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25 May 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 25 May 2018 Ukraine

Russian Media Organisations Banned for Three Years in Ukraine

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index
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In a Presidential decree signed on 14 May 2018 and made public ten days later on 24 May, the authorities in Ukraine announced a new list of Russian companies and media organisations based in the country, targeted for sanctions. The new list includes Russian news agencies RIA Novosti, Rossiyasegodnya.rf, Sputniknews.com, Rsport.ria.ru, 1prime.ru, Realty.ria. ru and rian.com.ua as well as the TV channels rtr-planeta.com, russia.tv, vesti.ru, tvkultura.ru, digitalrussia.tv.

The decree, which bans Russian media organisations for three years, introduces measures such as blocking of assets, limiting or stopping the provision of telecommunications services and the use of public telecommunications networks, blocking access to their web sites.

The announcement comes a week after a RIA Novosti journalist was detained in Kyiv and accused of treason.
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25 May 2018 Lvl. 1
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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 Index IPI
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Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ 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 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.
New 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.
New 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.
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
New 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, Ahmet Turan Alkan, 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, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Erdal Şen, Erol Yüksel, Faruk Akkan, Fevzi Yazici, Gültekin Avcı, Habip Güler, Hakan Aksel, Hakan Taşdelen, Halil Ibrahim Mert, Hamza Günerigök, Hanim Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, Hüseyin Turan, Ibrahim Balta, İbrahim Karayeğen, Idris Okur, Ilker Ilkan, Isa Siyi, İsmail Avcı, İsmail Efe, Lokman Erdoğan, Mehmet Kuru, 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.
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24 May 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 24 May 2018 Serbia

Prva TV Crew Attacked in Leskovac, Serbia

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
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Serbian journalist Danilo Masojevic and cameraman Vladeta Urosevic, both working for Prva TV, a Serbian commercial channel , were attacked on 17 April 2018 in Leskovac, Southern Serbia where they travelled to interview the mayor of Leskovac. They parked their vehicle in a side street when a man approached them to tell them it was not a parking spot. He verbally attacked them and blocked their vehicle with his car. When Urosevic and Masojevic proceeded to take the camera and other equipment out of their vehicle, the man physically assaulted Urosevic. The perpetrator was arrested by the police. According to Prva TV, the man was later identified as the owner of the building where the interview with the mayor was scheduled to take place. Urosevic was taken to the hospital and later release.

In a statement, the Western Balkan’s regional platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety condemned the attack but welcome the swift reaction by the Serbian police that arrested the suspect shortly after the attack.
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18 May 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 24 Apr 2015 Luxembourg

French Journalist at the Origin of LuxLeaks Revelations Charged in Luxembourg

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
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On 23 April 2015, a judge indicted the French journalist Edouard Perrin, who had revealed the first elements of financial scandal LuxLeaks, in May 2012, on the public channel France 2. Edouard Perrin is accused as the alleged co-author of theft, breach of confidentiality, violation of professional secrecy, violation of trade secrecy, money laundering and fraudulent access to the automated data processing system, according to the prosecutor of Luxembourg. The justice suspects Edouard Perrin of being co-author of offenses committed by one of the former employees of the audit firm PWC. A number of documents that, to a large extend, allowed the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to reveal in November 2014 the scandal of hundreds of pre-tax agreements concluded by Luxembourg tax authorities with many international private companies were sourced from PWC. The European Federation of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists denounced these actions, saying they were part of actions to intimidate and were disproportionate with regard to the legitimate public interest to disclose tax avoidance practices in Luxembourg.
Updates
New 18 May 2018
On 15 May 2018, the Court of Appeal found Antoine Deltour guilty of theft of internal documents but did not sentence him. In January 2018, the Court of Cassation had partially accepted his appeal and recognized him the status of whistleblower but only with regards to the dissemination of the tax rulings he had taken along with the internal documents.
11 Jan 2018
On 11 January 2018 the Luxembourg Court of Cassation annulled the suspended prison sentence against Antoine Deltour. The Court rejected Raphaël Halet`s appeal.
16 Mar 2017
On 15 March 2017, the Court of Appeal of Luxembourg reduced the sentence of two “Luxleaks” whistleblowers and confirmed the acquittal of the investigative reporter Edouard Perrin.
01 Jul 2016
On 29 June 2016, a Court in Luxembourg acquitted journalist Edouard Perrin, who had revealed the first elements of financial scandal LuxLeaks, in May 2012, of all charges. The two whistleblowers, former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet received 12 (+ 1.500 EUR suspended fine) and 9 (+1.000 EUR suspended fine) suspended sentences respectively for leaking documents from the auditing firm. Appeal procedure was announced by the two whistleblowers. Media organisations and associations of journalists condemned the verdict, as having a chilling effect on whistleblowers as journalistic sources and asked for a strong legal protection of whistleblowers at the European level.
27 Apr 2016
French journalist Edouard Perrin, a reporter for Cash Investigation programme on France 2 channel, appeared in court on 26 April 2016 for accusations that he was heavily involved in leak of documents that revealed the Luxleaks scandal, which uncovered tax evasion of large companies. He is being accused by the financial firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) of manipulating whistleblower Raphaël Halet to leak documents and of having played "an active part in the perpetration" of infractions that the latter together with a former PwC colleague, Antoine Deltour, are also being accused of: domestic theft, disclosure of business secrets, violation of professional secret and money laundering. Perrin revealed the Luxleaks scandal in May 2012 on the Cash Investigation programme, but the full scandal broke in November 2014, where tax optimisation practises of big firms such as Apple, Ikea and Pepsi were exposed. Deltour, who has kept a low profile and is now working as a civil servant in Nancy in the Lorraine region of eastern France, contacted journalist and co-defendant Edouard Perrin in 2012. Deltour had asked that the journalist to withhold PwC’s name in his exposé, and not to publish any of the document. However, Cash Investigation went ahead and published the details, which were eventually passed on to the New York-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. PwC sued after the airing of the programme on France 2.
State replies
27 Jul 2016
Reply from the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
24 Jun 2015
Letter from the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe (in French)
Follow-ups
28 Apr 2015
OSCE Representative on the Freedom of Media: Journalists should not face criminal charges for their work
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17 May 2018 Lvl. 1
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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
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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 17 May 2018
On 17 May 2018, a court ordered Kyrylo Vyshynsky held for two months detention on high treason charges.
Follow-ups
16 May 2018
New OSCE Representative raises concern over raid against Russian News Agency and TV today in Ukraine
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18 May 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 18 May 2018 Italy

Italy: Journalist Sentenced to Four months in Jail for "Trespassing"

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
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On 9 April 2018, Davide Falcioni, journalist and collaborator of Fanpage, has been declared guilty of "participation in trespassing" and sentenced to four months in jail by the Tribunal of Turin, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

The sentence is related to an incident in which Falcioni followed NO-TAV (No to the High Speed Train) activists while they entered the Turin offices of the Geovalsus Srl company, without authorisation, in November 2012.

The journalist has always declared he only entered the company offices to cover the demonstration against the TAV, the high speed railway that is under construction to link Turin and Lyon in France.

“It is very serious that the Tribunal is trying to punish a journalist for the way he acquires his information”, Falcioni told Ossigeno per l'informazione. “We need a journalism that doesn’t depend on the press releases of the police or prosecutors.”

His lawyer Gianluca Vitale had even stronger words at the end of the trial: “This is a gag on press freedom” he declared to Il Fatto Quotidiano; “It is dangerous for democracy”.

The prosecutor Manuela Petrotta had questioned the usefulness of going inside the company with the demonstrators, stating he could have “asked after”: he could have asked the demonstrators what they did inside the company office afterwards. Falcioni responded to this that he wanted to see with his own eyes what was going on.

Falcioni will appeal the verdict. The press union Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana have expressed solidarity with the reporter.
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16 May 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 16 May 2018 Russian Federation

Russia: Proposed Amendments to Criminal Code Threaten Media Freedom

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Article 19 EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
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On 15 May 2018, Russia’s State Duma unanimously approved proposed amendments to the Criminal Code (Article 284.2), which could be used to prevent the media reporting on public interest matters.

The amendments would criminalise ‘the provision of recommendations and transfer of information that has lead or might have led to the introduction’ of international sanctions, providing for up to three years’ imprisonment and fines of $8,000. This vague and broadly-worded provision is open to arbitrary and abusive application against journalists.

In a 15 May statement, Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, criticised the proposed legislation for its chilling impact on freedom of the expression. He argued that its ambiguous wording could result in self-censorship in the Russian media, as journalists would be criminally liable for publishing ‘information that has led or might have led to the introduction’ of sanctions, regardless of their actual intent.

