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04 Mar 2021 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 04 Mar 2021 n° 33/2021 Georgia

Georgian Journalist Vakhtang Sanaia Assaulted by Three Attackers

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner CPJ RSF
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ RSF
In the early hours of 25 February 2021 in Tbilisi, three unidentified men attacked Vakhtang Sanaia, an anchor at the TV broadcaster Formula, who is also known as Vakho Sanaia, according to news reports. While the journalist was stopped on the side of the road with his family due to car trouble, three passers-by started insulting him and his broadcaster, and challenging him to a fight. Sanaia then slipped and fell, and two of the men hit and kicked him. Sanaia told CPJ the men said to “remember their faces” and threatened to kill him. People who were helping the journalist with his car intervened and stopped the scuffle, and police arrived and detained all three attackers, according to news reports and a report published at the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Sanaia sustained bruises on his head, arms, and one of his legs, and was diagnosed with a concussion and had to stay in bed for several days. The journalist told CPJ that he believed the perpetrators attacked him because they recognized him as the host of a news and talk show that had recently criticised the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The perpetrators have been charged with “persecution with the use of violence or with the threat of violence”, “beatings or other violence” and “making threats of death or bodily injury”, according to news reports and a statement published on the website of the Prosecutor General’s Office. If found guilty, they face up to three years behind bars, according to Georgian law. CPJ e-mailed the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General’s Office for comment. The Prosecutor General’s Office stated that it would implement a “strict criminal policy” in prosecuting the suspects in Sanaia’s attack. The Ministry of Internal Affairs did not respond.
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04 Mar 2021 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 04 Mar 2021 n° 34/2021 Russian Federation

Russian Journalist Natalia Zubkova in Hiding Following Attack, Death Threats

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner CPJ RSF
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ RSF
In the evening of 25 February 2021, an unidentified hooded man in dark clothes attacked and threatened Natalia Zubkova, the chief editor and founder of the news website Novosti Kiselyovska, outside her home in the city of Kiselyovsk, according to news reports. The man approached the journalist from behind, grabbed her by the hood of her coat, and pushed her to her knees in the snow, Zubkova told CPJ. While holding her down, he threatened to kill and sexually assault her children if she “opened her mouth again”.

After the attack, Zubkova fled Kiselyovsk to an undisclosed location, she told CPJ. Zubkova said she believes the threats could be connected to her recent coverage of protests against a local coal mine project, or her reporting on an alleged real estate scheme targeting disabled people. In May 2020, Anton Reutov, a lawyer whom Zubkova had reported was involved in such a scheme, had won a defamation case against the journalist, who was fined more than 90,000 rubles (€1,008), according to news reports. In August 2020, when Reutov and two bailiffs went to Zubkova’s apartment to confiscate her car toward the payment of that fine, Reutov had hit Zubkova in the face according to news reports. Zubkova said she had filed a complaint about this case to the police but the case has stalled. Several days after that incident, the journalist had received anonymous messages on social media from someone saying they wanted to burn her, and threatening the lives of her children. Zubkova said she had filed a complaint about the messages with the Kiselyovsk Investigative Committee, but the Committee had refused to open an investigation, saying that the messages did not constitute a crime.

Zubkova said she did not know if the recent attack was connected to her dispute with Reutov. CPJ emailed the Kemerovsky district of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Kiselyovsk Investigative Committee, and called Anton Reutov for comment, but did not receive any responses.
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04 Mar 2021 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 01 Mar 2021 n° 32/2021 France

French Photographer Violently Attacked and Badly Injured, while Covering an Outbreak of Violence in Reims

