Media

Three years after her assassination, still no justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia

15/10/2020

19 international media freedom organisations and journalists associations renew their call against impunity in Malta. Here the full text of the call published by the Media Freedom Rapid Response

Compromised independence of Turkey’s institutions chokes press freedom

14/10/2020

Eleven international rights groups conclude press freedom mission to Turkey, and findings confirm the worsening of the situation

Montenegro: Jovo Martinovic sentenced by the High Court to one year in prison for drug trafficking

08/10/2020

MFRR partners and media freedom organisations condemn the verdict and the entire proceedings. Beyond the violation of Martinovic’s human rights, his prosecution and conviction contribute to a chilling effect on media freedom in Montenegro

Slovenia: OBCT joins IPI's statement condemning brazen use of SLAPP

05/10/2020

We believe it is abundantly clear that the number and nature of the spurious defamation lawsuits against Necenzurirano are not aimed at achieving justice, but instead at silencing the outlet by forcing its journalists to fight time-consuming and costly legal battles, draining them financially and discouraging them from further reporting

Malta: Nello Scavo insulted after testifying in the case against Neville Gafà

02/10/2020

Upon leaving the hearing, Italian journalist Nello Scavo and Maltese blogger Manuel Delia were insulted by a crowd of people in support of Gafà. ECPMF condemns the insults, recalling that verbal threats from high-profile individuals can lead to acts of violence and send a message of impunity

The needs of journalists: a survey

22/09/2020

In order to understand the needs of media workers all over Europe, OBCT is launching a survey inviting to answer to a few questions: journalists, stakeholders and media outlets have the possibility to describe what they are suffering in terms of intimidations and threats

Greece: restricted access for media to Moria refugee camp

17/09/2020

Together with the Media Freedom Rapid Response, OBCT signs a letter to the Greek authorities undermining press freedom and threatening the public’s right to know by restricting access for media workers to sites where refugees and asylum seekers are held following the fire that destroyed the Moria camp

Freedom of speech under attack: pesticides and South Tyrol

09/09/2020

OBCT signed the declaration of solidarity with Umweltinstitut Muenchen, the German environmentalists hit with legal SLAPP case in Bolzano together with Austrian author over criticism of massive pesticide use

Disinformation and anonymous portals in Bosnia

02/09/2020 -  Aleksandar Brezar

In Bosnia and Herzegovina there are thousands of anonymous portals that pollute the web with disinformation. It is difficult to find solutions, except for media literacy. A comment

Montenegro: three journalists accused of spying for Serbia

28/08/2020

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners and press and media freedom organisations raise concerns about three journalists who are accused of spying in Montenegro

MFRR calls for a robust and transparent investigation into threats made against Nello Scavo

27/08/2020

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners and freedom of expression organisations call on the Maltese and Italian governments to ensure a robust, thorough and transparent investigation into Neville Gafà for threats made against journalist, Nello Scavo

Journalists in Europe: one attack per day

18/08/2020 -  Paola Rosà

The data from the first four months of monitoring by the MFRR consortium confirm a concerning landscape for the safety of journalists and the state of media freedom, both in EU member countries and in countries as Serbia and Turkey

Media in Turkey: a testing ground of censorship and control

31/07/2020 -  Sofia VerzaFazıla Mat

Turkey is currently the largest prison for journalists in the world, with over 80 media workers in detention. Not content with that, the Turkish parliament has now passed a law that gives the government more control over social networks. An analysis of the situation of the Turkish media

Protecting and supporting media: practical tools available through the MFRR

26/07/2020

The Media Freedom Rapid Response, a EU-funded project that OBCT participates in, offers tangible and frontline support to journalists and media workers in EU member states and candidate countries who are at risk due to their work. This includes support for legal defence and opinion, emergency support such as covering travel, psychological support and family costs, offering residencies in Germany and Italy, and delivering and supporting training across the continent

Serbia: an international call to end police violence against journalists

14/07/2020

During the protests in Belgrade, police officers have been using violence against reporters and media workers, too, preventing them to do their job. The partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) and other international organisations wrote a letter to the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia to remind the duties and commitments to defend media freedom. Here the text of the letter:

Poland: MFRR supports Gazeta Wyborcza who has received over 55 threats of legal action

