesters spat in the face of a freelance journalist who collaborates with several television channels, including BFM TV. In Toulouse, on 24 November, the BFM TV and CNews teams were called "collaborators", and were also the target of spitting and threats. These journalists escaped an attempted lynching, on the Capitol Square, conducted by a hundred people, without the intervention of police. In Béziers, on 24 November, journalists from the regional public channel France 3 Occitanie were severely assaulted. A group of about 300 ‘yellow vests’ also attacked the office of newspaper Midi Libre. A journalist was beaten and the door handle of the local newspaper agency was broken when protesters attempted to break into the premises. Five journalists from CNEWS and BFMTV lodged complaints on grounds of "aggravated violence", "death threats" and "attempted gang assault" following protests held on 24 and 25 November.
Updates
New 15 Jan 2019
On 12 January 2019, several journalists were heckled or assaulted while covering "yellow vests" demonstrations in France. On the night of Friday 11 to Saturday 12 January, about thirty “yellow vests” blocked the Valenciennes storage house of the regional daily newspaper "La Voix du Nord", preventing the distribution of 20,000 newspapers on Saturday morning. About fifty "yellow vests", some hooded, blocked the printing center of the regional newspaper "Yonne Républicaine" in Auxerre. They gathered in front of the printing center shortly before midnight, preventing the delivery trucks from leaving. The blockade hindered distribution of some editions of "Le Journal du Center" and "La République du Centre" regional dailies. Near Angouleme, the regional daily "La Charente libre" could be published only thanks to police protection. About 70 “yellow vests” had gathered in front of the newspaper headquarters. They tried to block the distribution of the daily newspaper, accused of being "a pack of hacks on the government’s payroll". On Saturday in Rouen, a security guard who accompanied two journalists from the LCI news channel was beaten while on the ground. His nose got broken. A complaint was filed. In Paris, a team of LCI journalists was also attacked by some demonstrators and a journalist was thrown to the ground before the intervention of other protesters intervened to protect her. In Toulon, two video journalists working for the Agence France Presse (AFP) received threats while filming clashes before eventually taking shelter in a restaurant. In Marseille, a video journalist from public TV channel France 3 and two photographers were insulted and prevented from working. In Toulouse, a journalist from the regional daily "La dépêche du Midi", insulted and threatened with rape by hooded "yellow vests", filed a complaint on Sunday 13 January. Sheltered in her car, she heard protesters shout "We'll get you out and rape you," reported on Twitter Lionel Laparade, one of the newspaper editors in chief. In Pau, a freelance journalist from the local media "C L'Info Pau", Franck Paillanave, was hit while reporting live. "Yellow vests" surrounded, showered him with insults, and then beat him. He said on Sunday that he would also file a complaint.
State replies
15 Feb 2019
Follow-ups
28 Nov 2018
Recent attacks against journalists while covering protests are unacceptable. Journalists must be able to work, and inform the citizens on public demonstrations, safely.
Open in a new window show-link
14 Feb 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 25 Sep 2018 United Kingdom

Media Freedom Advocates Raise Alarm over UK Counter-Terror Bill

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index
Partner Index
The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill - proposed legislation which critics argue will have a significant negative impact on media freedom in addition to other freedoms - is under consideration in Parliament. The bill would criminalise publishing - for example, by posting on social media - a picture or video clip of items such as clothes or a flag in a way that raises “reasonable suspicion” that the person doing it is a member or supporter of a terrorist organisation. It would also criminalise watching online content that is likely to be helpful for terrorism. No terrorist intent would be required. The offence would carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Freedom of expression campaigners and media organisations have pointed out that the clause relating to online content will severely impede the work of investigative journalists.
Updates
New 14 Feb 2019
The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act became law on 12 February 2019. Improvements were made to the draft law aiming to protect journalistic activity, but concerns remain about the Act’s implications for media freedom. Clause 2 criminalises publication of pictures or video of clothes or an article such as a flag in a way that raises “reasonable suspicion” (a low legal threshold) that the person doing so is a member or supporter of a terrorist organisation. The UK Joint Committee on Human Rights found that the clause “risks a huge swathe of publications being caught, including historical images and journalistic articles …” (Joint Committee on Human Rights, Legislative Scrutiny: Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, Ninth Report of Session 2017–19, para. 26). The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism expressed concern that the clause risks criminalising “… a broad range of legitimate behaviour, including reporting by journalists ...” (Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Submission, House of Commons Public Bill Committee, OL GBR 7/2018, 17 July 2018, para. 14). Protections for journalistic activity under extensive new border security powers remain very limited (see Schedule 3).
State replies
03 Dec 2018
Follow-ups
03 Oct 2018
OSCE Representative expresses concerns regarding draft UK Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, urges Government to safeguard media freedom.
Open in a new window show-link
14 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 08 Nov 2017 Russian Federation

Russian Editor Arrested, Allegedly Injured in Custody; Newspaper Raided

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner CPJ AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
The editor-in-chief and owner of the independent, Kaliningrad-based weekly Novye Kolyosa, Igor Rudnikov, was allegedly beaten while in custody of Russia's security service (FSB) and faces criminal prosecution. On the night of 1 November 2017, the FSB also raided the Novye Kolyosa office.

According to the Novye Kolyosa staff, Rudnikov was first detained at his house and brought to the newsroom in handcuffs with his hand swollen. Nearly a dozen officers in heavy armor and facemasks raided the newsroom and conducted a search that lasted for over five hours. Rudnikov was interrogated in a room separate from the rest of the staff. Rudnikov was then hospitalized with a concussion, a broken arm, and a broken rib, according to press reports and the paper staff.

At around 2 a.m. on 2 November, Rudnikov was taken in his underwear from his hospital bed to his home where security forces conducted further searches. The law enforcement also searched his mother's house. Officers then placed Rudnikov in a Kaliningrad FSB detention center.

On 3 November 2017, Rudnikov appeared at a local court to hear charges against him. The authorities charged Rudnikov with accepting a bribe from Viktor Ledenyov, head of the Kaliningrad branch of Russia's investigative committee. The judge denied the defense's request to place Rudnikov, who appeared with a cast on his hand, under house arrest to receive medical treatment, and ruled that the suspect should remain in custody until 1 January 2018 pending investigation, media reported.

Rudnikov's colleague told CPJ they believe the charges are in retaliation for Novye Kolyosa's series of reports about a luxury villa in Kaliningrad allegedly belonging to Ledenyov .
Updates
New 14 Feb 2019
Igor Rudnikov is due to appear in court on extortion charges in St. Petersburg on 14 February 2019.
05 Nov 2018
An order was issued on 26 September 2018 extending Igor Rudnikov's preventive detention by another six months.
27 Jul 2018
On 28 June 2018, the Moscow Basmanny Court extended Igor Rudnikov’s pre-trial detention until 1st September 2018.
18 Apr 2018
On 29 March 2018, a Moscow court extended Igor Rudnikov's pre-trial detention for another two months.
05 Mar 2018
On 2 December 2018, a month after his arrest, Igor Rudnikov was transferred to Moscow. He is currently held under a provisional detention order valid until 1 April 2018.
Follow-ups
07 Nov 2018
One year after arrest of Russian journalist Igor Rudnikov, OSCE Representative reiterates call for his release
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Igor Rudnikov
Open in a new window show-link
14 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 16 May 2018 Ukraine

RIA Novosti Journalist Kyrylo Vyshynsky Held on Treason Allegations in Ukraine

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Kyrylo Vyshynsky, a Ukrainian journalist working for Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novotsi in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, was detained on 15 May 2018 on allegations of treason. His arrest came hours before raids by Ukrainian security service (SBU) at the news agency’s offices. According to media reports, the authorities suspected Vyshynsky, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2015 by Presidential decree, of allegedly collaborating with Ukrainian armed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. The prosecuting officials in Kyiv also accused him of allegedly subversive reporting to justify Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, media reports added. 51-year-old Vyshynsky joined RIA Novosti in 2015 after having worked for several Ukrainian media outlets and Russia's state television channel Rossiya as its correspondent in Kyiv.
Updates
New 14 Feb 2019
On 8 February 2019, the court in Kherson extended until 8 April 2019 the arrest of Kyrylo Vyshynsky.
New 02 Jan 2019
On 27 December 2018, a Kherson court has extended Kyrylo Vyshynsky’s arrest until 27 January.
02 Nov 2018
On 1st November 2018, the Kherson City Court extended for the third time the pre-trial detention of Kyrylo Vyshynsky until 28 December 2018.
03 Oct 2018
On 26 September 2018, Vyshynsky’s custody was extended until 4 November 2018.
17 May 2018
On 17 May 2018, a court ordered Kyrylo Vyshynsky held for two months detention on high treason charges.
State replies
12 Jul 2018
Reply from the Government of Ukraine
Follow-ups
29 Oct 2018
OSCE Representative expresses serious concern about lasting pre-trial detention of journalist Kirill Vyshinsky in Ukraine.
16 May 2018
OSCE Representative raises concern over raid against Russian News Agency and TV today in Ukraine
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Kyrylo Vyshynsky
Open in a new window show-link
14 Feb 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 14 Feb 2019 Serbia

N1TV Journalists Subjected to Death Threats

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Private-owned TV station N1 received a letter on 4 February 2019 threatening to kill the N1 journalists and their families and to blow up the office. It said: “Do you have families? You’re killing our children and grandchildren, and are unaware that if the destruction happens, your building will be the first to be blown up, and you may lose your dearest. That’s why we, the veterans, warn you not to play with anyone’s destiny because your fate is in our hands.”