The amendment requires two further readings in the Duma and one in the Federation Council before President Vladimir Putin can sign it into law. The second Duma vote is scheduled for 17 May.
Follow-ups
16 May 2018
New New amendment to Criminal Code poses threat to freedom of media in Russia, says OSCE Representative Désir.
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18 May 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 16 May 2018 Slovak Republic

Slovak Police Seize Mobile Phone of Czech Investigative Reporter

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner IPI EFJ/IFJ Index
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Police in Slovakia on 15 May 2018 seized a mobile phone belonging to prominent Czech investigative journalist Pavla Holcová during an eight-hour questioning in Bratislava. Holcová, the head of the Czech Centre for Investigative Journalism, had been summoned to Slovakia, ostensibly in order to provide information related to the February murder of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak, with whom Holcová had collaborated to examine connections between the mafia and Slovak officials. However, police proceeded to question Holcová on matters not relevant to the murder investigation and that pertained to her journalistic work. Without prior warning, officials demanded access to her phone and eventually confiscated the device. Authorities did not offer a justification for the move.
Follow-ups
18 May 2018
New 'Protection of journalists' sources has to be recognized, (Pavla Holcova's) phone should be returned, privacy respected', says OSCE Media Freedom Representative
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16 Jun 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 10 Feb 2017 Malta

Malta Economy Minister Issues four Libel Suits and Warrants Against Blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
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Malta Independent journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia is having her bank accounts frozen with precautionary warrants for 47,460 EUR after a court upheld on 8 February 2017 a request by Maltese Economy Minister Chris Cardona and his consultant Joe Gerada to issue garnishee orders alongside four libel suits they have filed against her.

The journalist is sued for publishing on her blog an article reporting that both men visited a brothel in Velbert (Germany) while on government business. Cardona has denied the allegation.

According to media reports, the effect of the precautionary warrants on her assets means her bank accounts will remain frozen until the case is concluded and that could take many years.

In a statement published on her blog, Daphne Caruana Galizia denounced an attempt to gag the press. The Institute of Maltese Journalists called on the minister to reconsider his action, highlighting the exaggerated nature of the legal action.
Updates
New 16 May 2018
A new revised Media and Defamation Bill enacted on 13 May 2018 decriminalises defamation. In addition to abolishing criminal libel, the Act removes references to offending “public morals or decency”, prevents plaintiffs from filing garnishee orders against journalists and only allows applicants to file one libel suit per story.
31 Mar 2017
On 11 March 2017 Silvio Debono, owner of real estate investment company DB Group, filed 19 libel cases against journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Galizia published a number of articles about Debono cutting a deal with Malta's government to take over a large tract of public land in a high value coastal area on which he plans to build a Hard Rock Hotel and two towers of flats for sale. In her statement, Daphne Caruana Galizia said that the libel suits are all about the same subject, "taking advantage of the fact that the law allows them to sue for each comment, article or blog post even if the subject matter and the author are the same." “The cases will drag through the courts, it will cost me around €8,000 merely to file my responses, and anybody else would have been intimidated into submission,” she added.
Follow-ups
16 May 2018
New OSCE representative welcomes decriminalization of defamation in Malta, urges dismissal of civil defamation lawsuits against Caruana Galizia’s heirs
16 Feb 2017
OSCE Representative for Media Freedom urges authorities in Malta to protect independent journalists and free expression
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14 May 2018 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 14 May 2018 Bulgaria

Bulgaria: Investigative journalist attacked

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
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On 10 May 2018, investigative journalist Hristo Geshov was attacked and assaulted outside his home in the town of Cherven Bryag in northwestern Bulgaria, desant.net reports.

“I attribute this attack entirely to my investigative reporting and to the warnings I sent to the authorities about the management of finances by the Cherven Bryag municipal government,” Geshov wrote in a Facebook post a few hours after being punched in the stomach and back by an unidentified assailant. “Despite the pain and many bruises, I am sure that I will not abandon my work, and the attack against me is a sign that I am right,” he added.

Geshov writes for the regional investigative reporting website Za Istinata, works with the journalistic online platform “About the Truth” and hosts a programme called “On Target” that is available on YouTube.

He began being harassed after a series of articles about municipal government irregularities in Cherven Bryag in which he claimed, inter alia, that three municipal councillors were using European Union funds to renovate their homes.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the attack. “This attack is indicative of the degree to which investigative reporters are now being targeted by groups that want to silence them and impose terror,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s EU-Balkans desk. “We hail the swift reaction of the police and medical services, but the Bulgarian authorities must also provide physical protection to journalists who, like Hristo Geshov, are the targets of threats of this kind.”
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09 May 2018 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 10 Apr 2018 Turkey

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

3 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
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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 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.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (3):

Idris Yılmaz, Seda Taşkın, Haydar Ergül
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09 May 2018 Lvl. 1
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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
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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.
Follow-ups
09 May 2018
New Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the repeated assault on Olivera Lakić, investigative journalist at the daily Vijesti.
09 May 2018
New CoE Secretary General shocked over the attack on investigative journalist in Montenegro
09 May 2018
New OSCE Representative Désir strongly condemns shooting of journalist Olivera Lakić in Podgorica, call on authorities to bring perpetrators to justice
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09 May 2018 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 09 May 2018 Russian Federation

Journalists Detained and Assaulted at Inauguration Protests

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
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In Russia at least 13 journalists were detained and at least six journalists were beaten during nationwide protests before Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a fourth presidential term, according to OVD-Info, Mediazona and other media.

In Moscow at least seven journalists were detained (some of them assaulted by police) and five were assaulted without detention. Dozhd TV editor Oksana Gandzyuk, Daily Storm's reporter Ilya Gorshkov and photographer Alexandr Antyufeev were taken to police vans and taken to police departments. Current Time TV reporter Aleksey Alexandrov was detained while reporting live but was released after his documents were checked. Novaya Gazeta reporter Mikhail Grebenshchikov was also briefly detained. Vedomosti photographer Evgeny Razumni was briefly detained, struck by police and had his camera broken. Photographer Aleksandr Osipov was detained and taken to a police department. He was also assaulted.

FederalPress reporter Ivan Zaloznych, MBH.Media reporter Aleksandr Skrylnikov and an unnamed reporter for Znak.com were also struck by police with batons. According to Open Russia human rights activist Polina Nemirovskaya, Skrylnikov was later diagnosed with a pulmonary laceration and hospitalised. A reporter for Agence France Presse was assaulted by activists of pro-government NOD movement (National Liberation Movement), news source The Insider reported. NOD activists tried to assault him while he was interviewing a protester, and later threw stones at him and asked the police to detain him.

A reporter for Komsomolskaya Pravda was beaten by a person dressed as a Cossack, who hit him with a whip and punched him in the face. People in Cossack attire also threatened an unnamed Mediazona reporter, telling him they would break his phone. Cossacks are generally pro-government.

In Saint-Petersburg four journalists were detained and at least one beaten by police. Fontanka.Ru reporter Tatiana Tsipushtanova, Ekho Moskvy reporter Arseniy Vesnin, Dozhd TV reporter Mikhail Nad, Mediazona reporter David Frenkel were briefly detained. A Flashnord reporter was beaten by police during the protest dispersal.

In Yakutsk Egor Karpov, an editor for local newspaper Vtornik, was detained. In Krasnoyarsk journalist Vladimir Perekotiy was detained.D
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04 May 2018 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 31 Oct 2016 Turkey

Turkey: Arrest of At Least 12 Employees of Cumhuriyet Newspaper

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI RSF
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On 31 October 2016, Turkish police detained at least 12 employees of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Turkey's largest secular, left-leaning paper, and one of the few publications that continues to criticise the government. The detained media workers are accused of membership of, and committing crimes on behalf of, two terrorist organisations: the Kurdistan Workers’ party and the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ), which the government accuses of being behind the failed coup attempt. According to media reports, prosecutors also issued detention warrants for two of the newspaper’s executives, who are both currently abroad.