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ
French photographer Christian Lantenois is fighting for his life after being badly injured in an attack on 27 February while reporting on an outbreak of youth violence in a high-rise residential area in the city of Reims, in northern France. The exact circumstances of the attack on the photographer of the local newspaper L’Union-L’Ardenais have not yet been determined but the police are treating it as a murder attempt. Lantenois and a reporter with the same newspaper decided to go to this residential neighbourhood with an estimated 25,000 inhabitants after reports of “acute tension” in the area, which has a high crime rate, according to the police. The reporter went in an unmarked car but Lantenois drove there in a car bearing the newspaper’s name. It is not known how many people attacked him. The newspaper simply reported that he was found badly injured beside his car. He was rushed to a hospital where his condition on 28 February was described as stable but extremely worrying. In a statement L’Union-L’Ardenais said: “This attack was not a chance occurrence. The newspaper’s car was identified and the camera was smashed. This journalist was clearly targeted. Nothing and no one can limit our determination to inform the public, nor our freedom to act and to report the news. Not covering this story would have meant denying that violence is a reality for this neighbourhood’s 25,000 residents."Lantenois has been covering football and other sports as well as general news for the newspaper for many years.
Updates
New 04 Mar 2021
On 1 March 2021, the management board of "L'union-L'Ardennais" filed a complaint for attempted murder and violation of the freedom of the press. On the same day, an adult was arrested and placed in police custody, as part of an investigation into charges of "attempted aggravated murder" and "failure to assist a person in danger", according to a press release issued by the public prosecutor.
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03 Mar 2021 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 17 Oct 2017 n° 120/2017 Malta

Investigative Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia Killed by Car Bomb

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryImpunity for murder
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI PEN RPT RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI PEN RPT 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
New 03 Mar 2021
On 23 February 2021, one of the defendants, Vincent Muscat, pleaded guilty of murder and other crimes related to the killing, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, local media reported. Muscat renounced his right to appeal the sentence. On 24 February, police arrested and charged two additional suspects, Robert Agius and Jamie Vella, with complicity in the killing for allegedly supplying the bomb.
09 Oct 2020
Early September 2020, the board of the public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s killing was informed by the Maltese PM Robert Abela that he was granting a one-time extension of the deadline to 15 December 2020. A number of media freedom organisations, the family foundation as well as the PACE rapporteur criticised the decision to impose a time limit as ‘political interference’. In reaction to this, the inquiry board indicated that it intended to carry on with its work until ‘the proper fulfilment” of its terms of reference.
28 Nov 2019
On 26 November 2019, Keith Schembri, the Maltese prime minister’s chief of staff and Konrad Mizzi, the country’s tourism minister, have resigned following the political turmoil surrounding the latest developments in the investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. On the same day, Economy Minister Chris Cardona announced he was "suspending himself with immediate effect from his position as minister, pending the investigations”. Schembri’s resignation followed reports that Yorgen Fenech, the businessman arrested on 20 November in connection with the murder was preparing to make allegations against Schembri. According to media reports, Keith Schembri was taken to police headquarters for questioning in relation to the case, and police entered one of his properties. Mr Fenech was released on police bail without charge for the third time in a week on 26 November. He is seeking a pardon in exchange for further information about the crimes.
21 Nov 2019
On 20 November 2019, Malta police arrested Yorgen Fenech, one of the country’s most prominent businessmen, as part of an investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Fenech was detained after his yacht was intercepted and searched.
18 Nov 2019
On 15 November 2019, the Government announced that two members of the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia were replaced following the concerns about their impartiality raised by the late journalist’s family.
31 Oct 2019
On 31 October 2019, the partner organisations of the Platform decided to transfer this alert to the category of ‘impunity for murder’, based on their assessment of the lack of sufficient progress in the investigation of this case.
23 Sep 2019
On 20 September 2019, the Maltese government ordered a public inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, following up on a June 2019 PACE resolution demanding the setting up of an independent public inquiry into her death within three months.
17 Jul 2019
On 16 July 2019, three suspects were formally charged over the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, as well as Vince Muscat, were arrested in December 2017. The public prosecutor now has 20 months to set a date for the trial.
12 Jul 2019
On 11 July 2019, at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Global Media Freedom conference in London, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malta Carmelo Abela, responding to the demand of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to set up an independent public inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, confirmed that the government will open such an inquiry within the next three months.
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
14 Dec 2020
On 8 December 2020, PACE's Legal Affairs Committee endorsed a follow-up report to the recommendations on achieving justice for Daphne Caruna Galizia made by the Assembly in Resolution 2293. The Committee concluded that the implementation of the recommendations remain “fundamentally unsatisfactory, with no final results”. It also called on the Maltese authorities to take the measures identified in the follow-up report to fully implement Resolution 2293 “as a matter of urgency”.
09 Oct 2020
PACE Rapporteur expresses "serious concern" about the possibility to set a time limit to the public inquiry int the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
02 Dec 2019
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media welcomes new indictment in murder case of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia
29 Nov 2019
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights urges the Maltese government to ensure the independence of the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia
17 Oct 2019
“The Government of Malta remains far behind in its obligation to ensure that investigations in the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia are conducted in a prompt, effective, independent and impartial manner” said Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions on the occasion of the anniversary of the journalist's murder.
04 Oct 2019
PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights invites the Maltese authorities to address the issues raised by Rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt concerning the terms of reference for the independent public inquiry as a matter of urgency.
04 Oct 2019
PACE Rapporteur considers that "Daphne Caruana Galizia inquiry in Malta ‘does not meet the Assembly’s expectations’ ". Statement by Pieter Omtzigt
23 Sep 2019
PACE rapporteur on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law in Malta welcomes decision to set up inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
23 Sep 2019
Public inquiry into death of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta must be fully independent and yield justice, states OSCE Media Freedom Representative.
27 Jun 2019
On 26 June 2019, PACE adopted the resolution on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and demanded the setting up of an independent public inquiry into her death within three months.
27 Jun 2018
Pieter Omtzigt, who is preparing a report for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the investigation into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law in Malta, has been authorised by PACE’s Legal Affairs Committee to receive information from anonymous sources and to protect the identity of anyone who provides such information.
24 Apr 2018
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'
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
Disclaimer
Freelancers