The letter was signed "Belgrade Veterans of the 1999 war" (a Serbian war veteran association), but the representative denied any involvement. The Prosecutor’s Office arrested a 70-year-old man from the town of Nova Pazova and ordered a 30-day detention. The death threats were issued after N1 journalists were labelled "anti-Serbs" and "traitors" by ruling party MPs for their reports about Kosovo.
Open in a new window show-link
11 Feb 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 06 Feb 2019 Slovak Republic

Slovakia Seeks to Introduce Right of Reply for Politicians

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner IPI AEJ
No state reply yet
Partner IPI AEJ
Lawmakers in Slovakia are considering a bill that would legally mandate a right of reply for politicians and public officials who claim their honour or reputation has been damaged in media reports. The measure was introduced by members of the country’s ruling Smer party after former Prime Minister Robert Fico said at a rally in December that measure should be introduced to end “media terror and lynching”. Slovakia’s current Press Act provides a right of reply but contains a clause excluding public officials and high-ranking politicians from having recourse to it. The current bill would terminate that exception and require media outlets to publish a reply by individuals, including public officials and political leaders, who claim their rights to dignity, honour or privacy were violated by “factual statements” in “periodical press or news agency items”. Media that fail to publish a reply can be ordered to pay damages up to nearly 5,000 euros. The country’s ruling parties are also toying with the idea of extending the right of reply to opinion pieces and establishing a state media council despite the fact that Slovakia already has a media council consisting of lawyers, former journalists and other professionals. Slovakia’s Press Act already contains a right of correction that all individuals, including politicians and public officials, can use.

The bill has been condemned by the Slovak Press Publishers’ Association and comes as media continue to unearth details about the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kucikak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, on 21 February 2018, the reverberations of which led to the resignations of Fico and other Smer officials last year. Journalists have recently published details about the communication of top politicians with Alena Z., an alleged middlewoman in the murder, and revealed that a high-ranking police official may have given an order to screen Kuciak through police databases.
Follow-ups
11 Feb 2019
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative calls for repeal of Slovak Press Act amendments on right of reply.
Open in a new window show-link
31 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 22 Nov 2018 Hungary

Media Council Refuses to Renew Broadcasting Licences of Two Radio Stations

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index
Partner Index
Two commercial radio stations, Music FM and Sláger FM, will be forced to close down after the Media Council refused to renew their broadcasting licences, which are due to expire in February 2019. Both Music FM and Sláger FM are popular stations enjoying audience figures of between 300 and 500 thousand listeners a day, and their closure will mean there are no popular commercial stations left that are not owned by close associates of the Hungarian government. The Hungarian media authority NMHH said their licences were not being renewed because both stations had committed "serious violations" of the media law by failing to observe child protection regulations.
State replies
31 Jan 2019
New Reply from the Hungarian authorities (information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Open in a new window show-link
31 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 31 Oct 2018 Hungary

Criminal Charges Brought Against Hungarian Investigative Journalist András Dezső

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner Index
Partner Index
Criminal charges have been brought against András Dezső, an investigative journalist who works for the independent news website Index.hu. On 31 October 2018, Dezső wrote on his Facebook page that he discovered he was being charged from a report published earlier in the day in a pro-government daily, but had not yet received official notification the prosecutor’s office. The charges appear to relate to alleged misuse of personal information in connection with an article that Dezső wrote for Index.hu looking into the background of a woman of Hungarian origin who in March 2018 - during the election campaign - gave an interview to the Hungarian state broadcaster M1 in which she said that she had moved back to Budapest from Stockholm because of a deteriorating security situation in Sweden she said was the result of the presence of large numbers of migrants there. The woman's interview with M1 caused a media storm in Hungary and was widely seen as providing a boost to the ruling party Fidesz in the run-up to the April 2018 election.
Updates
30 Nov 2018
On 30 November 2018, Index.hu journalist András Dezső received a reprimand from a Budapest court for the alleged misuse of personal information in an article he published in March about a woman who claimed that Budapest was a safer city than Stockholm because of the lower level of immigration in Hungary. According to the news website HVG.hu, the reprimand handed down by the judicial authorities was the mildest possible punishment. Dezső rejects the charge against him and insists that the information contained in his article was drawn from an official and freely accessible Swedish database.
State replies
31 Jan 2019
New Reply from the Hungarian authorities (information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Open in a new window show-link
31 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 08 Sep 2017 Hungary

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

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
On 5 September 2017, the Hungarian internet portal 888.hu published a list of journalists accused of serving the interests of the American billionaire of Hungarian origin George Soros.
The article explicitly names eight journalists, including a photographer and a producer who are Hungarian or of Hungarian origin, working abroad for Politico Brussels, the German public television ZDF, Bloomberg, and the Reuters news agency.
These journalists are described as "foreign propagandists" and "spokespeople" of George Soros. The international media are presented as "biased” and “stigmatizing." Their only aim would be to "discredit" Hungary on the international scene.
State replies
31 Jan 2019
New Reply from the Hungarian authorities (information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Open in a new window show-link
31 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 12 Oct 2016 Hungary

Largest Opposition Daily Suspended in Hungary

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index AEJ EFJ/IFJ
Partner Index AEJ EFJ/IFJ
On 8 October 2016, the publisher Mediaworks Zrt. suspended, with immediate effect and with no prior notice, publication of online and print versions of the largest Hungarian opposition daily Népszabadság. The CEO resigned the day before and the publisher’s replacement as CEO announced the decision in a statement, citing "significant” financial losses as the reason for closure. The publisher said that Népszabadság lost 100,000 readers and suffered 5 billion forints (€16.7 million) worth of losses over the last 10 years. Népszabadság's journalists swiftly announced their intention to "take legal action against the publisher due to ongoing legal violations", including a failure to invite their representatives to a crucial meeting of the supervisory board. Journalists were blocked from entering their offices, and cut off from their e-mail accounts and the paper’s servers after receiving notification of the decision.

Mediaworks has been under Vienna Capital Partners’ investments for the last two years. Vienna Capital acquired Népszabadság, with a first-quarter circulation of 38,000, by buying stakes from Ringier AG in 2014 and a foundation with ties to the opposition Socialist party last year, expanding a portfolio that already includes the country’s largest business as well as profit-making sports newspapers.

The Népsabadság editorial team criticised the closure as a way of silencing criticism of the government, pointing out that it came days after the paper published stories with corruption allegations against Prime Minister’s close allies and a scandal involving the governor of the central bank. The Hungarian Press Union (HPU) also denounced the sudden shutdown and said that media pluralism, freedom of expression and labour rights are being violated. The organisations submitting this alert consider that the suspension of the newspaper in such a peremptory and untransparent manner risks serious damage to media diversity in Hungary and is liable to have a chilling effect on the capacity for independent and investigative journalism.
Updates
03 Nov 2016
On 3 November 2016, a Hungarian Court ruled that Nepszabadsag’s sudden closure in October 2016 was breaking the labour code because its owners and management should have consulted with the employee committee in a bid to keep publishing and avoid laying off all the staff.
State replies
31 Jan 2019
New Reply from the Hungarian authorities (information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Follow-ups
26 Oct 2016
Secretary General Jagland discussed with Hungarian Justice Minister, László Trócsányi, the importance of media plurality in particular following the recent closure of the Nepszabadsag newspaper.
Open in a new window show-link
31 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 12 May 2017 Hungary

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

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ RSF
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.
State replies
31 Jan 2019
New Reply from the Hungarian authorities (information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Open in a new window show-link
31 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 03 Oct 2017 Hungary