Following police raids, the following people were taken into custody: Murat Sabuncu (Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief); Güray Öz (Cumhuriyet board executive and columnist); Aydın Engin (former editor-in-chief of the newspaper); Hikmet Çetinkaya (columnist); Eser Sevinç, Hakan Kara, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Mustafa Kemal Güngör and Önder Çelik (all board members of the Cumhuriyet Foundation); Turhan Günay (Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper’s book supplement); and columnist Kadri Gürsel, who is also the head of the International Press Institute’s Turkey office.
Updates
New 26 Apr 2018
On 25 April 2018, an Istanbul court convicted 13 journalists and executives of Cumhuriyet of aiding terrorist organizations and sentenced them to jail terms ranging between two and seven years. The court placed the journalists on probation and banned them from traveling until the appeals process has ended. The judge also ordered the conditional release of Cumhuriyet chairman Akin Atalay. The court acquitted three of the defendants : Bülent Yener, a former board member, Turhan Günay, chief editor of the daily's literary supplement, and Günseli Özatalay, the chief accountant.
12 Mar 2018
On 9 March 2018, the 27th High Criminal Court of Istanbul ruled for the release of Murat Sabuncu and Ahmet Şık pending the conclusion of the trial. Sabuncu and Şık remain under judicial control. The daily's chairman, Akın Atalay, however, was remanded in custody until the next hearing, scheduled for 16 March, during which the prosecutor is expected to submit his final opinion.
29 Dec 2017
On 29 December 2017 an Istanbul Court ruled to release Emre İper. He remains under judicial control and an international travel ban.
25 Dec 2017
On 25 December 2017 a judge at Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse ruled to keep Ahmet Şık, Akın Atalay, Emre Iper and Murat Sabuncu in jail for at least two more months until the next session of the trial on 9 March 2018.
26 Sep 2017
On 25 September 2017, the Court ruled to release Kadri Gürsel, though he remains on trial on charges of links to terror groups. After completing formalities, he was released from the Silivri prison. The Court confirmed the detention of Akın Atalay, Emre Iper and Murat Sabuncu. Their next hearing is scheduled for 31 October 2017.
12 Sep 2017
On 11 September 2017, a Turkish court confirmed Ahmet Şık's detention. The next hearing is scheduled for 25 September.
12 Sep 2017
On 11 September 2017 a Turkish court Court confirmed the detention of Akın Atalay, Murat Sabuncu and Kadri Gürsel. Their next hearing is scheduled for 25 September.
31 Jul 2017
On 28 July 2017, an Istanbul court released seven Cumhuriyet journalists and executives. Five are to remain under arrest including Ahmet Şık. The court also decided that additional criminal charges would be brought against Ahmet Şık for his defense statement.
15 Jun 2017
On 14 June 2017, after 30 days of imprisonment, Oğuz Güven was released pending trial. His next hearing is scheduled to take place on 14 September 2017.
16 May 2017
On 12 May 2017, Oğuz Güven, editor-in-chief of the online edition of the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, was detained as part of a criminal investigation led by the Bureau of Press Offences of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul. On 15 May, Güven appeared before a judge, who ordered that he be held in pre-trial detention, on “propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and “defamation against a person’s memory” charges. Both charges against the journalist are solely based on the title of a news report published and tweeted by Cumhuriyet on an online account about the accidental death of a prosecutor. During the hearing, the journalist repeated that the controversial tweet (“the prosecutor who sought the first warrants against FETÖ was cut apart by a truck”) was only visible during 55 seconds, was immediately corrected (“the prosecutor lost life in a serious car accident”) and is one of the 300 tweets per day written by the journalist, that he cannot be suspected of doing anything to support any terrorist organisation. Oğuz Güven is the 12th Cumhuriyet professional arrested by the Turkish authorities on charges of supporting two illegal organisations (PKK and FETÖ) based on opinions and articles published by the newspaper.
19 Apr 2017
On 7 April 2017, Cumhuriyet’s Finance Manager Emre İper was taken into custody during a midnight raid on his home by police. He was arrested on 19 April on charges of using ByLock, a communications app allegedly used by the Fethullah Gülen network and “being member of a terrorsit organisation”.
11 Jan 2017
On 29 December 2016, the investigative journalist Ahmet Şık was detained by Turkish authorities on charges of " propaganda on behalf of an illegal terrorist organisation" and "openly denigrating the Republic of Turkey, its judicial organs and its military and police". Şık tweeted that he was being detained due to a single tweet; a news report stated that the detention also related to various reporting elements including an interview with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)'s administrator published in Cumhuriyet daily in March 2015. On 30 December, Ahmet Şık was officially put under arrest on charges of spreading propaganda for the PKK, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C) and for the Fethullah Gülen group, an Islamic network the Turkish judiciary refers to as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). All three groups are outlawed in Turkey. A report published by the Cumhuriyet claimed that Ahmet Şık had been denied drinking water for three days at Metris Prison, where he was kept before being transferred to Silivri Prison on 3 January. The Justice Ministry's Directorate General for Correctional Facilities released a statement denying the allegation, the official statement claimed Şık was given 1.5 liters of bottled water on 1 January. The Turkish authorities own regulation states that "any inmate has to right to have on daily basis 200 liters of cold water and 50 liters of hot water". Ahmet Şık also claimed that he was denied access to newspaper, pen and books in the cell. Ahmet Şık's access to his lawyers (Can Atalay and Tora Pekin) and family members were also denied during the first 5 days of his detention because the authorities couldn't record the conversation between the lawyers and their client. Şık was previously arrested in March 2011 in relation to an investigation into the Oda TV news website. He spent a year in prison for an unpublished critical book about the Gülen movement supported, at that time, by the AKP government. Today, the journalist is charged with doing propaganda for the same movement.
14 Nov 2016
On 12 November 2016, the CEO of daily Cumhuriyet, Akin Atalay, was arrested for “being a member of a terrorist organization” , upon his arrival at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. A detention warrant had been issued for him on 30 October while he was abroad.
08 Nov 2016
On 5 November 2016, nine journalists and executives from the Cumhuriyet daily were placed under formal arrest by the İstanbul 9th Penal Court of Peace. The daily’s columnists Aydın Engin and Hikmet Çetinkaya were released by the court pending trial. A travel ban was imposed on them. On 4 November 2016, Günseli Özaltay, the accounting manager of the newspaper, and former accounting manager Bülent Yener were released.
Follow-ups
04 May 2018
New Secretary General deeply worried by the chilling effect the heavy criminal sentences may have on media freedom
26 Apr 2018
New OSCE representative welcomes release of Akın Atalay in Turkey but strongly condemns prison sentences for Cumhuriyet journalists and staff.
23 Mar 2018
All Cumhuriyet journalists must be released, says OSCE representative Désir following continued detention of CEO Atalay
12 Mar 2018
OSCE Media Freedom Representative welcomes the release of two Cumhuriyet journalists, calls on Turkey to free Akın Atalay and drop charges against all defendants
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
26 Sep 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media welcomes the release of Kadri Gürsel and calls for release of imprisoned Cumhuriyet journalists in Turkey.
12 Sep 2017
OSCE Media Freedom Representative renews calls on Turkey to urgently release jailed journalists.
31 Jul 2017
Cumhuriyet trial interim court decision shows urgency to drop charges and release all imprisoned Turkish journalists, says OSCE Media Freedom Representative.
25 Jul 2017
OSCE media freedom representative calls on Turkey to release imprisoned journalists
12 Jun 2017
On 8 June 2017, the European Court of Human Rights communicated to the Turkish Government the case of Sabuncu and Others v. Turkey. The applicants, ten journalists from the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet placed in police custody and subsequently in pre-trial detention on suspicion of having committed offences on behalf of terrorist organisations and disseminating propaganda for them, complained about their pre-trial detention and its duration, and also submit that there has been a breach of their freedom of expression. They further allege that their detention is a sanction against them for criticising the government and amounts to politically-motivated judicial harassment. They rely in particular on Article 5 § 1, 3 and 4 (right to liberty and security / right to speedy review of the lawfulness of detention), Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights).
15 Feb 2017
Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
31 Oct 2016
Statement from Secretary General Jagland expressing his concern about state of emergency measures and freedom of expression in Turkey
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04 May 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 04 May 2018 Germany

German Photographers Chased and Assaulted by Neo-Nazis

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index
No reply yet
Partner Index
On 29 April 2018, two freelance photographers were injured after being chased through the Thuringian countryside by Neo-Nazis armed with baseball bats, knives, a wrench and teargas.

The pair were initially pursued by car, then on foot when they had to abandon their car on a country road. One of the photographers suffered an open wound to his head from being hit with a wrench and the other was stabbed in his thigh. The assailants smashed the car windows and slashed its tires before fleeing with the photographic equipment.

The photographers were taking images and video footage of the home of Thorsten Heise, Thuringian leader of the far-right party National Democratic Party (NPD). Anti-Fascist group ALI called Hiese’s home a networking point and training camp for violent Neo-Nazis in a statement on 30 April, regional daily Märkishe Allgemeine reported. In the previous week Heise hosted the “Shield and Sword” festival in Saxony attended by over 1,000 Neo-Nazis from Germany and neighbouring countries, in which police intervened numerous times as militants had done the Nazi salute and displaying signs of proscribed organisations.

Police are investigating charges of robbery and attempted homicide and conducted a raid on Heise’s home the same day. Police press spokesperson Fränze Töpfer said the suspects are known to the police.
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04 May 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 04 Apr 2018 Slovak Republic

Slovak Journalist Gets a Suspended Sentence for Defamation

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner IPI EFJ/IFJ
Partner IPI EFJ/IFJ
On 15 March 2018, Slovak journalist Lukáš Milan was given a three-year suspended prison sentence and journalism ban following a conviction for criminal defamation. The charges were based on a 2015 article Milan wrote on the Slovak healthcare system for Plus 7 Dní weekly. The article examined alleged bribery on the part of Pavol Paška, a former speaker of the Slovak parliament and a prominent figure in the Smer party. Milan met with a young transport entrepreneur who claimed Paška had asked for bribes so that the entrepreneur could take on a blood plasma transport business for hospitals. The source’s claims are behind Paška’s libel case against Milan. The young entrepreneur has requested to remain anonymous in order to protect his business. He has not come forward to the authorities and Milan has refused to reveal his identity. Numerous international human rights bodies, including the U.N. Human Rights Committee and the European Court of Human Rights, have established that imprisonment – even in the form of a suspended sentence – is not a proportionate penalty for defamation. Moreover, Slovak law does not define “journalism” and the court has reportedly not provided further details about what the ban on practicing journalism entails.
State replies
Follow-ups
04 Apr 2018
New OSCE media freedom representative calls on Slovakia to decriminalize defamation and respect journalists’ rights
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03 May 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 03 May 2018 Italy

Attempted Murder of an Italian Investigative Journalist by a Mafia Group

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner RSF EFJ/IFJ
No reply yet
Partner RSF EFJ/IFJ
The director of the online journal Spia and correspondant for Agi, Paolo Borrometi, was targeted by a murder attack that was planned by an Italian mafia group for May 2018. The police fortunately foiled the attack designed to end the journalist's inquiry on illegal activities of mafia groups.

