New issue of Safety of Journalists Weekly

15 February 2021 Strasbourg

A new issue of Safety of Journalists Weekly has been published. Read it here and see the latest threats to media freedom reported on the Platform. Subscribe here to Safety of Journalists Weekly.

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CoE Commissioner for Human Rights calls on Member States to make Access to Official Documents a Reality

1 December 2020 Strasbourg

People have the right to know what those in power are doing. This was the basis on which the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents was adopted more than ten years ago in Tromsø, Norway. This Convention is the first binding international legal instrument to recognise a...

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Statement of urgent concern by partner organisations of the Council of Europe Platform concerning the risks to physical safety and undue restrictions faced by journalists covering the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh

28 October 2020

28 October 2020 We undersigned partner organisations of the Council of Europe Platform for the promotion of journalism and the safety of journalists express our urgent and deep concern about the ongoing risks of injury and harm to media workers reporting on the armed conflict inside Nagorno...

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CoE Commissioner for Human Rights issues a Human Rights Comment on SLAPPs

27 October 2020 Strasbourg

Free speech is a cherished right in Europe. But in some countries, certain rich and powerful people use specious lawsuits to censor, harass and ultimately suppress critics. This is a long-standing problem but one that has been increasing in magnitude in recent months. Journalists, activists, and...

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Secretary General: Governments must protect essential role of journalists in democracy, especially in times of crisis

30 April 2020 Strasbourg

New report lists 142 serious attacks on journalists in 2019 In a statement issued ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić calls on governments to avoid unduly restricting media freedom during the COVID-19 crisis. “Governments are...

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Invitation to journalists: join live event via Zoom

Press Conference -Launch of the 2020 Platform Annual Report

28 April 2020

Invitation to journalists: join live event via Zoom Time: 29 April 2020 11:00 AM Brussels Speakers: Sarah Clarke - Head of the Europe and Central Asia team – Article 19 Scott Griffen - Deputy Director -International Press Institute William Horsley - Media Freedom Representative -...

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Launch of the 2020 Annual Report by the partner organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists

Attacks on media in Europe must not become a new normal

29 April 2020 Strasbourg

Attacks on press freedom in Europe are at serious risk of becoming a new normal, 14 international press freedom groups and journalists’ organisations warn today as they launch the 2020 annual report of the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalists. The fresh assault on media...

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Secretary General: Extraordinary Measures as a Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Must Remain Lawful, Proportional to the Threat and Limited in Time

9 April 2020 Strasbourg

On 9 April 2020, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Ms Marija Pejčinović Burić, wrote to the members of the Council of Europe Platform for the protection of journalism and safety of journalists in response to their call for determined actions to protect free flow of information to...

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Statement by Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Press freedom must not be undermined by measures to counter disinformation about COVID-19

3 April 2020 Strasbourg

“The global health problems caused by COVID-19 require effective measures to protect people’s health and lives. This includes combating disinformation that may cause panic and social unrest. Regrettably some governments are using this imperative as a pretext to introduce disproportionate...

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International Press Freedom Organisations call for determined actions to protect free flow of information to tackle COVID-19

31 March 2020

Dear, Marija Pejcinovic Buric, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr David Zalkaliani, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia, President of the Committee of Ministers Mr. Nikos Dendias, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece, incoming President of the Committee of Ministers CC: Dunja...

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PACE adopts a resolution calling on member States to remedy quickly and effectively any threats to media freedom

28 January 2020 Strasbourg

Threats to media freedom and the safety of journalists have become so numerous, repeated and serious that they are jeopardising not only citizens’ right to be properly informed but also “the stability and smooth functioning of our democratic societies”, the Assembly said today. According to...

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Secretary General : "Fighting impunity is at the heart of what the Council of Europe stands for"

31 October 2019 Strasbourg

On the occasion of the upcoming International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the Council of Europe Secretary General, Marija Pejčinović Burić, issued the following statement : "Journalists who investigate and report on corruption, abuse of power and human rights violations...

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Partner organisations call on the new Secretary General to make press freedom a priority

19 September 2019 Strasbourg

Dear Secretary-General, On behalf of the undersigned organisations, we warmly congratulate you on your appointment as the new Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. We are motivated by our experience and understanding of the worsening of the environment for journalists and free expression...

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Liechtenstein makes a new voluntary contribution to the Platform

16 September 2019 Strasbourg

The Government of Liechtenstein has renewed its financial support to the Safety of Journalists Platform, by contributing to it 20,000 Swiss Francs. The voluntary contribution agreement was signed today by Ambassador Daniel Ospelt, Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein to the Council of...

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Two New Partners join the Platform to Protect Journalists

11 September 2019 Strasbourg

Free Press Unlimited and European Centre for Press and Media Freedom today became partners of the Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists, through which organisations promoting media freedom inform the Council of Europe about serious concerns about the safety of...

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Representatives of the Platform for the Safety of Journalists attend the Global Conference for Media Freedom

08/07/2019 London

The Global Conference for Media Freedom will take place 10 to 11 July 2019 in London, as a part of an international campaign launched by the UK Foreign Office, to shine a global spotlight on media freedom. Global leaders, representatives from the media industry, journalists, civil society and...

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WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

Commissioner : Genuine Political Commitment Needed to Protect Press Freedom

2 May 2019 Strasbourg

“The state of journalists’ freedom and safety in Europe has reached an alarming point. The killing of journalist Lyra McKee and the violence and intimidations against journalists covering demonstrations in several European countries are the most recent examples which show that press freedom in...

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Safety of Journalists' Platform report: media freedom conditions worsen

12 February 2019 Strasbourg

The environment for media freedom has worsened significantly in the Council of Europe area, according to a report published today by the partner organisations to the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists. The report “Democracy at Risk: threats and...

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Event: Democracy at Risk

7 February 2019 Strasbourg

Tuesday, February 12th, 14.30 – 16.00, Strasbourg, European Parliament building, R3.1 Press freedom is more fragile than ever. Across Europe, journalists are intimidated and attacked. Murders of journalists go unpunished. Freedom of media, a cornerstone of democracy, is under threat. On 12...

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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”.
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