protect journalists – GUWIV http://guwiv.com/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 11:57:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://guwiv.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/guw-150x150.png protect journalists – GUWIV http://guwiv.com/ 32 32 Mexico rejects EU press freedom resolution: ‘We are no longer anyone’s colony’ https://guwiv.com/mexico-rejects-eu-press-freedom-resolution-we-are-no-longer-anyones-colony/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 21:16:46 +0000 https://guwiv.com/mexico-rejects-eu-press-freedom-resolution-we-are-no-longer-anyones-colony/ Mexico’s government on Thursday delivered an unorthodox and sardonic response to a European Parliament resolution calling on it to step up protections for the press and human rights defenders, amid a growing number of journalist murders in the country. Mexico’s response, delivered through official channels as an unsigned open letter to MEPs, opened by calling […]]]>

Mexico’s government on Thursday delivered an unorthodox and sardonic response to a European Parliament resolution calling on it to step up protections for the press and human rights defenders, amid a growing number of journalist murders in the country.

Mexico’s response, delivered through official channels as an unsigned open letter to MEPs, opened by calling on members to end their “corruption, lies and hypocrisy”.

“It is unfortunate that you join like sheep in the reactionary and putschist strategy of the corrupt group that opposes the Fourth Transformation, propelled by millions of Mexicans to confront the monstrous inequality and violence inherited from neoliberal economic policy which for 36 years has been taxed in our country,” the letter read.

The administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was reacting to a resolution adopted Thursday by the European Parliament which “calls on the authorities, and in particular the highest, to refrain from any communication likely to stigmatize human rights defenders , journalists and media professionals, to exacerbate the atmosphere against them or distort their lines of investigation.”

The López Obrador administration’s response touched on a range of bilateral and global issues, ranging from boasting of Mexico’s “pacifism” for not sending weapons to a war zone – in a thinly veiled allusion to the European military assistance to Ukraine amid Russian invasion – to López Obrador’s approval notes: ‘By the way, with higher approval than European leaders.’

“Next time, inform yourself and read the resolutions that are presented to you before voting. And remember that we are no longer the colony of anyone. Mexico is a free, independent and sovereign country”, reads- we in the letter.

The European resolution came as six journalists were killed in Mexico in 2022 as a result of their work, making Mexico the deadliest country in the world to practice journalism.

López Obrador downplayed the government’s role in protecting murdered journalists, saying they were killed by criminal elements, not direct actions by the Mexican state.

Yet he has been quick to point fingers and publicly criticize journalists he sees as opponents of his administration.

“The president in his daily press conference continues to stigmatize journalists, to attack publications, critical media. We consider this to be one of the deadliest countries for journalists. This is not possible, it’s not acceptable to have a president who attacks journalists every day,” said Emmanuel Colombié, head of the Latin America desk at Reporters Without Borders.

“I’m not saying that he encourages killings, but that he should change the way he talks about the press,” Colombié added.

López Obrador in February rose up against the Secretary of State Antoine BlinkenAntony BlinkenMexico rejects EU press freedom resolution: ‘We are no longer anyone’s colony’ China is wildcard in Russia-Ukraine warafter the top US diplomat expressed concern over the murders of journalists in Mexico.

Colombié said López Obrador often took criticism from abroad personally, including in cases like Blinken’s concerns or the EU resolution, which did not directly mention López Obrador.

In its letter to the EU, the Mexican government weaved accusations of colonialism and undue interference in internal affairs, while repeating López Obrador’s assertions that journalists are free to practice their profession in Mexico.

“Know, MEPs, that Mexico has ceased to be a land of conquest and, as in a very short time in its history, the libertarian principles of equality and democracy are respected. No one is repressed here, the right to freedom of expression and the work of journalists is respected. The state does not violate human rights as previous governments did, when you, by the way, were complicit in the silence,” reads -on in the letter.

But conditions for journalists have deteriorated dramatically in recent months, even as journalism has been a dangerous profession in Mexico for decades.

“We know the situation described in the resolution, we think it is very important to have a strong reaction from the European Parliament because it is not only a Mexican problem and it is important to put pressure on the Mexican authorities in this time,” Colombié said.

Colombié added that in addition to the confirmed murders of journalists in 2022, Reporters Without Borders is investigating whether a seventh murder was linked to the victim’s profession.

“If we reach seven cases in just over two months, that means we have the same number of murders as in 2021,” he said.

And while none of the killings are believed to have been ordered by Mexican federal authorities, Reporters Without Borders has linked government corruption at the local level to heightened levels of danger for journalists operating in states and regions. specific municipalities.