It is not the first time that the journalist is being targeted for his work. He is under permanent police protection since 2014 and in 2015, he was forced to leave Sicily for Rome due to increasing threats.
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03 May 2018 Lvl. 2
No reply yet
Alert created on: 03 May 2018 Armenia

Violence Against Reporters During 11 Days of Protests in Armenia

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner RSF AEJ
No reply yet
Partner RSF AEJ
Between 13 and 23 of April 2018, during the protests in Yerevan that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, several journalists were deliberately targeted by police. Alina Sargsyan, a reporter for the CivilNet.am news website, was hit by a police officer while she filmed police arresting demonstrators. Azatutyun TV producer Anatoly Egiazaryan was beaten by several policemen while filming a demonstration being dispersed.

Police damaged the cameras of the Factor.am reporter Vrezh Margaryan’s and Radio Azatutyun reporter Nayra Bulgadaryan, to prevent them from filming.

Tatul Hakobyan reporter for CivilNet. am was violently arrested while filming the attempted arrest of the protest movement’s main leader, Nikol Pashinyan. Public radio reporter Liana Egiazaryan was injured by a stun grenade in similar circumstances. Ani Keshishyan of 168.am and Factor.am cameraman Hovhannes Sargsyan were injured by non-lethal weapons.

Ani Grigoryan of CivilNet.am, Arus Hakobiyan of Radio Azatutyun, Tehmine Yenokyan of Lragir.am and Artak Hulyan of Shant TV were attacked by plainclothes policemen.

On 19 April, Tirayr Muradyan, a reporter for the Sut.am news website, was badly beaten by plainclothes police officers. The next day, the police bundled him into a car to prevent him from covering a demonstration on a motorway near Yerevan.

Factor.am editor-in-chief Arevik Sahakyan, his cameraman, Gevorg Martirosyan and public radio reporter Vruyr Tadevosyan were beaten up by unidentified individuals in different parts of the capital. In some cases, policemen looked on without making any attempt to intervene.
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02 May 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 05 Mar 2018 Ukraine

Ukrainian Police Accused of Violence against Journalists, Leaving one Hospitalized

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner RSF Index
Partner RSF Index
Three journalists were attacked at a protest action in Kyiv on 3rd March 2018. The protesters were asking for the establishment of an anti-corruption court, the introduction of open voting lists and the removal of MPs’ immunity.

Serhiy Nuzhnenko of Radio Liberty\Radio Free Europe got a chemical burn after a police officer attacked him with a pepper spray gas can. He was hospitalized.

Vlad Krasinskiy of Insider was pushed by 2 policemen against the barricades and also suffered from pepper spraying without any preamble. Even though he also had his Press ID in front of him.

Bohdan Kutyepov of Hromadske, who was dressed in an orange "Press" vest, was not allowed to work and was kicked on his leg by a police officer. Wearing the vest, rather than helping, had been the source of constant harassment from the police who kept trying to drive him away, and stop him from filming.
State replies
02 May 2018
New Reply from the Government of Ukraine 
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02 May 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 05 Mar 2018 Ukraine

Arson Attack on News Website in Northwestern Ukraine

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner RSF
Partner RSF
The arson attack took place on 22 February 2018 on the headquarters of Chetverta Vlada, an investigative news website in the city of Rivne in northwestern Ukraine. According to the police, an unidentified individual walked into the website’s offices in the basement of a building and used two bottles of gasoline to start a fire. The ensuing blaze completely destroyed one of its offices but fortunately none of the four persons present at the time was injured. The arson attack came just five days after the theft of the servers that hosted the Chetverta Vlada site, which is still down.​ ​

The media specializes in exposing corruption. Its recent investigative reporting has included revelations about the illegal confiscation of land and buildings in Rivne’s old town. The site’s journalists say that, as a result of its reporting, the real estate companies involved lost a lot of money and had to be wound up.
State replies
02 May 2018
New Reply from the Government of Ukraine
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30 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
No reply yet
Alert created on: 30 Apr 2018 Russian Federation

Russia: Blocking of Telegram and Collateral Temporary Blocking of Media Sites

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Article 19 EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
No reply yet
Partner Article 19 EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
On 13 April 2018, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court granted Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications regulator, its request to block access to the Internet messaging service Telegram on the grounds that the company had not complied with a 2017 order to provide decryption keys to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).

For Russian users, apps such as Telegram and similar services that seek to provide secure communications are crucial for users’ safety. They provide an important source of information on critical issues of politics, economics and social life, free of undue government interference. For media outlets and journalists based in and outside Russia, Telegram serves not only as a messaging platform for secure communication with sources, but also as a publishing venue. Through its channels, Telegram acts as a carrier and distributor of content for entire media outlets as well as for individual journalists and bloggers.

Since the 13 April decision, the actions taken by the Russian authorities to restrict access to Telegram have caused mass Internet disruption, including mass collateral website blocking. Between 16-18 April 2018, almost 20 million Internet Protocol (IP) addresses were ordered to be blocked by Roskomnadzor as it attempted to restrict access to Telegram. The majority of the blocked addresses are owned by international Internet companies, including Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Among those temporarily blocked were at least six online media outlets (Petersburg Diary, Coda Story, FlashNord, FlashSiberia, Tayga.info, and 7×7). As of 30 April 2018, 14.6 million websites remain blocked.

On 17 April 2018, Roskomnadzor requested that Google and Apple remove access to the Telegram app from their App stores, despite having no basis in Russian law to make this request. The app remains available, but Telegram has not been able to provide upgrades that would allow better proxy access for users. Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers – such as TgVPN, Le VPN and VeeSecurity proxy – have also been targeted for providing alternative means to access Telegram. Federal Law 276-FZ bans VPNs and Internet anonymisers from providing access to websites banned in Russia and authorises Roskomnadzor to order the blocking of any site explaining how to use these services.
Follow-ups
02 May 2018
Blocking of Telegram and legal restrictions on social networks will limit freedom of expression in Russia, says OSCE Representative Désir.
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27 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 27 Apr 2018 Turkey

Arrests and Confiscation at Özgürlükçü Demokrasi Newspaper

9 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
No reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
On 28 March 2018, police raided the headquarter of the pro-Kurdish Özgürlükçü Democrasi (formerly known as Özgür Gündem) newspaper in Istanbul and its printing house arresting at least 32 journalists and media workers. The assets of the newspaper have been confiscated. On 04 April 2018, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper staff Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Pınar Tarlak, Hicran Ürün and its former staff Mehmet Beyazıt have also been detained without justification. According to Bianet, the ones from Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper who are currently in custody are: grant holder of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper İhsan Yaşar, managing editor İshak Yasul, newspaper staffs Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Nedim Demirkıran, Mehmet Ali Çelebi , Ramazan Sola, Pınar Tarlak, Hicran Ürün, former media worker Mehmet Beyazıt.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (9):

İhsan Yaşar, İshak Yasul, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Nedim Demirkıran, Mehmet Ali Çelebi, Ramazan Sola, Pınar Tarlak, Hicran Ürün, Mehmet Beyazıt.
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27 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
No reply yet
Alert created on: 27 Apr 2018 Italy

A Journalist Assaulted

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner RSF
No reply yet
Partner RSF
Journalist Daniele Lupo was assaulted on 19 April 2018 in Rome. The journalist was slapped by former minister Mario Landolfi who was being asked a question about state payments allocated to former members of parliament, including the former minister.
Additional Information
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26 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
No reply yet
Alert created on: 26 Apr 2018 France

Corporate Secrets Bill Threatens Right to Information

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
The French Parliament is about to vote via an accelerated procedure a private member's bill on "the protection of know-how and undisclosed commercial information (corporate secrets) against unlawful collection, use and disclosure". This text is the transposition of the European directive on business secrecy, approved in 2016. On 16 April 2018, the journalists unions SNJ, SNJ-CGT and Journalists CFDT, as well as editors societies of many media outlets (Le Monde, Le Figaro, Les Echos, TV5 Monde, AFP, Radio France, RTL, Le Point, Liberation, TF1, Mediapart, L'Humanité) sent an open letter to the French President Emmanuel Macron, denouncing the bill that "calls into question the general interest and the right of citizens to information". The signatories criticized the particularly broad legal definition of "corporate secret" writing “In a company, any internal information can now be classified in this category. The law on corporate secret concerns information of general interest such as the tax practices of companies, the impact of their activities and products on health and the environment, and so on". The signatories asked President Macron to amend the draft law such that it only applies to economic competitors.
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26 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
Resolved
Alert created on: 09 Mar 2018 Ukraine

Azerbaijani Journalist With Dutch citizenship Fears for His Life after Attack In Kyiv

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Fikret Huseynli, an exiled Azerbaijani journalist who also holds Dutch citizenship, fears for his life and extradition to Azerbaijan without a court order, after escaping an attack in Kyiv by a group of individuals who tried to detain him at his home.