Journalist Lili Bayer Verbally Attacked by Government Spokesperson

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
On 28 September 2017, Hungarian government spokesperson Zoltán Kovács verbally attacked Politico correspondent in Hungary Lili Bayer. Kovács first insinuated in a Twitter post that Bayer is on drugs. He further elaborated by claiming on the same day, in an interview with ATV private channel, that “calling someone an antisemite or a Nazi is a strong drug, and the lady really struggles to get off it […] She is a drug addict of calling people antisemites and Nazis.” He was replying to Bayer's tweet drawing a parallel between the 1920's first Hungarian anti-Jewish measures and the state-funded campaign against American billionaire of Hungarian origin George Soros.
He went on by saying that Lili Bayer is not a journalist but a political activist serving Soros' interests: “I already spoke about this with the editor-in-chief of Politico, which is one of the papers where the lady works, I already put this forward, if I remember correctly, sometime at the beginning of the year, and one thing is for sure, that political activists should not hide behind a journalist badge. And what’s also for sure is that Lili Bayer from now on, for us, I think, is not a journalist.” He added that he will no longer work with her.
This statement follows on from the publication of a list of eight journalists described as "propagandists" on the Hungarian internet portal 888.hu . Lili Bayer was one of the journalists publicly accused of serving the interests of George Soros. Government spokesperson Kovács also criticized Bayer by name in March and July blog posts, while pro-government media outlets attacked her by name in eleven articles since February 2017.
Updates
17 Dec 2018
On 12 December 2018, Hungarian government spokesperson Zoltán Kovács again denigrated Lili Bayer on Twitter, questioning whether Politico should be employing her as a journalist. In a tweet addressed to Politico Europe's political editor, Ryan Heath, Kovács wrote: "@politico is entitled to pay journalists, not political activists; regardless geographic location I do not consider @liliebayer a journalist. Please consider if she’s worth the money." Heath dismissed Kovács's tweet with one of his own: "It's not about who you consider a journalist. The EU institutions & POLITICO consider @liliebayer a journalist. Any non-Fidesz member who's met her agrees. And the point of a free press debate is that as a public figure, you occasionally accept questions from such people." Bayer was Politico's Hungary correspondent until April 2018, when she transferred to the outlet's Brussels office.
State replies
31 Jan 2019
New Reply from the Hungarian authorities (information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Open in a new window show-link
30 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 25 May 2016 Turkey

Criminal Investigation Opened Against Journalists for Solidarity Campaign

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
On 18 May 2016 Turkish judicial authorities opened a criminal investigation against six journalists and trade unionists for participating in a solidarity campaign with the Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem. The journalists include Ertugrul Mavioglu, Faruk Eren, Ayse Düzkan, Mustafa Sönmez, Melda Onur and Erol Önderoglu.

The Co-Editorship-in-Chief campaign was launched by Özgür Gündem daily on 3 May 2016 for World Press Freedom Day (#WPFD) where up to 16 journalists participated.Requests have been filed for the journalists and trade unionists to testify for articles that are being considered "terrorist propaganda" and an "incitement to crime" which were published whilst they participated in the solidarity campaign.
Updates
New 30 Jan 2019
On 29 January 2019, Ayşe Düzkan surrendered to authorities to serve an 18-month prison sentence handed down for serving as the symbolic editor-in-chief of Özgür Gündem.
10 Dec 2018
On 30 November 2018, the court of appeal upheld sentences of journalists Ayşe Düzkan, Ragıp Duran, Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Hüseyin Bektaş and Hüseyin Aykol for “terrorism propaganda” in the Özgür Gündem trial.
12 Oct 2018
On 10 October 2018, the Istanbul 13th Heavy Criminal Court adjourned the trial of three defendants (Erol Önderoğlu, Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Ahmet Nesin) for the seventh time in nearly two years to wait for the execution of Ahmet Nesin's arrest warrant. The next hearing is scheduled for 28 January 2019, at which the prosecution is finally expected to present its summing-up and announce the sentences it wants the court to impose. On 11 October 2018, the trial of the other 11 defendants in the case was postponed to 17 January 2019. At the hearing, the Istanbul 23rd Heavy Penal Court ruled to lift the travel ban that had been imposed on Erin Keskin and decided to extend Kemal Sancılı’s detention pending trial.
19 Jan 2018
On 16 January 2018 the 13th High Criminal Court in İstanbul convicted Ragıp Duran, Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Ayşe Düzkan and Hüseyin Bektaş to 18 months in prison for spreading “propaganda for a terrorist organization”. The Court convicted Hüseyin Aykol to three years and nine months.
09 Jun 2017
The fourth hearing in the trial took place at the Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court on 8 June 2017. Önderoğlu and Fincancı were in attendance, while Ahmet Nesin, who is abroad, was not present in the courtroom. The court adjourned the session until 26 December 2017 to wait for the implementation of the arrest order for Nesin and to obtain his defense statement.
01 Jul 2016
On 1 July 2016, Ahmet Nesin was freed. His release is also conditional. Charges against him are still outstanding.
30 Jun 2016
Turkey Human Rights Foundation (TİHV) Chair Şebnem Korur Fincancı, and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Turkey Representative Erol Önderoğlu, who were arrested on charge of "terrorist propaganda" for participating in Özgür Gündem daily's Editor-in-Chief solidarity campaign were released conditionally on 30 June 2016. Charges are still outstanding and indictments (propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization and praising a crime and criminals) have been accepted by Istanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court. The first hearing is to be held on 11 November 2016.
29 Jun 2016
On 26 June 2016, journalists Nadire Mater, Yıldırım Türker, Tuğrul Eryılmaz and Faruk Balıkçı were the next four editors of Özgür Gündem to be questioned on "terrorist propaganda" charges for participating in the solidarity campaign with the newspaper.
Follow-ups
10 Dec 2018
OSCE Representative is alarmed that Turkey appeals court upheld sentences of journalists Ayşe Düzkan, Ragıp Duran, Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Hüseyin Bektaş and Hüseyin Aykol for “terrorism propaganda” in the Özgür Gündem trial. Journalistic activities and solidarity are not crimes.
20 Apr 2018
OSCE Media Freedom Representative declared that interim decision to prolonge trial of Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem editors, including Erol Önderoglu, Ahmet Nesin and Sebnem Korur Fincanci means chilling effect these trials impose on journalists will continue in Turkey and urged for acquittal so they can continue their work freely.
20 Jun 2016
CoE Commissioner for Human Rights appalled by detention of human rights defenders in Turkey will take this up with the authorities.
20 Jun 2016
OSCE Representative appalled by imprisonment of two journalists and a human rights activist in Turkey, urges their release
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (0):

Ayşe Düzkan
Open in a new window show-link
30 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 29 Jan 2019 France

Arson Attack against France Bleu Isère Radio Station

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ EBU
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ EBU
In Grenoble, the premises of public service radio station France Bleu Isère were partially destroyed following a fire that occurred around 2:30 am on the night of 27 January 2019. According to the investigation’s initial findings, the fire is most likely a deliberate criminal act. Two fire starts were identified; the door of the service entrance was forced. No injuries were reported, but material damage is significant: the entire ground floor of the building was damaged and the editorial offices destroyed. The first floor premises were spared thanks to the rapid intervention of firefighters. Editor-in-chief Leopold Strajnic said there had been no threat against the radio. The editorial team was able to resume work on 28 January in the afternoon, on the premises of France 3 television in Grenoble.
Updates
New 30 Jan 2019
Responsibility for the arson attack which destroyed the premises of France Bleu Isère, on the night of 27 January, was claimed in a message published on 29 January on an anti-capitalist anarcho-libertarian website.
Open in a new window show-link
29 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 29 Nov 2018 Hungary

New Pro-Government Media Conglomerate Threatens Media Pluralism

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ CPJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ CPJ Index RSF
The owners of a majority of Hungary’s pro-government media outlets announced on 28 November 2018 that they are donating their companies to a foundation, the “Central European Press and Media Foundation”. This new media conglomerate will include cable news channels, online news portals, tabloid and sports newspapers and all of Hungary’s county newspapers, several radio stations and numerous magazines.
Among the media companies to be under its control are Echo Penisola Ltd. (Part FM radio station), Gong Radio Ltd. (Gong FM radio station), Hír TV (Hír TV station), Hold Reklam Ltd. (Retro radio station), Hung-Ister Jsc. (audiovisual producer), K4A Publishing House Ltd. (Figyelo weekly magazine), Mandiner Press Ltd. (mandiner.hu), Modern Media Group Jsc. (Lokal daily, Lokal Extra paper, lokal.hu and 888.hu), Napfenymedia (Deli Szo naewspaper and szegedma.hu), Ripost Media Ltd. (Ripost daily, Hello! weekly, ripost.hu, faktor.hu).
Some other media companies announced that they are ready to assign their ownership rights to the Foundation: Opus Press Ltd. (Opus closed down Nepszabadsag daily and owns all the county newspapers through Mediaworks Co., the Nemzeti Sport leading sport daily, the Bors tabloid daily, Vilaggazdasag economic daily, and weeklies), Echo Hungaria TV Jsc. (Echo TV), Magyar Idok Ltd (Magyar Idok daily), New Wawe Media Group (origo.hu, life.hu, travelo.hu, etc.).
According to media reports, most of the publications donated to the Foundation were acquired or founded by allies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the past few years. Some of them turned from relatively independent outlets into supporters of the government, with copious state and government advertising.
The Foundation’s media operations will be led by Gabor Liszkay, a newspaper publisher known for his loyalty to Viktor Orban.
On 28 November, the National Federation of Hungarian Journalists (MUOSZ) sent a letter to the Media Authority and the Competition Office in Hungary, in order to denounce the hegemonic position of the new conglomerate, in many areas of the press, including national commercial radio and county newspapers.
State replies
29 Jan 2019
New Reply from the Hungarian authorities (information received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Open in a new window show-link
28 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 02 Jul 2018 Turkey

