Reports   |   Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, UK

Balancing Act

Press freedom at risk as EU struggles to match action with values

The European Union strives to be a global leader in press freedom but faces challenges from member states that have criminal defamation and blasphemy laws, and have introduced counterterrorism measures, including mass surveillance. The EU has made press freedom imperative in negotiating with candidate countries, but has been accused of failing to take strong action when member states renege on their press freedom commitments. Journalists working in the region are also affected by EU laws and policies, such as the trade secrets directive and access to information regulations. A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists

September 29, 2015 4:00 AM ET

Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK

Balancing Act


The European Union describes itself as a model for press freedom and an exemplary global power. Although many of its 28 member states feature at the top of international press freedom rankings, there are significant challenges that undermine press freedom and new threats are emerging.

Blog   |   Germany, Internet

Germany scores against the surveillance state

It all went very fast. On Tuesday morning August 4, Germany’s chief federal prosecutor, Harald Range, was ordered by Justice Minister Heiko Maas to withdraw an independent expert from the investigation of two journalists from Netzpolitik. The investigator had concluded that leaked documents quoted by the news website amounted to a disclosure of a state secret, one of the required criteria to pursue a treason case. The prosecutor protested: “To meddle with an internal review on the basis that the results might be inopportune is an intolerable interference with the independence of the judiciary .” A few hours later on Tuesday evening Maas asked for the prosecutor to be granted early retirement. In plain words, Harald Range was sacked.

Statements   |   Germany, Internet

Germany investigating news website, journalists for treason

New York, July 31, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the allegations of treason against two journalists affiliated with the critical German news website Netzpolitik. German authorities on Thursday opened an investigation into the website's bloggers, Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meister, as well as an unidentified third party, accusing them of treason, according to news reports. In February and April, Netzpolitik had reported on plans to expand Germany's domestic surveillance of online communications, news reports said.

July 31, 2015 2:33 PM ET


Statements   |   Egypt, Germany

Al-Jazeera journalist detained while headed to Qatar

New York, June 21, 2015--An Al-Jazeera journalist was detained on Saturday in Berlin while headed to Qatar, according to news reports. Ahmad Mansour, a British-Egyptian TV host for the Qatar-based broadcaster, was detained in connection with an Egyptian arrest warrant dating back to a 2014 conviction in Egypt on politically motivated charges, news reports said. Mansour, who was convicted in absentia, denied the allegations. Mansour's arrest comes just months after the release of three Al-Jazeera journalists who were imprisoned in Egypt for more than a year.

June 21, 2015 12:33 PM ET


Blog   |   China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Turkey

After Charlie Hebdo attack, vigils, protests and publishing bans

Protests against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were held in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and parts of Africa over the weekend, as crowds demonstrated against the magazine's portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad, according to news reports.

Case   |   Germany

German daily firebombed over Charlie Hebdo cartoons

On January 11, 2015, attackers firebombed the offices of the German daily Hamburger Morgenpost, in Hamburg, northern Germany, in apparent retaliation for the tabloid's reprinting of several cartoons from the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on its front page, according to news reports. The press reported that arsonists threw a firebomb and stones through a Hamburgen Morgenpost window. No one was injured, the reports said.

January 12, 2015 12:42 PM ET


Statements   |   Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA

G-7 acknowledges post-2015 agenda should include governance, human rights

New York, June 5, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the declaration today by leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations that democratic governance and human rights should be integral to the post-2015 development agenda.  The United Nations is seeking agreement on a broad set of sustainable development objectives to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015 and which made no mention of political or civil rights. The new goals will provide a framework for donor aid and thus influence priorities for years to come.

Blog   |   Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugual, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, UK

EU underscores support of free expression, but slights access to information

A new document on freedom of expression and opinion, adopted May 12 by the 28 foreign ministers of the European Union, presses nearly all the right buttons. Drawing its inspiration from international human rights norms as well as from the EU's treaties and its charter of fundamental rights, the document reaffirms the role of freedom of opinion and expression as "an essential foundation for democracy, rule of law, peace, stability, sustainable inclusive development, and participation in public affairs." It also makes a strong case for free and independent journalism. The ministers committed the EU and member states to the defense of journalists' freedom and safety, and endorsed watchdog journalism as a decisive factor in "uncovering abuses of power, shining a light on corruption, and questioning received opinion."

Alerts   |   Germany, Syria

German freelance journalist reportedly in Syrian custody

New York, May 13, 2013--Syrian authorities must immediately release and ensure the well-being of a German freelance journalist who has reportedly been detained for more than a week, according to the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.

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