19 November 2015 - 16.00-17.30 - Room 2, Palais de l'Europe, Interpretation: FR/EN - Sponsored by the Alsace Region


Freedom of information and press freedom are basic pillars of democracy. In many countries of the world, however, journalists are attacked, harassed, detained and even killed because of their work or reporting. What can media do to oppose the threat to freedom of information and fully play its role as an instigator of public debate?

Initiative 1

Platform to promote the Protection and Safety of Journalists, European Federation of Journalists/ Council of Europe 

This platform is a public space to facilitate the compilation, processing and dissemination of information on serious concerns about media freedom and the safety of journalists in Council of Europe member States, as guaranteed by Art. 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It aims to improve the protection of journalists, better address threats and violence against media professionals and foster early warning mechanisms and response capacity within the Council of Europe. The Platform shall enable the Council of Europe bodies and institutions to be alerted on time, in a more systematic way and to take timely and coordinated action when necessary. It shall help the Organisation identify trends and propose adequate policy responses in the field of media freedom.



Mr Ricardo GUTIÉRREZ, Spain, General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists

Ricardo Gutiérrez is General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the largest organisation of journalists in Europe, representing over 320,000 journalists in 40 countries. Former journalist for the Belgian daily newspaper “Le Soir”, he is professor of journalism at Brussels Free University (ULB). He is also member of the Belgian Press Council (CDJ).

Initiative 2

How do I know, Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, Palestinian National Authority

The idea has evolved over the years from the “MADA El’Ilam Magazine” to a digital platform. The goal is to make Palestinian citizens vigilant with regards to the erosion of their freedoms and rights, to disseminate information and empower active citizen participation through creating “HOW do I know”, a Palestinian online platform. Palestinians have the right to know why and how things are progressing or not, but they don't have the power or tools to demand their rights. Palestine urgently needs an Access to information law and an acute public awareness of this right and how to benefit from a comprehensive and modern law that protects their rights. This platform will be a tool for journalists and citizens.


Mr Mousa RAHIMI, General Director, Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms

Mousa Rahimi is a Palestinian journalist, living in Beit Rima-Ramallah. He holds a University degree in journalism and worked at many media outlets and press offices as a reporter and editor. He is the editor-in chief of “MADA Al E’ilam” Magazine and co-founder and general director of MADA Center. 


Discussants are invited to take part in the Labs in order to share their experience with the presented democratic initiatives and try to bring broader perspectives to the following discussions.

Ms Cristiana CASTELLOTTI, Italy, Editor in Chief, Radiorai 3

Cristiana is a professional journalist since 1992. She has been working as a radio editor on Radio1, Radio2 and Radio3, three Italian radio channels operated by the state-owned public-broadcasting organization RAI. She is currently an editor-in-chief of two shows on Radio3:  Radio3Mondo and Tutta la città ne parla which deals with both national and foreign politics. RAI - Radiotelevisione italiana is Italy's national public broadcasting company, specialized in culture and classical music.

Mr Jean-Paul MARTHOZ, Belgium, Journalist at «Le Soir», Professor of International Journalism at Université Catholique de Louvain, Advisor of the Committee to Protect Journalists (New York)

Jean-Paul Marthoz is EU correspondent for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ, New York), member of the Advisory Board of the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN, London), vice-chair of the Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia division, and member of the editorial board of Index of Censorship magazine (London). A foreign affairs columnist at Le Soir he teaches international journalism at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL, Belgium). Jean-Paul Marthoz has been foreign editor and chief of the editorial page of Le Soir (1980-1991), director of the Media for democracy Program at the International Federation of Journalists (1992-95), European press director of Human Rights Watch (1996-2006) and editorial director of the foreign affairs quarterly Enjeux internationaux.

Ms Najiba SHARIF, Afghanistan, Journalist, Laureate of the Alsatian price for Democratic Engagement

Najiba Sharif debuted as a journalist for the Afghan National Radio and Television in 1982. After the fall of the Taliban regime, she became editor of the magazine Roz ("The Day"). The idea was to shed light on the lives of Afghan women. In 2004, she left Roz magazine, at the request of President Karzai, to become the Afghan equivalent of the State Secretariat for Women. Suffering from a progressive shift away from the people, in a government where she did not feel she was able to speak freely, she left the Secretariat of State in 2006 and was elected MP for 5 years, representing the Kabul region. Target of a fatwa Taliban, she moved to France before the end of 2011 as a political refugee - with Mulhouse base. Although in exile, Najiba Sharif continues to advocate for the rights of women and minorities in her country of origin.


Ms Işıl KARAKAŞ, Turkey, Judge at the European Court of Human Rights

Işıl Karakaş was a Professor of Public International Law. She was the Director of the Research and Documentation Centre on Europe and Head of Department of Public International Law at Galatasaray University, Istanbul. She was elected as a judge in respect of Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights in 2008. She has been a Section President since 1st January 2015.



Lab 16 - Protection of journalists and freedom of expression
Palais de l'Europe - room 2 19 Nov., 16.00-17.30
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
Challenges 2015