Journalist and Former MP Eren Erdem Detained for his Work as Editor-in-chief

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
A former Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker and professional journalist Eren Erdem was arrested on June 29, 2018 over terrorism charges.Mr Erdem was detained in Ankara after the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a warrant. He was brought to Istanbul by the police where he was arrested by the 35th Heavy Penal Court. The journalist and former member of the parliament was on trial over his work during his time as the editor-in-chief of Karşı newspaper. The prosecutor accused Erdem in the indictment for “aiding a terrorist organization without being a member,” “revealing the identity of a secret witness,” and “violating the confidentiality of a criminal investigation." Erdem, who is charged with links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), could be jailed from 9.5 years to 22 years, the indictment says. Turkish media reported on June 29 that Erdem was detained over suspicions that he would flee the country, a claim denied multiple times by Mr Erdem and reported by media outlets.
Updates
New 28 Jan 2019
In a letter dated 27 January 2019, Eren Erdem announced that he will go on a hunger strike as of 29 January.
New 08 Jan 2019
On 7 January 2019, Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office objected to the verdict of release given for Eren Erdem on the same day by the İstanbul 23rd Heavy Penal Court. Following a Court decision, Eren Erdem was re-arrested on 8 January.
New 07 Jan 2019
On 7 January 2019, a Turkish court released former CHP lawmaker and journalist Eren Erdem pending trial.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Eren Erdem
Open in a new window show-link
25 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 25 Jan 2019 Ukraine

Kherson daily “Novyi Den” Tear-Gassed and Shot at During Press Conference

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) reported that on 18 January 2019, during a press conference hosted by the press club of the daily “New Day” (Novyi Den) in Kherson, Ukraine, the newspaper came under attack from unknown assailants using rubber bullets and tear-gas from outside the building, before entering. One journalist present suffered chemical burns as a result. The police later arrested and released Kyril Stremousov, head of the Khersonian regional Socialist Party on charges of hoooliganism for the assault.
Follow-ups
25 Jan 2019
New Alarmed at attack on office of Novyi Den newspaper, the OSCE Representative on Media Freedom calls on the authorities to fully investigate and prosecute the attackers.
Open in a new window show-link
24 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 17 Dec 2018 Greece

Terrorist Attack against Skai TV and Khatimerini Newspaper

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ CPJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ CPJ Index RSF
A bomb blast on 17 December 2018 damaged a building in Athens housing the headquarters of Greece’s private radio and television network Skai and Greek daily newspaper Khatimerini, but there were no casualties. Anti-terrorist police opened an investigation into the attack that focused on Greek extremist groups.
The homemade device went off at around 2:37 am, 45 minutes after an anonymous telephone warning to another TV network. Police cordoned off the neighbourhood in the Athens suburb of Neo Phaliro and evacuated the building, which contains the offices of Skai, a group owned by the Alafouzos shipping family, as well as those of Kathimerini, a centre-right daily critical of the government.
Police said the explosive device was attached to a metal crash barrier on a busy coastal road in the southern Faliro area. The bomb smashed windows on the facade. Nearby apartment buildings and cars were also damaged. Police, who were checking cameras in the area for possible clues on the bombers, also said the device had contained at least five kilograms of explosives.
“The terrorist attack will not discourage us..,” said Skai in a statement, accusing the government of failing to do enough to protect the media despite “recurrent threats against the station.”
The Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) called on Greek authorities “to identify as soon as possible and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack.”
State replies
24 Jan 2019
New Reply from the Greek authorities (information from the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights)
Open in a new window show-link
23 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 11 Dec 2018 Greece

A Journalist Dismissed Under the Pressure of Supporters of a Football Club

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
The Greek journalist Vangelis Braoudakis was dismissed on 30 November 2018 by the management of the daily "Ethnos", under the pressure of supporters of the football club PAOK, who publicly claimed his dismissal. On 5 October, Radio FM in Thessaloniki devoted two hours of broadcasting to the violent recriminations of the supporters of the PAOK football club against journalist Vangelis Broudakis, accused of being "an enemy of the club". His dismissal was explicitly claimed on the air. The harassment campaign continued on social networks. "Ethnos" ended up dismissing the journalist. The Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN-ESIEA) denounced "this illegal and abusive dismissal", condemning the incessant maneuvers of intimidation of supporters towards journalists.
State replies
Open in a new window show-link
23 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 11 Dec 2018 France

Repeated Police Violence Against Journalists Covering Protests

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
On Saturday 8 December, many journalists covering the "Yellow Vest" protests in France were victims of police violence. About fifteen photographers and reporters were wounded by targeted flashball shots, grenades and stray bullets, even though they were clearly identifiable by their press armbands or holding a camera or a video camera. Two photographers from the daily newspaper "Le Parisien-Aujourd'hui en France" were "hit by flashguns on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, one on the nape of the neck and one on the knee", reports the newspaper. A journalist from the A2PRL audio news agency also reported that a police officer shot at her, while journalists from Explicite were targeted by flashguns. "The Sunday Journal" reported that one of his photographers was "hit twice by riot police in a scuffle between police and yellow vests" on the Champs-Elysees. According to AFP, one of their photographers in Le Puy-en-Velay was "lightly hit on the arm by a shot from a tear gas canister as he advanced completely on his own towards a police cordon". Several photographers working for the daily newspaper "Libération" have told similar stories and a Reuters news agency reporter was targeted in Bordeaux. From 8 am onwards the police removed and confiscated journalists’ protective equipment (helmets, goggles and gas masks) even though they had their press cards. These confiscations were sometimes carried out under the threat of being placed in police custody. French journalists' unions have called on journalists to report incidents to the police disciplinary body, the Inspection générale de la Police nationale (IGPN). On Monday, they asked to be received urgently by the President of the Republic.
State replies
Open in a new window show-link
23 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 28 Dec 2018 Serbia

Death threats against journalist Tatjana Vojtehovski and her daughter

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index RSF
Following her coverage of anti-violence protests in Belgrade, Serbian journalist Tatjana Vojtehovski and her daughter have been targeted by death threats on Twitter, on 27 December 2018. The Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia (NUNS) reported the incidents to the authorities and Tatjana Vojtehovski submitted three criminal charges to the "High Tech Crime Division" of the Serbian police. Strongly condemning the anti-media rhetoric employed by Serbian government officials, several journalists' organisations from Serbia (including UNS and NUNS), Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo, and Macedonia called on the competent authorities in Serbia to immediately take all legal measures against individuals who threatened Tatjana Vojtehovski and her daughter and all necessary measures to protect them. The Serbian ministry of Interior announced that the police, in cooperation with the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Belgrade, launched an investigation on this case.
State replies
23 Jan 2019
New Reply from the Serbian authorities (information from the Ministry of the Interior)
Open in a new window show-link
23 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 31 Jul 2018 Cyprus

Death Threat Against Journalist Costas Constantinou

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ
On 20 July 2018, journalist Costas Constantinou has received a death threat on Facebook under his opinion post, marking the day of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The journalist also broadcast his criticism of what was done in the aftermath of the Turkish Invasion through a radio discussion programme, identifying those who he said had benefited from it. His post was shared with a Facebook group "Dimokratiki Paremvasi" (Democratic Intervention), which has over 20 000 members. One of the comments posted in response said "someone should put a bullet through his head to end this. A Turk in every sense of the word". Costas Constantinou has regularly aired his views on political and social issues in Cyprus in his column and radio programmes in media owned by the Politis group, which is regarded as controversial in some circles. The journalist has also received anonymous threats and derogatory comments about his work in the past. The case was reported to the Chief of Police of Cyprus.
State replies
23 Jan 2019
New Reply of the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus
Open in a new window show-link
22 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 22 Jan 2019 Romania

Romanian Media Regulator Imposes 10-minute Blackout on Realitatea TV

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index
No state reply yet
Partner Index
Romania's media regulator, the National Audiovisual Council (CNA), announced that it was imposing a 10-minute blackout on privately-owned Realitatea TV to punish it for what the CNA said were shortcomings in the news channel's coverage of a mass anti-government protest in Bucharest on 10 August 2018. The suspension of transmission was put into effect during the peak viewing period on the evening of 17 January 2019. According to the CNA's ruling, the Council decided to impose this penalty because an analysis of Realitatea's coverage of the protest showed that it had failed to fulfil its obligation "to ensure that viewers are objectively informed by presenting them with the correct facts". Romanian freedom of expression NGO Active Watch accused the regulator of double standards, pointing out that when the channels Antena 3 and România TV were found guilty of a comparable misdemeanour in 2017, they were merely fined, not taken off-air.
Open in a new window show-link
22 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 22 Jan 2019 Greece