According to Mr Huseynli, on 5 March 2018, a group of “Ukrainian civilians accompanied by people speaking Azeri” attacked him in his appartment, knocking him on the ground and breaking his dental bridge. With the help of the landlord and an acquaintance, who threatened to call the police, Mr Huseynli managed to escape and is now in hiding in Kyiv.

Mr Huseynli who then worked for the Azadliq opposition newspaper was badly beaten in 2006 by ‘unknown assailants’ and fled Azerbaijan in 2008 for the Netherlands where he was granted Dutch citizenship two years ago. The Dutch embassy has been informed of the present attempt to detain him in Kyiv. On 7 October 2017, Mr Huseynli came to Ukraine on business for Turan TV, where he is currently employed. On 17 October 2017, while travelling to Dusseldorf, he was stopped at the Kyiv Boryspil airport, on the basis of an Interpol Red notice issued by the authorities of Azerbaijan who are seeking to put Mr Huseynli on trial on charges for ‘illegally crossing a border’ and ‘fraud’.

The officials of Azerbaijan were reportedly present at the airport when he was being detained. On 27 October 2017, a Ukrainian Court freed Mr Huseynli on bail and requested the Prosecutor’s Office to examine the grounds for extradition. On 13 February 2018 a Ukrainian court threw out an appeal by the Ukrainian state prosecutor against his release on bail and rejected the extradition charge against Mr Huseynli. His passport has been confiscated by the prosecutor and the journalist is obliged to stay in Ukraine until the prosecution completes its examination of the Azerbaijani request to extradite him. The court has given the Prosecutor’s office till March 20 to end the investigation.
Resolved
New 26 Apr 2018: On 26 April 2018, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be ”resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom, following the return of Fikret Huseynli to the Netherlands on 17 April 2018 and the decision of a Kyiv Court not to extend restrictions on is movement.
Updates
New 18 Apr 2018
On 17 April 2018, Fikret Huseynli traveled out of Ukraine for the Netherlands.
Follow-ups
18 Apr 2018
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative relieved that exiled Azeri journo Fikret Huseynli is back in Netherlands.
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25 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 25 Apr 2018 Russian Federation

Russian Journalist Dies Under Suspicious Circumstances

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner CPJ Article 19 EFJ/IFJ RSF
No reply yet
Partner CPJ Article 19 EFJ/IFJ RSF
Maksim Borodin, a Yekaterinburg-based investigative correspondent for the independent news website Novy Den, died on 15 April 2018 after falling on 12 April from the balcony of his fifth-floor apartment, local media and his employer reported.

In the few weeks prior to his death, Borodin gained national attention for his reporting on the deaths in Syria of Russian private military contractors fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad, according to the Guardian. The journalist also reported on corruption and the prison system in his native region of Sverdlovsk, the paper reported.

Russian police did not open a criminal investigation into Borodin's death saying there was no evidence pointing to suspicious circumstances surrounding his death, according to reports.

An unnamed spokesperson for Yekaterinburg's branch of Russia's Investigative Committee, the agency tasked with probing serious crimes, told the state news agency TASS that Borodin's apartment was locked from the inside and investigators did not find a suicide note in the journalist's apartment.

According to Yekaterina Norseyeva, a Novy Den correspondent in Yekaterinburg, it was "very unlikely" that Borodin had committed suicide. "He was going to be transferred to our Moscow bureau; he was full of plans," she said.

Borodin's friend, Vyacheslav Bashkov, on15 April wrote on his Facebook page that Borodin contacted him at 5 a.m. on 11 April and said that "security forces" wearing camouflage and face masks were on his balcony and in the interior staircase of his building. Borodin told Bashkov that he thought the security forces were waiting for a court order to search his apartment and asked Bashkov to help him find a lawyer, according to the Facebook post.

Bashkov wrote on Facebook that Borodin called him back an hour later and said he was mistaken and the security officers were conducting a drill.

In his Facebook post, Bashkov said that he went to local police after he found out about Borodin's death, but police seemed uninterested and "did not question [him] about much."
Follow-ups
25 Apr 2018
New OSCE media freedom representative shocked by death of journalist in Russia, calls for full, transparent and independent investigation
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25 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 02 Jun 2017 Azerbaijan

Exiled Journalist Abducted, Detained and Faces Charges in Azerbaijan

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Index Article 19 CPJ EFJ/IFJ IPI RSF
No reply yet
Partner Index Article 19 CPJ EFJ/IFJ IPI RSF
Freelance Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli was reported missing in Tbilisi, Georgia on the evening of 29 May 2017 by his wife Leyla Mustafayeva. Eurasianet reported that Mustafayeva said that her husband last called her when he was just a few blocks away from their home, but he never showed up. The Georgian police stated on 30 May that a search was underway for the journalist, but later, the independent Azeri news agency Turan reported that the Azerbaijani border service department detained Mukhtarli.

Independent investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova confirmed that Mukhtarli was kidnapped from his neighbourhood where he was forced into a car, his hands were tied and he was beaten. Mukhtarli sustained serious injuries. His lawyer, Elchin Sadigov, told the Committee for the Protection of Journalists: “He was beaten, has a broken nose, bruises all over his head and right eye, his rib may be broken.” He was then taken across the border into Azerbaijan by car without his passport.

Mukhtarli is being charged with trespassing, smuggling and resistance to law-enforcement (violations of Articles 318.1, 206.1 and 315.2 of the criminal code), his lawyer confirmed. The Azerbaijani police also claim Mukhtarli was in possession of 10,000 EUR during the police search. Mukhtarli, who has contributed to various independent outlets, including Meydan TV, fled to Georgia from Azerbaijan in 2015, after receiving threats over his investigative reporting on corruption in the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry. Afgan Mukhtarli is now in pre-trial detention.
Updates
New 25 Apr 2018
On 24 April 2018, the Sheki Appeals Court rejected the appeal of Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli.
12 Jan 2018
On 12 January 2018 Azerbaijan`s Balakan District Court sentenced Afgan Mukhtarli to 6 years in prison for illegal border crossing, smuggling and violent resistance to public officials.
17 Aug 2017
On 17 August 2017 the Nasimi District Court of Baku extended Afgan Mukhtarli`s pre-trial detention until 30 October 2017.
Follow-ups
15 Jan 2018
OSCE media freedom representative Désir condemns jailing of investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli in Azerbaijan
17 Jul 2017
The European Court of Human Rights began its consideration of Afgan Mukhtarli abduction case. On 8 June 2017, the Court sent a request for information to the Azerbaijani government.
20 Jun 2017
Volodymyr Ariev, PACE General Rapporteur on Media Freedom and the Safety of Journalists, calls for release of Afqan Mukhtarli
06 Jun 2017
Boriss Cilevics and Kerstin Lundgren, co-rapporteurs of the PACE, urge Georgian authorities to fully investigate abduction of Afqan Mukhtarli
02 Jun 2017
Commissioner for Human Rights "appalled by what happened to Afgan Mukhtarli, an Azerbaijani journalist and activist, who has reportedly been abducted in Georgia and forcibly taken to Azerbaijan, where he is now facing prosecution for illegal crossing of the border and smuggling".
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25 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 25 Apr 2018 Russian Federation

Editor Beaten in Yekaterinburg, Russia

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner CPJ EFJ/IFJ RSF
No reply yet
Partner CPJ EFJ/IFJ RSF
Unknown assailants on 12 April 2018 attacked Dmitry Polyanin, editor-in-chief of the regional pro-government newspaper Oblastnaya Gazeta, which had recently published articles about irregularities in the local housing market and related violence, according to the paper and media reports.

Two assailants attacked Polyanin around 7 p.m. at the entrance of his apartment building in Yekatrinburg and beat him with metal rods, according to the journalist's account published in Oblastnaya Gazeta and the state news agency RIA Novosti, which quoted Valery Gorelykh, a representative of the Interior Ministry's Sverdlovsk regional branch.

Following the attack, Polyanin was hospitalized with a concussion and a broken rib; he was discharged on 18 April 2018, his employer reported.

An unnamed spokesperson for the regional branch of Russia's Investigative Committee, the agency tasked with probing serious crimes, told RIA Novosti that a criminal investigation was opened in the incident.

