Publication Date: January 2017
Publisher: Council of Europe
Research and Editorial Team: Council of Europe - Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media
Council of Europe - Attacks against journalists and media freedom in Europe

From April 2015 to 28 November 2016, the Council of Europe “Platform  to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists ” recorded 230 alerts in 32 member States. 95 of those alerts have received an official reply by the member State concerned and 23 cases have been resolved. In total, 16 journalists were killed in that period within Council of Europe member states.

The report presents the main situations of concern registered through the Platform, highlighting in particular:

  • the issue of propaganda and the problem concerning access of media to the conflict areas and their secure work in those areas. The governments in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have difficulties in controlling the situation regarding media freedom in the respectively occupied territories because of their lack of influence over these areas;
  • the extraordinary situation following the failed military coup d’état in Turkey on 15 July 2016 has seriously affected the media situation in the country, particularly after the introduction of a state of emergency and the derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • stricter security measures adopted as a response to acts of terrorism occurred in Belgium, France and Turkey. Proportionality is required in those actions, and media freedom must be respected in order to allow the public to receive all information necessary in a democratic society. Otherwise, those terrorists would have succeeded in undermining public trust in the democratic institutions of a country.
  • the funding of public service broadcasting, already addressed in past Assembly work such as Recommendation 1878 (2009), remains a continuous challenge for many countries.

Observations are included related to country specific situation, including in particular Azerbaijan, Italy, Hungary, Georgia, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. 

Tags: Council of Europe Member States Azerbaijan Armenia Belarus Georgia Greece Hungary Italy Moldova Russia Turkey Ukraine Media ownership Defamation and Libel Freedom of expression Legal protection Impunity Safety of journalists

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