Three Journalists Assaulted by Demonstrators Opposed to Agreement Over Macedonia Name Change

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
At least three journalists sustained serious injuries after being assaulted by demonstrators taking part in a protest against the Greek government's decision to agree that the country’s northern neighbour should be renamed North Macedonia, the Athens News Agency reported. The protest was held outside the parliament building on Syntagma Square in Athens. In one incident, a group of far-right demonstrators punched German journalist Thomas Jacobi - who co-produced a 2015 documentary film about the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn - in the face. In another incident, unidentified demonstrators assaulted photojournalist Kostis Dadamis, who sustained a serious head injury. In the third incident, a cameraman was violently assaulted by "extreme elements" and sustained serious injuries as a result.
Open in a new window show-link
22 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 10 Jan 2017 Azerbaijan

Mehman Huseynov Sentenced to Two Years on Defamation Charges

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

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

Huseynov is well known for his investigative journalism, focused on corruption among the Azerbaijani elite. Most recently, he had posted pictures online of luxury properties, which he said were owned by government officials. He has long been subject to pressure by the authorities, and has been under a travel ban for several years.
Updates
New 22 Jan 2019
On 22 January 2019, the Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan announced that the new criminal case against Mehman Huseynov, regarding his alleged attack on a warden, has been discontinued. This follows the statement of the President of Azerbaijan, who issued a recommendation to the prosecution “to ensure the fairness and objectivity of the investigation”, taking into account the family situation and the youth of the defendant.
New 02 Jan 2019
On 26 December 2018, two months before his supposed end of sentence, new charges were brought against Mehman Huseynov. He was accused of beating a prison employee and placed in a punishment cell. In protest, he went on a dry hunger strike. On 30 December, Mr. Huseynov was transferred to Baku pre-trial centre. Due to his critical health state, a doctor was called in, who administered injections. The Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety addressed an appeal to the international community to “condemn another flagrant repressive act and call for the immediate and unconditional release of Mehman Huseynov”
28 Aug 2018
On 14 August 2018, Mehman Huseynov asked for a conditional detention, a request that was rejected by the Garadargsky District Court on 24 August.
28 Jun 2018
On 25 June 2018, Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court rejected the second appeal by Mehman Huseynov, upholding his prison sentence for defamation.
18 Dec 2017
On 15 December 2017 the Baku Court of Appeals upheld the verdict against Huseynov, confirming his two year sentence for libel.
29 Sep 2017
On 29 September 2017 the Supreme Court of Baku partially granted Mehman Huseynov`s appeal, sending the case back to the Court of Appeals.
12 Apr 2017
On 12 April 2017, the Court of Appeals upheld the two years sentence against Mehman Huseynov.
03 Mar 2017
On 3 March 2017, Mehman Huseynov was sentenced to two years in prison on defamation charges (article 147.2 of the Criminal Code – defamation regarding a very serious crime) by the Surakhani district court. He was arrested in the courtroom. Nasimi district police chief filed the defamation charges against Huseynov, claiming the blogger lied when he stated following his release in January that he had been beaten by the police, demanding that he stopped his blogging activities. Mehman Huseynov is the first person to be convicted for slander in Azerbaijan.
Follow-ups
07 Jan 2019
New PACE co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Azerbaijan call upon authorities to review Mehman Huseynov’s case
07 Jan 2019
New Commissioner calls on the authorities of Azerbaijan to drop charges against Mehman Huseynov
07 Mar 2017
OSCE Freedom of Media Representative and Human Rights chief call for release of blogger and human rights activist in Azerbaijan
03 Mar 2017
CoE Commissioner for Human Rights calls the two-year sentence against Mehman Huseynov in defamation case "appalling".
11 Jan 2017
CoE Human Rights Commissioner expresses his worries at reported ill-treatment, arrest, fine of blogger Mehman Huseynov.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Mehman Huseynov
Open in a new window show-link
21 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 21 Jan 2019 Belgium

Multiple Complaints Filed Against Investigative Journalists David Leloup and Tom Cochez

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Several complaints have been filed against Belgian investigative journalists David Leloup and Tom Cochez by companies or individuals belonging to the political and financial community of the city of Liège. Following the publication of a series of articles between April 2017 and December 2018, in the weekly "Le Vif-L'Express", regarding a corruption case involving Socialist MP Alain Mathot and the Nethys company’s business, led by Stéphane Moreau, former socialist mayor of the city of Ans, David Leloup has been the target of five complaints and two threats of complaints, within little less than a year, between 5 January and 28 December 2018. The journalist must answer criminal charges following a complaint filed by the Semeb company. Four complaints were also filed with the Journalistic Ethics Board (CDJ) by Alain Mathot and by the Nethys SA and Ogeo Fund companies. Brussels businessman Dominique Janne and Ogeo Fund threatened the journalist with two additional judicial complaints.
The journalist Tom Cochez is also targeted by two ethical complaints and faces two threats of judicial complaint, including one targeting the Flemish online investigative media Apache, which collaborates with Le Vif-L'Express on the above-mentioned investigation cases. The Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP) is worried about this multiplication of complaints targeting those journalists. The AJP provided David Leloup with a lawyer, in order to respond to the judicial harassment he is obviously subjected to.
Open in a new window show-link
21 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 21 Jan 2019 Italy

Editor-in-chief of News Channel LA7 Receives Threatening Letter Signed with Swastika

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner Index EFJ/IFJ
The editor-in-chief of news channel LA7, Enrico Mentana, received a threatening handwritten letter signed with the Nazi swastika and a slogan associated with the fascist era in Italy. Mentana posted a picture of the letter on Instagram on 16 January 2019. In it, the anonymous author accuses the journalist and his LA7 colleagues of being "part of a repository of communists” and labels their work as “nauseating”. “We will soon punish you,” the letter continues. “We know everything about you. You are nothing but cowards without balls. It is a duty to punish you.” The letter also contains sexist insults directed at the female LA7 journalists Francesca Fanuele and Lilli Gruber. It has been condemned by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and other political leaders.
Open in a new window show-link
21 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 10 Apr 2018 Turkey

Journalists Detained on Account of Social Media Posts Critical of the Military Operation in Afrin

2 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
At least four journalists have been detained in police raids since 20 January 2018 as part of a social media crackdown on individuals who shared critical comments or news regarding the ‘Operation Olive Branch’, which was launched by the Turkish army on the Syrian town of Afrin.
Van-based journalist Idris Yılmaz, was taken into custody on 21 January following a police raid on his house in Van province. He was ordered arrested on 23 January 2018 on charges of “making terrorist propaganda”. His house has been raided by the police on 20 March 2018 and according to his wife, his family members intimidated.
On 22 January, Ishak Karakaş, editor-in-chief of Halkın Nabzı newspaper and columnist for Artı Gerçek, was taken into custody during a police raid at his home in Istanbul. An Istanbul court formally arrested Karakaş on 26 January. His social media posts criticising the Turkish military’s operation in Afrin have been used as criminal evidence.
Mezopotamya news agency reporter Seda Taşkın was detained on 22 January during a police raid on her home in Ankara. Taşkın was arrested on 23 January on “membership in a terrorist organization” charges.
On 23 January, Haydar Ergül, an editor for the Demokratik Modernite magazine, who had been in custody since he was detained at the Diyarbakır Airport on 16 January, was arrested by an Istanbul court on charges of “making terrorist propaganda” and “membership in a terrorist organisation”.
Updates
New 21 Jan 2019
On 17 January 2019, the Court of appeal issued an interim decision ruling for the release of Seda Taşkın pending appeal. On 10 October 2018, the 2nd High Criminal Court of Muş had sentenced Taşkın to a total of 7.5 years in prison - 4 years and 2 months in prison for “aiding a terrorist organisation without being its member” and another 3 years and 4 months for “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation.” The decision was brought to the appellate court.
New 07 Jan 2019
İdris Yılmaz’s initial detention period was meant to end on 16 May 2018. He however remained in prison due to a new investigation started in February 2018, on charge of "membership in a terrorist organisation". On 3 January 2019, the Van 5. High criminal court sentenced İdris Yılmaz to a 6-year and 3-month prison sentence on this charge. On 31 December 2018 his lawyer has brought an application to the Constitutional Court.
12 Oct 2018
On 10 October 2018, Muş’ 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced Seda Taşkın to a total of seven years and six months in prison. The court sentenced the journalist to three years and four months for "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization" and four years and two months for "aiding and abetting a [terrorist] organization without being a member." The journalist is currently being held at the Sincan Women's Prison.
25 Sep 2018
On 18 September 2018, İstanbul 28. High Criminal Court ruled to lift the judicial control order that forced the defendant to give signature every week, however it rejected the request to lift the international travel ban.
09 May 2018
Editor-in-Chief of the local Istanbul daily Halkın Nabzı and Artı Gerçek columnist, İshak Karakaş, was released under judicial control measures in his first court appearance on 8 May 2018.
Follow-ups
21 Jan 2019
New Relieved that Seda Taşkın was released, the OSCE Representative hopes for her acquittal on appeal.
12 Oct 2018
OSCE Representative appalled by Muş 2nd Heavy Penal Court 7.5 yrs prison sentence to reporter at Seda Taşkın for "aiding and abetting terrorist organisation as non-member".
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (2):

