Publication Date: April 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis, many EU Member States and Candidate countries have implemented emergency laws and restrictions. However, some of those measures have inevitably affected also press freedom and tightened control over the flow of information. 

IPI highlighted many cases of:

  • disproportionate emergency measures, in particular excessive regulation against disinformation, 
  • restrictions on access to information, 
  • verbal and physical attacks risking the safety of journalists, and 
  • surveillance and privacy threats. 

Some of those measures raise concern also because they are at risk of being extended long after the end of the health crisis.

The worst violations took place in Hungary, Serbia, and Turkey, where media freedom was already under attack. Nevertheless, violations have been recorded in many other countries, such as Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Croatia, Germany, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Tags: Media freedom Freedom of expression Access to information Surveillance Fake news and disinformation Safety of journalists Bulgaria Italy Serbia Turkey Hungary Spain Slovenia Croatia Albania Bosnia Herzegovina COVID-19 Romania Germany

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