08/07/2020

A contribution of €15,000 has been granted to respond to the unprecedented legal threats made against Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza to support the outlet’s legal defence. The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a mechanism to monitor and respond to threats against journalists and media workers in EU Member States and Candidate Countries, is a concrete support against SLAPPs

Serbia: dangerous liaisons

18/06/2020 -  Antonela Riha Belgrade

On the eve of the elections, yet another scandal invests Serbia's leadership. A photograph portrays the son of President Vučić at a bar in the company of some other people, including a member of a mafia clan

Turkey: an open call to release the Kurdish journalist Nedim Türfent

16/06/2020

Together with more than 40 ngos, we call to the Turkish authorities to free Kurdish journalist Nedim Türfent, who is in jail since May 2016 for false allegations of "terrorism": his only fault was to report on Kurdish issues and on the abuses of Turkish special forces. After almost 1500 days of detention, we invite everybody to sign this call

Albania: public information becomes a casualty of COVID-19

11/06/2020 -  Gentiola Madhi

COVID-19 has exposed the weaknesses of Albania’s public information. The monopolisation of communication on coronavirus has raised concerns over the government’s accountability on pandemic management as well as media freedom

Jail and defamation: an international call to the Italian Constitutional Court

05/06/2020

An historical decision is awaiting journalists and Parliament on June 9th: the Constitutional Court is deciding if prison is a legitimate punishment for defamation. And Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners consider this a crucial first step forward

Croatia: a minister's dangerous allegations

28/05/2020 -  Giovanni Vale Zagreb

Once again, journalists are under attack in an EU country. Croatian Minister of the Environment Tomislav Ćorić discredited journalist Hrvoje Krešić by citing the latter's private conversations. Bewilderment in the associations in defense of journalists

Journalists and media workers need to be protected when covering demonstrations and protests

11/05/2020

Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are concerned about the increased violence against media professionals at protests and demonstrations across EU Member States and Candidate Countries in the last months and call for increased protection

Turkey: 24 rights groups call for release of all those arbitrarily detained, now at risk of Covid-19

21/04/2020

The Turkish government continues to ignore international voices calling for justice and respect of human rights, and has excluded human rights defenders, journalists and politicians from the benefits of the recent law that allows 90,000 prisoners to go home. Together with other 23 international groups, OBCT urges the authorities to move now to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

Here the full text of the call we signed

Open letter: the EU must not sit idly by while a Member State’s democracy is in jeopardy

20/04/2020

OBCT joined other over 80 MEPs and civil society groups in signing a letter sent to the presidents of the European Commission and Council: we call on European institutions to condemn every measure abusing the emergency situation to dismantle democracy and silence civil society. Here the text of the letter

Željko Bodrožić: the state of emergency smothers the Serbian media

17/04/2020 -  Dragan Janjić Belgrade

According to Željko Bodrožić, president of the Association of Independent Journalists of Serbia (NUNS), the state of emergency has only worsened the situation of non-aligned media, often subject to the discredit of the media controlled by power

Croatia, journalists beaten up on a Ustasha Easter

15/04/2020 -  Giovanni Vale Zagreb

In Sirobuja, on the outskirts of Split, a clandestine mass was held on the day of Catholic Easter, in spite of all the prohibitions imposed by the coronavirus epidemic. The journalists documenting the fact were beaten up and verbally abused

Kosovo, fake news and politics

10/04/2020 -  Arta Berisha Pristina

An unsigned and suspicious article, featured on the website of the Kosovar public broadcaster in the middle of the last election campaign, resparked the debate in Pristina on the use of false news as a tool for propaganda and political struggle

Serbia, coronavirus, and autocracy

08/04/2020 -  Antonela Riha Belgrade

The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to be used by the Serbian authorities to violate the Constitution, break laws, and even formally attempt to introduce censorship – all this by manipulating citizens' fears

Branko Čečen: let us do our job

03/04/2020 -  Branko Čečen Belgrade

A comment by the director of Serbia's Center for Investigative Journalism after the Serbian government recently introduced a measure that restricts freedom of information during a state of emergency. A ruling that the Serbian Prime Minister declared will be withdrawn

Journalism in times of COVID19: an update from Turkey

31/03/2020 -  Arzu Geybullayeva

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey persists in detaining and arresting new journalists. Calls by human rights organisations for the release of journalists and activists are multiplying