Idris Yılmaz, Haydar Ergül
Open in a new window show-link
21 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 21 Jan 2019 Ukraine

Belarusian Journalist Pavel Karnazytsky Deported from Ukraine

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 2 January 2019, officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) arrested Belarusian journalist Pavel Karnazytsky, founder of the Ukrainian newsportal Glavnovosti and deported him to Belarus. SBU accused him of spreading anti-Ukrainian propaganda and fake news. According to their statement: “Special services found out that a foreigner living in Ukraine illegally, publicly disseminated fake information. In particular, during speeches on some television channels, he questioned the internationally recognized evidence of the presence of the aggressor country troops in the temporarily occupied territories of our country. Also, Mr Karnazytsky repeatedly published anti-Ukrainian materials on media resources controlled by the terrorist organisations “DPR” and “LPR”,”.

Pavel Karnazytsky lived in Ukraine since the end of the 90s, when he left Belarus. His lawyer stated that Karnazytsky had left Belarus because of political persecution.
Open in a new window show-link
18 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 18 Jan 2019 Turkey

Turkey Deports Dutch Journalist without Explanation

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ IPI
On 17 January 2019, the journalist Ans Boersma, Turkey correspondent for the Dutch financial paper Het Financieele Dagblad, was deported from Turkey. Ms Boersma was apprehended by Turkish police the day before, following her visit to the migration office to renew her residence permit as a foreign correspondent. Nine days before her arrest, she had received her accreditation and press card from the Turkish authorities for the year 2019. Ms Boersman was detained in a police office in Bakırköy for over five hours, before being transferred to another police station close to Atatürk airport, where she spent the night.
The police told the journalist that she was posing a threat to Turkey’s national security without any formal explanation or evidence. She has not even been provided with any legal document confirming her deportation.
Thomas Bruning, General Secretary of the Dutch union of journalists (NVJ) strongly condemned the deportation and said : “Turkey shows its dark side again with the deportation of our Dutch colleague Ans Boersma. It’s another sad example of the grim situation for journalists in Turkey, with dozens of journalists behind bars. We ask the European Union and the Dutch government to take action.” According to a statement put out by Het Financieele Dagblad, Boersma suspects she was deported because she had a relationship until 2015 with a Syrian man who was arrested for alleged links to al-Nusra Front.
Open in a new window show-link
16 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 16 Jan 2019 Malta

Cyber Attack Against Maltese Online News Platform

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
On 14 January 2019, the Shift News, an independent Maltese online news platform, experienced a vicious cyber attack aimed at taking the site down, following the publication of a series of investigative stories on controversial hospitals deal. The case referred to the buying agreement through which Steward Healthcare acquired Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) and a concession over three public hospitals worth millions per year for one euro. The attack started after the publication of the third story in the series, on Monday morning, showing how the hidden owners of Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH) funded the €5 million purchase of Technoline and then awarded themselves exclusivity of supply. Since then the site has being targeted by a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, which essentially involves flooding a website server with traffic from multiple sources until the site crashes. Such attacks are designed to take websites and servers offline at critical times. According to the Shift News, these attacks are often politically motivated.
Open in a new window show-link
15 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 13 Apr 2016 Montenegro

Freelance Journalist and Fixer Jovo Martinovic Tried for “Being a Member of a Criminal Organization”

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner RSF EFJ/IFJ
Partner RSF EFJ/IFJ
Mr. Jovo Martinovic worked as a non-exclusive part-time fixer for a French documentary film “The Route of the Kalashnikov”, aired in France on Canal+ on 4 January 2016. The film examines the illegal flow of weapons from Balkans. Part of Mr. Martinovic job involved helping trace underground weapons networks and included interacting with members of these criminal groups in the Balkans. Mr. Martinovic was arrested on 22 October 2015 in relation to this assignment. He is accused of being a member of a criminal organization and of trafficking drug. The arrest warrant was issued by High court in Podgorica after the request of the Special State Prosecutor's office. On 12 April 2016, he still was in custody, waiting for his indictment and trial. Mr. Martinovic has worked with several international media outlets including The Economist (UK), the Financial Times (UK) and M6 (France).
Updates
New 15 Jan 2019
On 15 January 2019, the Higher Court in Podgorica sentenced Jovo Martinovic to 1.5 years in prison for alleged “drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organisation”. The journalist rejected the charges which he considers politically motivated. The verdict was condemned by international media freedom organisations and organisations of journalists. Jovo Martinovic announced that he would appeal the verdict.
09 Jan 2017
On 5 January 2017, journalist Jovo Martinović was released pending trial. The Court ordered Martinović to check in with police twice a month, and confiscated his passport. As a consequence, the alert was changed to level 2.
State replies
07 Dec 2016
Reply from Montenegro provided by the Ministry of Justice
Follow-ups
09 Jan 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media welcomes release of Montenegrin journalist and calls for conclusion of his case
Open in a new window show-link
14 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 14 Jan 2019 Turkey

Turkish News Portal OdaTV Threatened with Violence "Like the Charlie Hebdo Attack"

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ
A Turkish religious official employed by Diyanet, the government’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, has been accused of inciting violent reprisals against the staff of the odaTV news portal by publicly condemning critics of Islamic teaching and invoking the 2015 massacre of journalists in the attack on the staff of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris in 2015. Senior journalists at odaTV say they received new online threat in the days following the utterances of Ahmet Altıok, a religious official or mufti who interprets Islamic law. In an interview with the İlke News Agency (İLKHA) published on 29 December 2018, Altıok verbally attacked odaTV over its critical reporting about the teaching of the doctrines of Islam in Turkish schools, including the concept of jihad. Altıok reportedly said he believed that ‘those who ridicule Muslims… will again be convicted in the eyes and hearts of society’. Senior journalists at odaTV said the mufti’s words amounted to an open death threat. They have filed a criminal complaint with police and called on the Turkish Justice and Interior Ministries, as well as Diyanet, to prevent the use of such inflammatory language by public officials and to ensure the safety of those working for odaTV. Similar demands have been made urgently by Turkish opposition politicians as well as by international organisations that work to protect journalists against all forms of attacks and threats.
Open in a new window show-link
14 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 21 Dec 2018 Croatia

Journalist Ivan Žada Subjected to Threats

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
During October 2018, Croatian journalist Ivan Žada has been the target of threats on two occasions by Ivan Đakić, son of Josip Đakić, a Member of Parliament from Croatia's ruling conservative HDZ party, allegedly because of the journalist's writings about the MP. The threat was first made verbally in public in a café bar in the town of Virovitica, where Ivan Đakić declared that he planned to hire a hitman to physically assault Žada. The second threat was made on Đakić's Facebook wall. In several posts, Ivan Đakić accused the journalist of "writting nonsense, filthy and stupid things" about his father and that he was ready “to stay in prison for life if needed” for him. He also warned the journalist “to think it over“. Ivan Žada reported the threats and the County State Attorney started an investigation.
State replies
14 Jan 2019
Open in a new window show-link
11 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 30 Mar 2015 Azerbaijan