Key information :

Daphne Caruana Galizia

Independent Journalist and Blogger, known for her reporting on corruption and the political situation in Malta. Her blog "Running Commentary" was one of the most visited websites in the country.
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03 Mar 2021 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 05 Feb 2021 n° 20/2021 Russian Federation

Court Sentences Mediazona Editor-in-chief Sergey Smirnov to 25 Days in Detention for a Retweet

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
On 3 February 2021, the Tverskoy District Court at Moscow convicted Mediazona editor-in-chief Sergey Smirnov of illegally organising a protest, and sentenced him to 25 days of administrative detention. Smirnov had been arrested outside his home on 30 January, while on a walk with his son, held for about eight hours in police custody, and charged with repeatedly violating the rules of the Administrative Code concerning the holding of public events. These charges were based on a post Smirnov made on Twitter on 20 January that included a picture with the time and date of a rally in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny. According to the police, the retweet constituted a call to “an unlimited number of participants to take part in the unauthorised rally on 23 January,” writes Mediazona. The picture at issue did not contain any calls for protests, nor did it indicate the planned location of the rally. Smirnov said he had simply retweeted a joke and had not called on people to come to the rally, which he said he had not attended. “A retweet does not equal endorsement,” he told the judge in court. More than 30 media outlets expressed support for Smirnov following his arrest.
Updates
New 03 Mar 2021
On 18 February 2021, Smirnov was released , having served his 15 day detention period.
New 17 Feb 2021
Sergey Smirnov has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the Russian authorities violated his right to personal security, to a fair trial and punishment based solely on the law, and the right to freedom of expression and assembly, among others. In addition, the journalist claims he is being detained in “inhumane conditions” and that his right to appeal against the immediate enforcement of administrative arrest has been violated.
New 09 Feb 2021
On 8 February 2021, the Moscow City Court reduced the jail sentence handed down to Sergey Smirnov to 15 days, following appeal.
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03 Mar 2021 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 11 Sep 2020 n° 103/2020 Turkey

Turkish Journalist Oktay Candemir Charged with ‘Insulting’ Deceased Sultan in Satirical Tweet

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner CPJ EFJ/IFJ RPT
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ EFJ/IFJ RPT
On 7 September 2020, police in the eastern city of Van arrested Oktay Candemir, a freelance journalist who writes columns for the pro-Kurdish news website Nupel, at his home.