“We observe a direct link between organized crime and the places where journalists are killed,” Colombié said.

The federal government has a mechanism to protect journalists and human rights defenders, but that mechanism has failed in at least one high-profile murder.

In January, journalist Lourdes Maldonado was shot dead in Tijuana, while she was under the protection of the federal mechanism.

Maldonado had in 2019 personally told López Obrador at his daily press conference that she feared for her life amid a labor dispute with Jaime Bonilla, a former governor of Baja California who is also a former US elected official and a close ally of López Obrador.

After Maldonado’s death, Bonilla publicly denied any involvement and downplayed Labor’s lawsuit, which Maldonado won shortly before he was assassinated.

Investigations into Maldonado’s murder have yet to yield results, in a country where few or no murders of journalists are solved.

“Between 95% and 100% of cases of murders and enforced disappearances of journalists go unpunished with regard to intellectual authors. [authors] crimes are caught and convicted,” Colombié said.

“It’s like encouraging the authorities to commit crimes against the press,” he added.

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Press freedom under threat in Botswana – CAJ News Africa https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-under-threat-in-botswana-caj-news-africa/ Tue, 01 Feb 2022 10:52:03 +0000 https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-under-threat-in-botswana-caj-news-africa/ from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, BotswanaGABORONE, (CAJ News) – THE media fraternity is concerned about Botswana’s plans to enact legislation allowing police and other investigators to intercept journalists’ communications. The Criminal Procedure and Evidence (Controlled Inquiry) Bill would grant investigators the power to intercept communications without a warrant for up to 14 days if they […]]]>

from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE, (CAJ News) THE media fraternity is concerned about Botswana’s plans to enact legislation allowing police and other investigators to intercept journalists’ communications.

The Criminal Procedure and Evidence (Controlled Inquiry) Bill would grant investigators the power to intercept communications without a warrant for up to 14 days if they are authorized by the head of an investigating authority to investigate offenses or to prevent their commission.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said it has previously documented the arrest and prosecution of journalists in Botswana, highlighting local police use of digital forensics tools in 2019 and 2020 to extract thousands of files from journalists’ devices.

This includes communications and contacts, with the aim of identifying the sources of their reports.

Companies that facilitate communication could see their administrators jailed for up to ten years if they fail to install hardware or software that enables interception; anyone who fails to provide decryption keys so authorities can access the encrypted information could be imprisoned for up to six years.

Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa Program Coordinator, said Botswana’s parliament should scrap the Controlled Inquiries Bill, which threatens journalists’ ability to communicate privately with their sources.

“Authorities should implement laws that protect the privacy and safety of journalists, not expose them to unchecked surveillance,” she said.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi is expected to sign the bill this week.

Jovial Rantao, President of the African Publishers Forum, said: “The Bill is the worst piece of legislation to emerge in Botswana, the Southern Africa region and the rest of the continent in recent history.

Kagiso Thomas Mmusi, Botswana’s Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, reportedly said there was a need for legislation that could close legal and security loopholes related to money laundering and terrorist financing issues. terrorism.

– CAJ News

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‘Systematic fear’: How India undermined press freedom in Kashmir | Press Freedom News https://guwiv.com/systematic-fear-how-india-undermined-press-freedom-in-kashmir-press-freedom-news/ Wed, 26 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/systematic-fear-how-india-undermined-press-freedom-in-kashmir-press-freedom-news/ For five years, Sajad Gul has written about the conflict ravaging his homeland of Indian-administered Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan territory where armed rebellion and brutal Indian repression have raged for more than three decades. That changed on a snowy Wednesday night this month with a knock on his door. Gul found himself surrounded by Indian […]]]>

For five years, Sajad Gul has written about the conflict ravaging his homeland of Indian-administered Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan territory where armed rebellion and brutal Indian repression have raged for more than three decades.

That changed on a snowy Wednesday night this month with a knock on his door.

Gul found himself surrounded by Indian soldiers wielding automatic rifles who loaded him into a vehicle and fled, winding their way down the snow-covered trail to Hajin, a quiet village about 32 km (20 miles) from Srinagar, the main town. of the area, said his mother. , Gulshana, which uses only one name.

Journalists have long faced various threats in Indian-administered Kashmir and found themselves caught between warring parties. But their situation has worsened considerably since India revoked the region’s semi-autonomy in 2019, placing it under a severe security and communications lockdown and the media in a black hole.

A year later, the government’s new media policy aimed to more effectively control the press to censor independent reporting. Dozens of people have been arrested, interrogated and investigated under tough anti-terrorism laws.