Trumped-up Charges to Silence an Investigative Journalist in Azerbaijan

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
The investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, a leading figure in the battle for press freedom in Azerbaijan, was arrested on 5 December 2014 on a trumped-up charge of inciting a former colleague to commit suicide. Her preventive detention has been routinely extended ever since and on 13 February 2015, she was additionally charged with large-scale embezzlement, illegal trading, tax evasion and abuse of authority. The new charges follow a 26 December 2014 raid on the Baku bureau of Radio Azadliq (the Azerbaijani service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty), which Ismayilova ran until just over four years ago. Radio Azadliq was closed and placed under seal after being searched.
RWB calls these charges frivolous and considers that Khadija Ismayilova's arrest is merely a punishment for her brave journalistic activities. An award-winning journalist, she is well known for deep investigations into the corruption at the highest levels of government. Ismayilova's arrest was condemned by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe President Anne Brasseur, the US Department of State, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, RSF, the IFJ, the EFJ, Index on Censorship, the CPJ and many others. For most of these organisations, the arrest of Ismailova is nothing but intimidation, part of an ongoing campaign aimed at silencing free and critical voices in Azerbaijan.
Updates
New 15 Jan 2019
On 10 January 2019, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) delivered its judgment in one of the cases filed by Khadija Imsayilova (as the target of a systematic smear campaign comprising threats, intimidations and gross violations of her privacy designed to prevent her from pursuing her journalistic work). The ECHR found violations of Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights by Azerbaijan in respect of these intrusions into the journalist's private life.
07 Feb 2018
On 30 January 2018, the Baku Court of Appeal refused to lift a travel ban on Khadija İsmayilova.
10 Aug 2016
On 8 August 2016, the Court for Serious Crimes ordered Khadija Ismayilova's suspended term to be shortened to 2 years and 3 months:
25 May 2016
On 25 May 2016, Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court has ordered to release Khadija Ismayilova from custody after reducing her prison sentence from 7.5 years to a suspended term of 3.5 years.
25 Nov 2015
On 25 November 2015, the Baku Court of Appeal upheld the verdict of the court of first instance, sentencing Khadija Ismayilova to a 7.5 year prison term.
03 Sep 2015
On 1 September 2015, a Baku court sentenced Khadija Ismayilova to 7 and a half years in prison on charges of misappropriation and embezzlement, illegal business dealings, tax evasion and abuse of power. In her closing statement, Ms Ismayilova denounced the case against her as politically motivated with the aim of ending her investigations into corruption at the highest levels of government. The AEJ, Article 19, EFJ/IFJ and Reporters Without Borders jointly denounce the verdict and sentence against Khadiya Ismayilova as based on fabricated evidence and legally unsound. They call for the verdict to be reversed, for the case against Ismayilova to be dismissed, and for her immediate and unconditional release.
21 Aug 2015
Khadija Ismayilova's hearing began in Baku on 7th August, and culminated in a request on 21st August by the State Prosecutor to sentence her to 9 years in prison. The judge has adjourned the case until 26th August, when a verdict is likely to be delivered. The State Prosecutor's request to condemn Ismayilova to 9 years' imprisonment is a gross violation of human rights, given the lack of due process in the case and the absence of any credible evidence presented by the prosecution. Ismayilova has accused the court of rushing through her trial and not giving her sufficient chance to respond to the charges. Only some representatives of foreign embassies were allowed to attend the trial; and no independent media or civil society were present. The IFJ, the EFJ, ARTICLE 19, and AEJ urge the Azerbaijan authorities to reject the Prosecutor’s request and immediately free Khadija Ismayilova.
State replies
01 Jun 2015
Reply by the Government of Azerbaijan
Follow-ups
25 May 2016
Statement of the CoE Commissioner for Human Rights
21 Jan 2016
CoE Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks intervenes before the European Court of Human Rights on the case of Khadija Ismayilova
01 Sep 2015
PACE President deplores Khadija Ismayilova sentence in Azerbaijan
01 Sep 2015
Statement by the Spokesperson of Secretary General Jagland on the verdict in the case of Khadija Ismayilova in Azerbaijan
21 Aug 2015
Statement of the CoE Commissioner for Human Rights
Open in a new window show-link
09 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 24 Sep 2018 Croatia

President of the Croatia Journalists’ Association Threatened with Dismissal

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
On 12 September, journalist Hrvoje Zovko, president of the Croatia Journalists' Association (CJA), decided to resign as deputy editor-in-chief of public TV channel HTV4. Hrvoje Zovko has been a journalist and an editor for public TV HRT for 20 years. Zovko explained in a statement the reasons for his move, citing pressure, censorship and unprofessional choices of topics. On 13 September, Zovko's editor-in-chief, Katarina Perisa Cakarun, accepted his resignation, while criticizing his trade union involvement as chairman of CJA. On 14 September, the management of HRT decided to launch a dismissal procedure against the journalist, on the basis of a report by Katarina Perisa Cakarun. CJA called on the management of HRT to stop the dismissal procedure, which is seen by CJA as an act of retaliation against Zovko, and an act of intimidation against all HRT journalists affiliated to CJA.
Updates
New 09 Jan 2019
The management of the Croatian Radio-Television HRT filed a lawsuit for alleged criminal offences against its honour and reputation by the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND/CJA), its President Hrvoje Zovko and the President of the HND/CJA Branch at HRT, Sanja Mikleušević Pavić. HRT claims a financial compensation of 500,000 kunas (67,000 EUR). The Western Balkan’s Regional Platform for Advocating Media Freedom and Journalists’ Safety asked the HRT to withdraw the filed lawsuits as soon as possible and to stop pressuring HND/CJA, and harassing representatives of the journalists’ association.
Open in a new window show-link
09 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 09 Jan 2019 Turkey

Journalist Pelin Ünker Sentenced to Jail for Writing on "Paradise Papers"

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
On 8 January, 2019, a court in Istanbul sentenced journalist Pelin Ünker to 13 months and 15 days in prison, along with an additional fine. The sentence, along with a fine of 8,600 Turkish lira (€1,370) was imposed for "insulting and slandering a public official." Ünker's report appeared in Turkey's secular, left-leaning Cumhuriyet newspaper, for which she no longer works. Former Turkish Prime minister Binali Yıldırım and his two sons sued Ünker in November 2017 over a report about his sons' alleged ties to five offshore companies in Malta. Pelin Ünker, a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) was found guilty of “defamation and insult” for writing about companies in Malta owned by Binali Yıldırım and his sons. The journalist was not immediately jailed and is still able to appeal which is what she will do pointing out that the Yıldırım family had admitted that articles about their Maltese businesses were accurate. Binali Yıldırım is currently the speaker of the Turkish Parliament and is set to run as candidate for mayor of Istanbul for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Open in a new window show-link
08 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 08 Jan 2019 Italy

Neo-Fascists Attacked Two Italian Journalists

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
On 7 January 2019, Federico Marconi and Paolo Marchetti, an Italian journalist and a photographer both working for the Espresso, an Italian weekly magazine, have been attacked by members of two neo-fascist groups Avanguardia Nazionale e Forza Nuova. The two journalists were near the Verano monumental cemetery in Rome to cover the event organised by Avanguardia Nazionale in memory of the Acca Larentia killings. The commemoration referred to the deaths of three members of an Italian far-right party that occurred in Rome on 7 January 1978. A group of neo-fascists approached Marchetti and took his camera's memory card. Other militants then surrounded the journalist Federico Marconi and began to hit him with kicks and slaps. The boss of Forza Nuova together with a militant of Avanguardia Nazionale took the journalist’s mobile phone and the wallet to identify him. They deleted photos and videos of the day from his phone. All their personal effects have not been returned to them until the arrival of the police.
Open in a new window show-link
07 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 06 Dec 2018 Romania

Turkish Journalist Kamil Demirkaya Detained in Romania

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ
On 5 December 2018, Turkish journalist Kamil Demirkaya was detained by the Romanian police and brought before the Court of Appeal in Bucharest on the basis of an extradition request issued by the Turkish authorities. Demirkaya was editor-in-chief of Zaman-Bulgaria media outlet between 2003 and 2011. He returned to Turkey but moved to Bucharest with his family in 2016. The extradition request is related to accusations of membership to the Gülen movement or ''FETÖ'' illegal terrorist organisation as referred by the Turkish government's lexicon. According to Demirkaya's family, the verdict should be issued on 6 December. The journalist has been living in Romania for two years now with his wife and his son, holding only a temporary residence permit. In November 2018, he filed for the extension of the residence permit, the documents are being processed by the Romanian authorities. He has no criminal record and has not committed any crime in Turkey according to documents present on the Turkish Ministry of Justice website. FAIR-MediaSind, the Romanian union of journalists, expressed its solidarity with Kamil Demirkaya and asked the authorities to release him. Romanian MEP Cristian Preda has warned that if Romania extradites the Turkish journalist, it will "lose all credibility in Brussels”. "Demirkaye runs the Zaman newspaper's Bucharest office, which criticises the Erdogan regime. Nothing is more honest,” Preda wrote on his Facebook page. He said the Romanian authorities should respect the international commitments they had made not to extradite citizens to countries where human rights are in danger, and Turkey is one such country.
Resolved
New 07 Jan 2019: On 7 January 2019, considering that the journalist has been released and the extradition request rejected, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
Updates
14 Dec 2018
On 14 December, a Bucharest Court of Appeal judge rejected Turkey’s request to extradite Turkish journalist Kamil Demirkaye.
State replies
20 Dec 2018
Reply from the Romanian authorities
Open in a new window show-link
04 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 12 Sep 2018 Turkey

Austrian Journalist Max Zirngast Detained in Turkey

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
Austrian journalist Max Zirngast has been detained on early hours of 11 September 2018 at his apartment in Ankara by anti-terror authorities. According to some media reports, he would be detained on "terror propaganda" charges. Allegations may be related to his political publications and involvement in civil activism against the Turkish government. He was arrested along with two other Turkish citizens.