Charged with “insulting the memory of a dead person”, Candemir was released by the court on 8 September, according to a report by the Media and Legal Studies Association, a local free expression group. Candemir is subject to a foreign travel ban and required to regularly check in to a police station. Police have confiscated his computer and personal archive.

The charge stems from a satirical tweet that Candemir posted on his personal account on 3 September, where he has about 7,500 followers and frequently posts his reporting, in which he mocked a historical drama series produced by state broadcaster TRT. Authorities allege that the tweet insulted Ertuğrul Ghazi, a sultan who died around 1280.

If convicted, Candemir could face up to two years in prison, according to Turkish law. Candemir told the court that he did not mean to insult historical figures but just made fun of the modern series. Deniz Yıldız, Candemir’s lawyer, said that insult offense was actionable only if a relative of the deceased person files a complaint, and said that no one had done so. In a statement made as he left the courthouse, Candemir said he believed the charge was an attempt to “make journalists feel under pressure and take a step back”.

CPJ e-mailed the Van central police department for comment but did not receive any response.
Updates
New 03 Mar 2021
In February 2021, the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office decided not to prosecute the journalist Candemir, concluding that "the expressions used by the suspect together with the names of sultans" do not constitute "a concrete act or fact that could harm the honor, dignity and respectability of a person or the act of defamation." The Office also decided that Candemir's seized laptop shall be returned to him. Two hard disks sent to the terror crimes bureau shall remain in safety deposit.
Freelancers

Key information :

Oktay Candemir

Freelancer, writes columns for the pro-Kurdish news website Nupel (nupel.net)
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02 Mar 2021 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 26 Jan 2021 n° 10/2021 Netherlands

Online Video Advises NOS Journalists to "Flee the Netherlands"

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ RSF
On 21 January 2021, the Dutch public broadcaster NOS reported that a video shared online via social media platforms included insults and threats against journalists in general, and the NOS in particular. According to de Volkskrant, NOS has filed a complaint against a COVID-19 activist and former candidate for Almere city councillor, Ronald Laken. In a video posted on social media, the author advised NOS employees and journalists to “flee the Netherlands” because something would be “done” to them. Laken also claimed: "You can resign and we will remove you from the blacklist". The video followed the demonstration and riots in opposition to the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic that took place on Museumplein on 17 January. According to media reports, Laken has insulted journalists in the past.
State replies
02 Mar 2021
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02 Mar 2021 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 26 Jan 2021 n° 11/2021 Netherlands

Journalists and Media Workers Assaulted During Protests

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
On the evening of 24 January 2020, physical attacks against journalists and media workers took place in several cities in the Netherlands. In Tilburg, a reporter for the daily Brabants Dagblad who was covering a protest was pelted with stones and then chased, before being surrounded by a group of about 15 men. He was eventually able to escape through the garden of a nearby house. In Urk, a security guard accompanying a NOS camera operator was attacked by protesters. Earlier in the evening of 23 January, a COVID-19 test centre run by GGD was set on fire, with police officers targeted with stones and fireworks. As the NOS team were documenting the subsequent protest, an altercation arose between a young protester and the security guard who was with the NOS team, during which a corrosive substance (which NOS editor-in-chief Marcel Gelauff stated was pepper spray) was sprayed on the security guard's face, which required medical treatment. The police have started an investigation but, as of 26 January, no one has been arrested. Due to the incident the NOS camera crew left the area and reported from a different location.
State replies
02 Mar 2021
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01 Mar 2021 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 07 Jun 2020 n° 66/2020 Romania

Lawsuits Filed against the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner Index Article 19 ECPMF
Partner Index Article 19 ECPMF
The Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism (CRJI), which set up the investigative online magazine The Black Sea (www.theblacksea.eu), faces accruing fines and two protracted lawsuits, relating to stories published by the online magazine between 2016 and 2018. Back then, the investigative magazine took part in the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) network’s “Football Leaks” project, producing a series of stories on the global football industry, which led to a number of criminal investigations and prosecutions worldwide, for crimes of money laundering, fraud and tax evasion.