Gorelykh told RIA Novosti that the police were considering different motives for the attack, including Polyanin's work as a journalist.

On 30 January 2018, Oblastnaya Gazeta published an investigative report on vandalism attacks that occurred over a period of two years in Yekatrinburg, including on office buildings, private homes, and vehicles as well as attacks on property owners that were carried out by unidentified individuals with metal rods. The report did not state who organized the attacks, but criticized law enforcement for not investigating the incidents.

Polyanin told Oblastnaya Gazeta on 13 April that the attack on him was related to his job. "The way this crime was executed is very similar to the ones we described in the report titled 'It looks like terrorism: What do we know about Yekaterinburg's housing wars?'" he said referencing the January report.
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25 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 25 Aug 2017 Denmark

Journalist Kim Wall Killed on a Civilian Submarine

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
No reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Freelance journalist Kim Wall (30) was reported missing on 10 August 2017 after she failed to return from a trip aboard a Danish civilian midjet submarine, the US3 Nautilus, with its inventor Peter Langkjær Madsen. The journalist was interviewing the Danish submarine builder for a feature at a time of her disappearance.

Mr Madsen was arrested on 12 August under the suspicion of causing Wall's death in connection with her disappearance. After initially claiming he had dropped her safely near Copenhagen, later reportedly told investigators that she had died in accident and he had buried her at sea.

On 23 August, 2017 the Danish police identified a headless torso found off the waters of Copenhagen as Kim Wall confirming the death of the journalist. Kim Wall, a graduate from Columbia University’s school of journalism, had worked for many news organisations including the Guardian, the New York Times and the South China Morning Post.
Updates
New 25 Apr 2018
On 25 April 2018, Peter Madsen was sentenced to life for murdering journalist Kim Wall.
24 Jan 2018
On 16 January 2018 Peter Madsen was formally charged by the Danish prosecution with premeditated killing, sexual assault and improper handling of a body. The trial is scheduled to start in Copenhagen on 8 March.
Follow-ups
25 Aug 2017
Killing of Swedish journalist Kim Wall points at threats faced by journalists, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media says.
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24 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 17 Oct 2017 Malta

Investigative Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia Killed by Car Bomb

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ Index IPI RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ Index IPI RSF
Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has been murdered on 16 October 2017, around 3pm, by a car bomb in the town of Bidnija, near her family home. Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, was known for her investigative journalism and her blog 'Running Commentary', which was one of the most widely read websites in Malta. In 2016, she was named by Politico as one of the “28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe”, after being the first to break news of Maltese politicians’ involvement in the Panama Papers scandal.

The journalist had been sued many times for her blog posts in which she revealed several alleged corruption scandals involving Maltese politicians. In February 2017, her bank accounts were frozen and libel suits were filed against her by Maltese Economy Minister and his consultant, following a report revealing that both men visited a brothel during an official trip in Germany.

According to media report, Daphne Caruana Galizia had filed a police report 15 days before her death saying she was being threatened.
Updates
06 Dec 2017
On 4 December 2017 the Maltese police arrested ten suspects over the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. On 5 December, three of them were charged with the journalist`s murder, as well as with criminal use of explosives, being involved in organised crime, and criminal conspiracy.
State replies
17 Oct 2017
Follow-ups
24 Apr 2018
New PACE to monitor investigation into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia
25 Jan 2018
PACE adopts a motion for a resolution 'Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the rule of law, in Malta and beyond: ensuring that the whole truth emerges'
25 Jan 2018
PACE appointed General Rapporteur on Media Freedom & the protection of journalists will make his first inquiry into the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
18 Oct 2017
APCE president strongly condemns the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana
17 Oct 2017
Shocked by the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Commissioner for Human Rights calls on authorities to thoroughly investigate the case.
17 Oct 2017
CoE Secretary General appalled by the brutal death of Maltese journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, in a car bombing, calls for a thorough investigation to find those responsible for her death.
17 Oct 2017
OSCE media freedom representative outraged by killing of prominent journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta, urges thorough investigation'
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20 Apr 2108 Lvl. 1
No 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 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
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
20 Apr 2018
New 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
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18 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 18 Apr 2018 Turkey

ETHA Journalists Detained and Arrested in Turkey

3 Journalists in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
No reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
Following a police raid on 13 April 2018, several journalists working for the left-wing ETHA news agency, Semiha Şahin, Pınar Gayıp and Adil Demirci were detained by the authorities on charges of alleged propaganda on behalf of an illegal organisation. According to the news agency, the detained journalists were not allowed to inform their lawyers, friends or family members about their situation. On 17 April, ETHA journalist Adil Demirci living in Cologne (Germany) and visiting his family was formally arrested by a court in Istanbul on charges of alleged membership of an illegal organisation and doing propaganda for the same organisation. The ETHA agency confirms that all defendants are detained or arrested for their journalistic activities and believes that the government is aiming to silence political dissent. No access has been granted to the details of the dossier by the authorities invoking the secrecy of the judiciary. ETHA news agency counts also the following colleagues Isminaz Temel (editor), Havva Custan (reporter) and Ali Sönmez Kayar (reporter) put in jail and charged with heavy imprisonment sentence. The trial of Mesale Tolu, a Turkish-German ETHA reporter and translator was released in December 2017 is still ongoing.
Updates
New 20 Apr 2018
On 19 April 2018, detained ETHA journalists Adil Demirci, Semiha Sahin and Pinar Gayip have been arraigned on charges of membership of an illegal organisation and propaganda.
Follow-ups
18 Apr 2018
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative worried about the arrest Etkin Haber Ajans reporter Adil Demirci, on terrorism charges and continued detention of journalists Semiha Şahin, Pınar Gayıp.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (3):

Semiha Şahin, Pınar Gayıp and Adil Demirci
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18 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
No 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 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 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.
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17 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 20 Apr 2017 Armenia

Armenian Journalist Attacked While Covering Parliamentary Elections

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ RSF
Sisak Gabrielian, a journalist for the Armenian service of Radio Free Europe (RFE), was attacked by activists of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), the ruling party in Armenia, while covering parliamentary elections in Yerevan on 2 April, 2017.
The journalist claimed that after he noticed that many voters at a polling station in Yerevan’s Kond quarter were heading to a local campaign office of the HHK before going to a nearby polling station to vote there, and that some of them were leaving with money in their hands, he was forcibly removed from the office. Some of the HHK activists hit him in the face and out took away his mobile phone, which he was using to film the conversation.
State replies
17 Apr 2018
29 May 2017
Reply from the Armenian authorities (Police and the Special Investigative Service of the Republic of Armenia)
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17 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 05 Oct 2017 Armenia

Armenian TV Station Editor Assaulted While Reporting on Road Building Project

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner AEJ
Partner AEJ
On the evening of 28 September 2017, Narine Avetisyan, the chief editor of Lori television station in Vanadzor, Armenia's third largest city, was violently assaulted while filming the asphalting of a road in heavy rain. Local media and the Helsinki Citizens Assembly (HCA) Vanadzor human rights network reported that Tigran Nazaryan, the head of the Shinplus construction company, and some of his colleagues, assaulted Narine Avetisyan, throwing her to the ground and seizing the mobile phone she was using to film the work. Reports say the mobile phone was later found with the video images of the asphalting work deleted. HCA Vanadzor and the Yerevan Press Club have called on state prosecutors and other relevant authorities to investigate the case diligently and to bring those responsible to justice.
Narine Avetisyan has reportedly been attacked five times while on various journalistic assignments. In the first four cases she was reporting on corruption-related stories involving local officials and no perpetrators were so far identified or charged.
State replies
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17 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 30 Jul 2016 Armenia

Armenian Journalists Injured in Police Violence against Media Journalists covering Street Demonstrations

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner AEJ Article 19 EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner AEJ Article 19 EFJ/IFJ Index
On the evening of Friday 29 July, at least ten journalists suffered burns, bruises or other injuries after being hit by police stun grenades or beaten in Yerevan while covering a demonstration by supporters of an armed group which stormed and occupied a police station in the Erebuni district two weeks ago. One policeman was reported killed and others injured during the seizure of the police facility. The media workers injured in the latest clashes include three journalists of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Armenian service, and journalists or camera operators of CivilNet and A1+ TV, according to local media reports. The director of RFE/RL’s Armenian broadcasting service claimed that unidentified plainclothes police officers targeted and attacked the station’s three journalists with batons, smashed their equipment and tore off their press badges, forcing them to abandon a live broadcast from the spot. A journalist and cameraman of A1+ alleged that they were forcibly removed from their company vehicles, beaten, and also had their press badges violently torn off. The armed occupiers of the police station, who have identified themselves as belonging to the anti-government Sasna Tsrer group, earlier held negotiations with government representatives and released a number of hostages. They had reportedly also been permitted some days ago to speak with a group of journalists about their political demands. An Armenian police spokesman was reported as saying that prompt investigations would be conducted into the reports of violence against journalists. The media concerned expect those investigations to include a number of suspected plainclothes police who used excessive force against them. The latest assaults against media workers follow several previous cases of beatings, harassment, destruction of recording equipment and obstruction against journalists in the same part of Yerevan since 18 July , as journalists have reported on the on-going standoff as well as public demonstrations in the vicinity of the occupied police station.
State replies
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17 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 07 Jul 2015 Armenia