Max Zirngast, a political science student at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), has been contributing to left-wing publications such as Austrian magazine re:volt, US left-wing publication Jacobin, Turkish socialist monthly Toplumsal Özgürlük. He was publishing content often critical to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has been politically active in the election campaign of pro-kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party).
Updates
New 04 Jan 2019
On 25 December 2018, Austrian freelance journalist Max Zirngast has been released but is still under prosecution with a travel ban.
Follow-ups
12 Sep 2018
OSCE Representative strongly condemns detention of Austrian journalist Max Zirngast and urge authorities to immediately release him.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (0):

Max Zirngast
Open in a new window show-link
04 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 20 Nov 2017 Russian Federation

Russia: Proposals to Extend 'Foreign Agents' Law to Media Outlets

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Article 19 AEJ EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner Article 19 AEJ EFJ/IFJ
On 10 November 2017, Russian legislators announced that they were drafting amendments to Russia’s 2012 ‘Foreign Agents Law’, extending its provisions to foreign-owned media outlets. These amendments have been portrayed as a ‘tit-for-tat’ retaliation in response to the US Department of Justice requiring Russian state-funded TV Channel RT to register under the US Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).

The Russian amendments were approved on 15 November by the lower house of parliament. They must now be approved by the upper house of parliament, before being signed into law by President Putin. It is understood that the upper house will discuss the amendments on Wednesday 22 November.

The Foreign Agents Law currently requires all Russian NGOs receiving foreign funding and engaged in loosely defined ‘political activities’ to register as ‘foreign agents.’ NGOs must indicate their ‘foreign agent’ status in publications, and are subject to onerous reporting requirements, special inspection orders, and restrictions on the activities they may undertake. Criminal and administrative sanctions for non-compliance include, inter alia, fines of up to 500,000 roubles ($16,000) or imprisonment of up to two years.

The amendments would extend this legislation to cover media outlets registered in foreign countries, and receiving funding from a variety of foreign actors. Once registered as a ‘foreign agent’, the outlet would be obliged to label all transmissions and publications as produced by a ‘foreign agent’.
Updates
New 04 Jan 2019
On 2 January 2019, RFE/RL said it will appeal to the Supreme Court of Russia to throw out the 100,000 ruble fine imposed on it in July 2018 under the "foreign-agent" law. On 13 December 2018, the Moscow City Court rejected RFE/RL's appeal following the 21 August 2018 district court decision upholding the fine that was imposed over what the courts ruled was RFE/RL’s failure to comply with obligations to report on its operations in Russia following the designation of it as “foreign agents” by the Justice Ministry in December 2017. RFE/RL has paid the fine but contends that it was unable to fulfill the reporting requirement by the 15 April 2018 deadline because the Justice Ministry, despite repeated requests, failed to provide forms and set out the details of the reporting procedure in a timely manner.
06 Dec 2017
On 5 December 2017, Russia`s Justice Ministry announced that it had designated nine U.S. government-funded press outlets as "foreign agents". The list includes Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and seven other affiliates.
27 Nov 2017
On 25 November 2017 the amendments to the “Foreign Agents” Law were signed by President Putin, thus officially coming into force.
22 Nov 2017
On 22 November 2017 the upper chamber of the Russian parliament approved the amendments to the “Foreign Agents” Law, extending it to media outlets. The law is now awaiting signature by President Putin.
Follow-ups
29 Jan 2018
Broadening of "foreign agents" status for media in Russia detrimental to freedom of expression online, says OSCE Representative
20 Nov 2017
Reacting to the new law, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights stated that 'these new restrictions on media freedom are highly regrettable'.
20 Nov 2017
Registration of media as "foreign agents" not acceptable says OSCE media freedom representative
Open in a new window show-link
02 Jan 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 02 Jan 2019 Italy

Government Decided to Abolish Public Funding to the Press

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
On 29 December 2018, the Italian Parliament confirmed the government’s 2019 budget, with 327 votes in favour, 228 against, and one abstention. Among other things, the budget includes a progressive reduction of direct subsidies to safeguard media pluralism (minus 20% in 2019, minus 50% in 2020, minus 75% in 2021). The public funding to media pluralism is supposed to be totally abolished by 2022. On 28 December, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that this is "a sacrifice imposed on everyone" and should not be understood "as an attack on freedom of information". However, the Italian Federation of Journalists' Unions (Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana, FNSI) and the Journalists' Order (Ordine dei Giornalisti) stated that this economic measure will cause the closure of numerous national newspapers. Both organisations view this measure as a serious attack on media pluralism. The newspapers threatened with closure, following the decision, are: Avvenire (receiving € 5.9 million in subsidies per year), Italia oggi (€ 4.8 million), Libero quotidiano (€ 3.7 million), Il Manifesto (€ 3 million), Il Foglio (800,000 euros), in addition to Catholic weekly magazines and linguistic minorities publications.
Open in a new window show-link
02 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 08 Dec 2016 Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani Journalist Ikram Rahimov Sentenced to One Year in Jail on Libel Charges

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Article 19 CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
No state reply yet
Partner Article 19 CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
On 25 November 2016, Sumgayit City Court sentenced Ikram Rahimov, Editor-in-Chief of online news website realliq.info, along with another individual, Rahman Novruzov, to one year in jail. Both men were convicted under Article 147.2 (libel that involves accusing someone of a serious or especially serious crime) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.The conviction followed a criminal investigation into libel, launched against both persons after Rahimov published an online article about bribery and tax evasion by local authorities, based on information provided by Novruzov.

After being convicted, Rahimov was transferred to the Sumqayit Police Department, where he was held incommunicado and allegedly subjected to torture for three days. According to Rahimov’s lawyer, the police demanded that Rahimov apologise on camera to one of the individuals mentioned in the article for which he was convicted. After Rahimov refused to do so, they allegedly tortured him and subjected him to cruel and degrading treatment, resulting in Rahimov incurring a head injury. Rahimov was then transferred to a Detention Facility, where his lawyer met with him on 30 November 2016.

Rahimov’s lawyer plans to appeal to the Prosecutor General’s Office regarding the torture allegations.
Updates
New 02 Jan 2019
On 26 October 2018, police detained Ikram Rahimov and the following day, a Baku district court judge charged him with extortion, ruling that he should remain in detention pending investigation. On 1 November 2018, a Baku court of appeals denied Rahimov's appeal to be released on bail. Azerbaijan's security service stated that Rahimov's arrest was based on "numerous complaints" from citizens. The statement alleged that Rahimov and his "subordinates" created Realliq and other "extortionist" websites to collect compromising information about individuals and threaten them with publishing "slanderous" articles. Emin Rahimov, the journalist's brother, told CPJ that he believed the charges were in retaliation for an editorial that Ikram Rahimov published on his website a few hours before the arrest. In the editorial written as a letter to Ali Hasanov, a presidential adviser who oversees media, Realliq's editor addressed several issues, including alleged corruption in the country's Press Council, a government body. He wrote that "thousands of manats (Azerbaijani currency) allocated by the government to mass media have not been spent as planned.
01 Mar 2017
On 1 March 2017 both Ikram Rahimov and Rahman Novruzov were released during the appeal hearing.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Ikram Rahimov
Open in a new window show-link
31 Dec 2018 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 31 Dec 2018 Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani Journalist Ziya Asadli Held in Detention since September 2017

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Azerbaijan’s Bilasuvar district court on 5 September 2017, sentenced Ziya Asadli, regional correspondent of the independent newspaper Azadliq, to three years in prison on criminal charges of hooliganism with the use of a weapon or an object that can be used as a weapon, and ordered his immediate arrest. On 19 April 2017, Asadli was allegedly assaulted by a local teahouse’s manager, who said he had previously warned the journalist not to visit the teahouse because he was “an opposition member,” according to media reports. Asadli said that the teahouse manager attacked him, took his phone, and broke it. In response, the journalist notified police. The teahouse's manager then filed a complaint to the local police alleging Asadli assaulted him with his phone. On 3 May 2017, Azerbaijani authorities opened a criminal case against Asadli. On June 12, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the guilty verdict.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Ziya Asadli
Open in a new window show-link
28 Dec 2018 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 28 Dec 2018 Turkey

Turkey: Prosecutor investigating TV anchor Fatih Portakal “for openly inciting others to commit a crime”, following criticism by the President

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ
On 28 December 2018, a Turkish Prosecutor launched investigation into Fox TV journalist and TV anchor Fatih Portakal, for “openly inciting others to commit a crime”, shortly after Turkish President repeatedly criticised the journalist for his comments.

The prosecutor's investigation comes after the journalist speculated whether Turks could protest like those in the Yellow Vest movement in France. Turkish President has targeted Fatih Portakal several times in December 2018. "Know your place. If you do not know your place, this nation will hit you in the back of your neck. Nobody can play games with my nation's honour. That would cost them dear", said Mr Erdoğan. Representatives from journalism organisations in Turkey harshly critised Mr Erdoğan's comments and said that they will hold the president accountable if anything happened to the journalist.
Open in a new window show-link

CONTACT US

Follow us   

Follow-ups to alerts Follow-ups to alerts

17