Among these investigations there were reports of alleged political and criminal connections of one family – the Kazakh-Turkish Arif family, owners of a network of companies known collectively as Doyen, accused of being connected to a number of football deals. According to CRJI, Doyen and the Arif family were invited by the EIC network to respond to allegations before they were printed, but refused.

Two years after these reports were published, the Arifs and the Malta-based Doyen Sports Investment Limited filed two civil lawsuits against CRJI relating to the stories published by The Black Sea, claiming defamation on the basis of leaked or stolen company and personal documents. The first suit was filed in December 2018 and the second in November 2019. Both are pending.

The lawsuits were preceded by an 'emergency' gag order, filed in December 2018, which demanded the removal of all stories that mentioned the Arif family and the Doyen company. According to CRJI, neither they nor The Black Sea was informed of the gag order application at the time. It was granted by a Romanian judge in January 2019.

In July 2019, the judge imposed a fine on CRJI of RON 1000 (€200) for each day the stories remain online, so far accruing fines of over RON 300,000 (more than €60.000). The stories have not been removed and can be read here: https://theblacksea.eu/stories/?dossier=Football%20Leaks

According to CRJI, The Black Sea stories are the only ones resulting in lawsuits from the Arif family and Doyen, despite many of EIC network's partners publishing similar, and sometimes identical versions of the stories.
Updates
New 01 Mar 2021
On 24 February 2021, a Romanian judge rejected the action brought against the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism. The judge did not immediately issue a full written judgment but nevertheless found the complaints brought by the Arif family to be “unfounded.” The case had been going on for more than two years, had been subject to multiple postponements at the request of the plaintiffs.
02 Jul 2020
On 23 June 2020, a Bucharest court ordered the Romanian Centre to pay a “definitive and enforceable” fine of 329,000 RON (€67,000) for not having removed the stories. The first hearing for the lawsuits was due to take place on 24 June 2020 in Bucharest, but at the request of the Arif family, it has been postponed until the end of July. This is the eighth time that the would-be first hearing has been postponed. Two postponements have been due to the coronavirus pandemic and a judges strike, and six have been at the request of the Arif family or due to their procedural requests.
State replies
16 Jul 2020
Reply from the Romanian authorities
Follow-ups
27 Oct 2020
CoE Human Rights Commissioner calls for “a comprehensive response” to counter SLAPPs effectively.
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26 Feb 2021 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 26 Feb 2021 n° 31/2021 Serbia

Telenor Sues News Outlets over “Negative” Media Coverage

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 5 February 2021, mobile services provider Telenor filed a lawsuit against TV channel N1's programme director Jugoslav Cosic, portal editor Nikola Stojic and the Adria News company over their reporting on a commercial agreement between Telenor and state-owned Telekom Serbia. According to Telenor, the reports disseminated “untrue information” and were part of a “negative campaign”, inflicting “tremendous material damage”. Telenor also filed a request for a provisional ban on the publication of information and comments concerning the Telekom-Telenor agreement. The High Court in Belgrade rejected that request and Telenor appealed the ruling. Telenor also demanded 113,235,628 dinars in damages (€963,006.58). N1 was first to reveal information at the end of January before the conclusion of the Telekom-Telenor agreement was made public, quoting leaked documents that explicitly stated that the deal aimed to make Telekom the only provider with full control over Telenor’s customer, and to allegedly “destroy", United Group’s cable television and broadband internet provider SBB.

Telenor denied any agreement that would "threaten freedom of the press in Serbia". The Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia (NUNS) had voiced concerns that the Telekom-Telenor agreement does not move in the direction of a “functional, sustainable and fair media market protected from political influence” as stated in the Media Strategy (2020-2025) and instead raises fears of further political control over the media landscape in the country. "The huge amount claimed by Telenor and the request for a temporary ban is an extra pressure on the media outlets and their journalists," NUNS said.
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Follow-ups to alerts Follow-ups to alerts

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’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 Altan’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 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 Altan’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”.

20 March 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”.