Fear of reprisals caused the local press to wither under pressure.

“Indian authorities seem determined to prevent journalists from doing their job,” said Steven Butler, Asia program coordinator for the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Kashmiri journalists work during a surprise search of pedestrians by security forces in Srinagar [Dar Yasin/AP]

Gul’s arrest, which CPJ condemned, underscored the rapid erosion of press freedom and the criminalization of journalists in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Police told Gul’s family that he was arrested for inciting people to “use violence and disturb public order”. A police statement later described him as “habitual of spreading misinformation” and “false narratives” on social media.

He was detained days after his single tweet linked to a video clip of a protest against Indian rule, following the killing of a Kashmiri rebel. He spent 11 days locked up before a local court granted him bail.

Instead of releasing Gul, authorities charged him in a new case under the strict Public Security Law, which allows authorities to jail anyone for up to two years without trial.

“My son is not a criminal,” Gulshana said. “He was just writing. »

“Direct attack on free media”

The media has always been tightly controlled in Indian-administered Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority region. Arm twisting and fear have been widely used to intimidate the press since 1989, when rebels began fighting Indian soldiers in a bid to establish an independent Kashmir or a union with Pakistan.

Pakistan controls the other part of Kashmir and both counties fiercely claim the entire territory.

The fighting left tens of thousands dead. Yet the various media outlets in Indian-administered Kashmir have thrived despite relentless pressure from Indian authorities and rebel groups.

That changed in 2019, when authorities began bringing criminal charges against some journalists. Several of them were forced to reveal their sources, while others were physically assaulted.

“The authorities have created systematic fear and launched a direct attack on free media. There is complete intolerance of even a single critical word,” said Anuradha Bhasin, editor of the Kashmir Times, a leading English daily established in 1954.

Journalist Aasif Sultan handcuffed as he surrendered to police custodyKashmiri journalist Aasif Sultan handcuffed after his 2018 arrest [File: Saqib Majeed/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

Bhasin was among the few to petition India’s Supreme Court, resulting in a partial restoration of communications services after the 2019 power outage, which the government said was needed to block anti-protests. Indian.

But she soon found herself in the crosshairs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

Bhasin’s legacy newspaper office in Srinagar, operating out of a rented government building, was sealed off by authorities without notice. His staff were not allowed to take out equipment.

“They are killing local media except those who are willing to become government reporters,” Bhasin said.

Under Modi, press freedom in India has steadily declined since its first election in 2014. Last year, India was ranked 142nd in the World Press Freedom Index by the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders behind Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

Nowhere has this fall been more flagrant than in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Authorities pressured newspapers by reprimanding editors and depriving them of advertising funds, their main source of income, to cool aggressive reporting.

“We have just tried to stay afloat and have barely been able to do proper journalism for various reasons, one being that we mainly depend on government advertisements,” said Sajjad Haider, editor of Kashmir Observer. .

For the most part, the newspapers appear to have cooperated and self-censored the stories, fearing they would be branded anti-national by a government that equates criticism with secessionism.

There have been press crackdowns in the region before, especially during times of mass public uprisings. But the ongoing crackdown is significantly worse.

Closure of the Kashmir Press Club

Last week, a few pro-Indian government journalists, with the help of armed police, took control of the Kashmir Press Club, the only independent press club in the valley. Authorities shut it down a day later, drawing heavy criticism from journalistic organizations.

A sealed lock hangs on the door of the closed Kashmir Press ClubA sealed lock hangs from the door of the closed Kashmir Press Club building in Srinagar [Dar Yasin/AP Photo]

The Editors Guild of India accused the government of being “brazenly complicit” and called it an “armed takeover”. Reporters Without Borders called it an “undeclared coup” and said the region is “gradually turning into a black hole for news and information”.

The Press Club is the latest civil society group in the region to face growing government repression. For the past two years, authorities have prevented the Kashmir High Court Bar Association and the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce from holding internal elections.

The government defended its decision citing “a potential public order situation” and “the safety of bona fide journalists”. He said the club had failed to register under a new law and hold elections for a new governing body.

The club said a new registration was granted by authorities after “six months of rigorous police checks” at the end of December, but was “on hold” a day later for unknown reasons.

The government’s decision contrasts sharply with its policies in the predominantly Hindu city of Jammu, where another press club continues to operate without having held an election for nearly five years.

Majid Maqbool, a local journalist, said the club has extended its institutional support to journalists working in difficult conditions. “It was like a second home for us,” he said.