Journalists Beaten and Arrested while Covering Protest Demonstration

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ RSF
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ RSF
Media reports supported by individual statements show that 13 journalists and camera operators covering the police dispersal of a sit-in protest against electricity price increases in Yerevan on 23 June 2015 were subjected to gratuitous violence at the hands of police or other security officials; and 11 journalists were detained by police. Several journalists stated that they were attacked or detained despite identifying themselves as media workers and showing their press accreditation. David Davtyan, a reporter with Armenia TV, stated, as reported on MEDIA.am that after he showed his press badge he was attacked by 4 persons, whom he identified as uniformed police and police in civilian clothes. Davtyan suffered a wrist injury. Nikolai Torosyan of Panarmenian.net said he was violently knocked down, beaten and kicked by two police officers; later he received an apology from a policeman after showing his press badge. Video cameras and other equipment belonging to media workers were also confiscated or broken.
State replies
Follow-ups
23 Jun 2015
Statement by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media: 'Safety of journalists must be ensured at all times, OSCE Representative says, following attacks on journalists in Armenia'
23 Jun 2015
Statement of the Human Rights Commissioner on protests in Armenia : media should be able to work in a safe and free environment
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
Disclaimer
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16 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
No reply yet
Alert created on: 07 Feb 2018 Ukraine

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

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EBU Article 19 AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
No reply yet
Partner EBU Article 19 AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is scheduled to discuss a draft Law No. 7395 "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding the Procedure for Informing on the Activities of the Authorities or Public Officials”.

One of the proposed provisions in the draft Law reads “Members of Parliament of Ukraine shall have the right to have their representative activities covered by the public joint-stock company “National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine” (UA:PBC) according to the procedure established by the UA:PBC in a programme which lasts as least 25 minutes. The MPs activity shall be covered by a corresponding separate structural subdivision of UA:PBC. The right to have their activities covered shall be held by the MPs elected in a single-member constituency or in a national multi-member constituency and assigned to a certain region of Ukraine by a parliamentary faction (group). UA:PBC shall cover the activities of MPs of Ukraine exclusively in the manner prescribed by this Law”.

The above mentioned provision in the draft Law prescribing how the public broadcaster should cover the activities of MPs risks interfering with the editorial policy of the public broadcaster. Imposing such an obligation is not in line with international standards for editorial independence of public service media, and in particular CoE Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe No. R (96) 10 on "The Guarantees of Independence of Public Service Broadcasting". According to CoE Rec 1996 (10) on the independence of PSM, under Guideline VI, PSM should be obliged to transmit content, which is not under its editorial control only in exceptional circumstances. “ The cases in which public service broadcasting organizations may be compelled to broadcast official messages, declarations or communications, or to report on the acts or decisions of public authorities, or to grant airtime to such authorities should be confined to exceptional circumstances expressly laid down in laws or regulations”.
Updates
New 16 Apr 2018
On 17 April 2018, the Ukrainian parliament is expected to debate and vote on a new amendment to the Ukrainian Law on Public Television, which would limit the independence of the national Public Broadcaster (The link to the Draft Law can be found here: http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=62229 ). Article 18 of the draft Law (#6681) on Amendments of the Law would oblige the public service broadcaster "to cover the activity of executive authorities, other state authorities, local self government bodies, or their officials as defined by other laws". If adopted, this means UA:PBC will be obliged to provide free air time quotas for every member of Parliament (20 minutes per month on state-owned or funded channels) alongside other possible requirements which can be defined by later laws. The current Law on Public Broadcasting excludes UA:PBC from such obligations, leaving it up to the discretion of the broadcaster and its editorial judgment to decide on which activities to cover. The CoE's Recommendation (No. R (96) 10) on the guarantee of the independence of public service broadcasting states that "the legal framework governing public service broadcasting organisations should clearly stipulate their editorial independence and institutional autonomy, especially in areas such as...the editing and presentation of news and current affairs programmes." It also says that: “the cases in which public service broadcasting organisations may be compelled to broadcast official messages, declarations or communications, or to report on the acts or decisions of public authorities, or to grant airtime to such authorities, should be confined to exceptional circumstances expressly laid down in laws or regulations.” These amendments, if adopted, would risk jeopardising the independence of UA:PBC and could derail its current reform to transform it into a genuine service to the citizens. On 22 February 2018, following the withdrawal of the draft bill by the Verkhovna Rada, the partner organisations to the Platform had declared this case to be ”resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom. Given the new circumstances and the new threat to the independence of the public broadcaster, the partner organisations of the platform decided to reopen the alert which was closed on 22 February 2018, and called on the Ukrainian parliament to reject the amendments.
16 Feb 2018
On 7 February 2018, the draft has been withdrawn.
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16 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 21 Feb 2018 Serbia

Increased Verbal Abuse Against Independent Serbian Media.

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner RSF EFJ/IFJ
Partner RSF EFJ/IFJ
Since the beginning of the year, several journalists have been threatened in Serbia, in a context of increasing verbal violence against the media that challenge the actions of a government.
Journalist Tamara Skrozza published a report, highlighting that candidates from the SNS, the government’s political party, were four times more visible than candidates of the opposition on the pro-government TV channel Pink TV. In response, the private channel accused her of being an "enemy of the state" and a series of insults were addressed to her on Pink TV's account on social media.
In early February, reporter Una Hajdari was attacked on social media. Following a photomontage on Twitter of the president's visit in Kosovo, she was accused of "hating Serbia, Serbs and Vucic". The same week, Dragan Janjic, redactor in chief of the independent agency Beta, also received hundreds of insults and hateful messages on social media. He suggested on 16 January, in a tweet, that the murder of the Kosovo Serb politician, Oliver Ivanović, was motivated by political considerations.
Nikola Radisic, journalist for the TV channel N1 (a CNN International partner) was verbally attacked in the street by two men accusing him of being an "American spy and a traitor".
State replies
16 Apr 2018
New Reply from the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia  
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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16 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 21 Sep 2017 Serbia

Journalists from Magločistač News Portal Receive Death Threats

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index RSF
On 4 September 2017, journalists and media workers working for the Serbian Subotica Magločistač news portal received explicit death threats following the publication of an article entitled “We are all Gosa workers, and all the rulers are Labans” (Svi smo mi radnici Goše, a vladari Labani). The team of journalists was threatened with harsh words in the comments section. The article referred to the death threats made by Bogdan Laban, the mayor of Subotica, directed against one of his party colleagues, Magločistač news portal reported about that event.
State replies
16 Apr 2018
New Reply from the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia 
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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16 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 30 Mar 2017 Serbia

Journalist Stefan Cvetkovic Sentenced to Jail for Unauthorised Publication

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
On 14 March 2017, freelance journalist Stefan Cvetkovic was found guilty by the court of the city of Vršac (Serbia) of unauthorised publication and presentation of somebody else’s texts and recordings. The journalist received a two year and three month jail sentence and must pay a €17,000 fine for insult. According to the legal advisor of Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS), Cvetkovic has appealed against the judgment and is waiting for the second instance court ruling. His sentence is suspended and he remains free. Mr Cvetkovic was prosecuted after three officials from the ruling party filed a complaint against him. The Serbian journalist was investigating the role of the said officials in criminal matters. Previously he had filed a complaint against local authorities on the grounds of misuse of public funds in 2014.
Updates
11 Apr 2017
On 11 April 2017 the Pančeva Supreme Court annulled the initial sentence and returned the case to the primary court in Vršac for a re-trial.
State replies
16 Apr 2018
New Reply from the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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16 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 25 Sep 2017 Serbia

Serbian Weekly ‘Vranjske Novine’ Closed Following Administrative Harassment

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Serbian weekly Vranjske novine will cease publishing, announced founder and editor-in-chief Vukasin Obradovic on 18 September. The paper claims it has been subject to intense political and economic pressures, including financial inspections allegedly aimed at compromising its finances.

According to the Independent Journalists’ Association (NUNS), Vranjske novine has been subjected to political and economic pressure since its creation in 1994, as the weekly is known for revealing abuse of public office, such as corruption and organised crime. Obradovic, his family and his colleagues experienced multiple non-investigated instances of harassment and persecution, ranging from repeated direct threats, car tampering, offices robbed, to inspections and controls leading to the economic suffocation of the newspaper, peaking this year.

A recent attempt to inspect Vranjske beginning on 16 August 2017, was followed by an unexpected financial inspection on 4 September. NUNS states that although the inspections are legitimate, the question is whether they were prompted by the publication of an interview with a former Vranje Tax Authority head. Soon after the publication, Obradovic was warned off the record, to expect an inspection with the intention of harassing the newspaper. He wrote in an open letter to the tax administration authority published on 21 September, that Vranjske has been operating in accordance with the law since its creation.

Vukasin Obradovic received many awards for his investigative work. In 2009, he was awarded OSCE media personality of the year. He was also President of NUNS, between 2010 and February 2017.
State replies
16 Apr 2018
New Reply from the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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12 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 12 Nov 2015 Serbia

Closure of the Serbian National Press Agency Tanjug

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 4 November 2015, the Serbian Ministry of Culture, responsible for media, announced the Government decision to close the national news agency Tanjug, following the expiration of the deadline for privatisation of the agency (set for 31 October 2015). The decision followed the adoption of the Law on privatisation of news agencies in Serbia last August and the launch of two unsuccessful calls for action. Professional organisations of Serbian journalists (NUNS, UNS, SINOS) hold responsible the Serbian Government and the Steering Board of the Nove Telegrafska Agencija Jugoslavije (Telegraph Agency of the New Yugoslavia) for the lack of preparation of the privatisation plan and poor management of the Agency. The European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) calls on the Government to review the case in order to avoid the definitive closing down of the Agency known worldwide. The abrupt closure of Tanjug and the ongoing process of privatising Serbian mass media undermines media pluralism and generates a climate of social insecurity, pushing journalists into self-censorship. Indeed, by 31 October 2015, 36 of the 73 Serbian public mass media have been bought by new owners. The other 37 will be closed or privatised as part of a transfer of capital to the employees.
State replies
12 Apr 2018
New Reply from the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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12 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 07 Feb 2018 Serbia

Intimidation Campaign against NUNS (Independent Journalists Association of Serbia)

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ RSF
On two separate occasions (04/02/2018 and 05/02/2018), the Belgrade office of the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (NUNS or IJAS) has been the target of insults and intimidation with a printed flyer describing IJAS as an “Unhappy Association of Enemies of Serbia”. The flyers were glued into the glass entrance of the House of Journalists where the head office of the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia is located. It is suspected to be a professionally organised hate campaign because the flyers were printed in color, on quality paper, and probably in a larger circulation, in order to be distributed in other public places. The incidents were reported to the police and to the prosecutor's office which immediately started gathering evidence.
State replies
12 Apr 2018
New Reply from the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
07 Feb 2018
Labelling NUNS as the enemy of State can severely endanger safety of journalists and the work of this journalists’ association in Serbia, says OSCE Media Freedom representative who expects this incident to be swiftly investigated.
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11 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 02 Jun 2017 Serbia

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

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner RSF EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner RSF EFJ/IFJ Index
Lidija Valtner, a reporter for the Serbian daily Danas, was filming an altercation between supporters of Vučić’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and a protester during the President's inauguration on 31 May 2017, in Belgrade, when she was attacked by two Progressive Party supporters. One tried to grab her phone in order to prevent her from filming and, when she tried to defend herself, the two men seized her and forcibly took her away to a neighbouring park, 50 meters away.

In an interview with RSF, Valtner expressed dismay that two plainclothes police officers watched this attack without coming to her help.

Force was also used to prevent journalists with Vice, Radio Belgrade and the Cenzovska and Insajder websites from reporting or filming the demonstrations.
State replies
11 Apr 2018
New Reply from the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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11 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 02 Apr 2018 Serbia

Impunity in the Case of the Murder of Dada Vujasinovic

Source of threatState
CategoryImpunity for murder
Partner RSF
Partner RSF
Radislava Dada Vujasinović, a Serbian journalist and reporter, was found shot dead at her parents’ home in Belgrade in the early hours of 8 April 1994. Immediately after the body’s discovery, the police said Vujasinović had shot herself with a hunting rifle but the family disputed this, pointing to omissions and inconsistences in the investigation including the failure to question neighbours and analyse evidence found at the scene, and the fact that the suicide ruling was reached without referring to a judge. The family obtained independent expert opinions and repeatedly but unsuccessfully asked the judicial authorities to pursue the case.

Independent reports finally led to the reopening of the investigation but the Serb authorities were incapable of shedding any light on her death. In January 2013, the Serb government supported the creation of a commission of enquiry into the deaths of Vujasinović and two other Serb journalists, Slavko Ćuruvija and Milan Pantić. The commission of enquiry was launched by Veran Matić. But still today, progress has to be made to reach the truth.
State replies
11 Apr 2018
New Reply from the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia
Follow-ups
23 Feb 2018
Commissioner for Human Rights: ‘Concerted efforts needed to protect media freedoms in Serbia’
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06 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 30 Jun 2017 Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani Director of Internet Television Re-arrested

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
No reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
Aziz Orujov, director of internet television Kanal 13, was re-arrested on 1 June 2017 in Azerbaijan. On 2 May he was found guilty by court of committing an administrative offence - disobedience to a lawful order by police officer - and sentenced for 30 days. On 1 June, two hours before his expected release, he was taken to the Serious Crimes Investigation Department, then charged with illegal entrepreneurship with large income and abuse of official power. The judge has ordered the journalist's pre-trial detention for four months. After Ojurov's arrest, searches have been conducted in his apartment and in the office of Kanal 13. Computers, electronic carriers and documents were confiscated. Orujov's wife said that she is concerned about Ojurov's health because he suffers from chronic diseases. Media reported that the case against Ojurov is connected with his professional activities. Kanal 13 produces programmes on social and economic topics, presenting, among other things, positions of independent experts and opposition politicians.
Updates
New 06 Apr 2018
On 5 April 2018, the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan released Aziz Orujov on a suspended three-year sentence.
20 Feb 2018
On 20 February 2018, the Baku Appeal Court upheld the verdict against Aziz Orujov. The defense intends to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.
18 Dec 2017
On 15 December 2017 the Baku Court for Serious Crimes sentenced Aziz Orujov to 6 years for illegal business and misappropriation of funds.
Follow-ups
06 Apr 2018
New OSCE media freedom representative welcomes release of journalist Aziz Orudjev in Azerbaijan
18 Dec 2017
OSCE media freedom representative calls on Azerbaijan authorities to end restrictive measures detrimental to journalists’ freedom and safety
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05 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 05 Apr 2018 Montenegro

Montenegrin Journalist Targeted in Car Bombing

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner IPI EFJ/IFJ
No reply yet
Partner IPI EFJ/IFJ
Montenegrin journalist Sead Sadiković escaped unharmed after a car bomb exploded in front of his home in Bijelo Polje, northeastern Montenegro on 1 April 2018. Police have said they believe the explosion was intended as a threat against Sadiković. The car in question did not belong to Sadiković, but was a rental and was registered in Belgrade. Authorities on 3 April detained two suspects, both related to the owner of a museum Sadiković had published a story about. Sadiković is known for a critical weekly show on TV Vijesti and for his reporting on corruption and organized crime in Montenegro.
Follow-ups
05 Apr 2018
New OSCE media freedom representative condemns bomb attack in Montenegro, commends swift police action
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05 Apr 2018 Lvl. 1
No reply yet
Alert created on: 03 Oct 2016 Russian Federation

Ukrainian Journalist Held on ‘Spying‘ Allegations

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
No reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
The authorities in Russia arrested Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko who is believed to be currently detained in the Lefortovo prison in Moscow, according to human rights organisations. Media reports in Russia said that the 47-year-old Paris correspondent for the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform since 2010 was arrested on his arrival in Russia and was charged with spying, a charge that the agency has strongly refuted.

The journalist’s family had been without news of him for two days, after he left Paris for a private visit to Moscow during his leave. Suchchenko reportedly complained that he had been put under psychological pressure and was not allowed to contact his wife to inform her about his arrest.
Updates
New 05 Apr 2018
On 27 March 2018, Moscow City Court extended the term of Roman Sushchenko's detention in custody for six months, until 16 September 2018. An appeal was filed against this decision.
24 Jan 2018
On 24 January 2018 a Moscow Court extended Sushchenko’s detention until 30 March 2018.
16 Oct 2017
Between November 2016 and September 2017, Courts extended several times the pre-trial detention term of Roman Sushchenko. The last extension runs until 30 November 2017.
30 Nov 2016
On 28 November 2016, the Lefortovo District Court ordered to extend the pre-trial detention of Mr Sushchenko until 30 January 2017
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03 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 20 Nov 2017 France

2 France 5 Journalists Denied Access to President Macron During his Visit to Lille

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 14 November 2017, journalist Tancrède Bonora and his videoreporter colleague were denied access to President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to the north of France. Both are working for the programme 'C à Vous’ of France 5 channel (which belongs to the public broadcasting group France Televisions). The reason cited by the presidential security services was the attendance of the two journalists at a demonstration held the day before and organised by the opposition movement, la France Insoumise, against certain government measures. When the reporters attempted to ask their questions to the head of state, they were physically removed by security agents who positioned themselves between the President and the journalists. Thus kept apart from other journalists, they were prevented from carrying out their report.
State replies
03 Apr 2018
New Reply from the French authorities (in French only)
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