Kashmiri Journalists Discuss Kashmir Press Club Shutdown Kashmiri journalists attend a meeting to discuss the closure of the Kashmir Press Club [Dar Yasin/AP]

Kashmir’s local journalists were often the only eyes on the ground for global audiences, especially after New Delhi banned foreign journalists from the region – unless they had official approval – a few years ago. years. Most of the reporting has focused on the Kashmir conflict and government crackdowns.

Authorities are now seeking to control any narrative seen as opposing the broad consensus in India that the region is an integral part of the country.

In this battle of stories, journalists have been reprimanded by authorities for not using the term “terrorists” to refer to separatist rebels. Government statements appear mostly on the front page, and statements by pro-India Kashmiri groups critical of Modi’s policies are rarely published.

Newspaper editorials reflecting the conflict are largely absent. Rare reporting on rights abuses is often dismissed as politically motivated fabrications, emboldening the region’s authoritarian military and police to muzzle the press.

Some journalists have been subjected to grueling hours of police questioning, a tactic condemned by the United Nations last year.

Aakash Hassan, a Kashmiri freelance journalist who writes mainly for the international press, said he has been summoned by Indian authorities at least seven times in the past two years.

Hassan said sometimes officers questioned his motives for reporting and “told me how to do journalism the right way.”

“It’s a way of deterring us from pressing charges,” he said, adding that police also questioned his parents several times and probed their finances.

“Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth being a journalist in Kashmir,” Hassan said. “But I know, silence doesn’t help.”

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In Kashmir, India beats freedom of the press – and journalists https://guwiv.com/in-kashmir-india-beats-freedom-of-the-press-and-journalists/ Sat, 22 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/in-kashmir-india-beats-freedom-of-the-press-and-journalists/ SRINAGAR – For five years, Sajad Gul has written about the conflict ravaging his homeland, a disputed Himalayan territory where violent armed rebellion and India’s brutal counterinsurgency have raged for more than three decades. That changed on a snowy Wednesday evening in January with a knock at his house. Gul was surrounded by Indian soldiers […]]]>

SRINAGAR – For five years, Sajad Gul has written about the conflict ravaging his homeland, a disputed Himalayan territory where violent armed rebellion and India’s brutal counterinsurgency have raged for more than three decades.

That changed on a snowy Wednesday evening in January with a knock at his house. Gul was surrounded by Indian soldiers armed with automatic rifles who loaded him into a vehicle and sped off, crossing the snowy track of Hajin, a quiet village about 20 miles from Srinagar, the region’s main town. , said her mother, Gulshana, who only uses one name.

Journalists have long faced various threats in Indian-controlled Kashmir and found themselves caught between belligerents. But their situation has worsened considerably since India revoked the region’s semi-autonomy in 2019, throwing Kashmir under a severe security and communications lockdown and the media into a black hole. A year later, the government’s new media policy aimed to more effectively control the press to censor independent reporting.

A d

Dozens of people have been arrested, interrogated and investigated under tough anti-terrorism laws. Fearing reprisals, the local press largely withered under the pressure.

“Indian authorities seem determined to prevent journalists from doing their job,” said Steven Butler, Asia program coordinator for the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

Gul’s arrest, which CPJ condemned, underscored the rapid erosion of press freedom and the criminalization of journalists in Kashmir.

Police told Gul’s family that he was arrested for inciting people to “use violence and disturb public order”. A police statement later described him as “habitual of spreading misinformation” and “false narratives” on social media.

A d

He was detained days after his single tweet linked to a video clip of a protest against Indian rule, following the killing of a Kashmiri rebel. He spent 11 days locked up before a local court granted him bail.

Instead of releasing Gul, authorities charged him in a new case under the Public Security Law, which allows officials to jail anyone for up to two years without trial.

“My son is not a criminal,” Gulshana said. “He was just writing. »

The media has always been tightly controlled in the Indian part of Muslim-majority Kashmir. Arm twisting and fear have been widely used to intimidate the press since 1989, when rebels began fighting Indian soldiers in a bid to establish an independent Kashmir or a union with Pakistan. Pakistan controls the other part of Kashmir and both counties fiercely claim the entire territory.

The fighting left tens of thousands dead. Yet Kashmir’s diverse media have thrived despite relentless pressure from Indian authorities and rebel groups.

A d

That changed in 2019, when authorities began bringing criminal charges against some journalists. Several of them were forced to reveal their sources, while others were physically assaulted.

“The authorities have created systematic fear and launched a direct attack on free media. There is complete intolerance of even a single critical word,” said Anuradha Bhasin, editor of the Kashmir Times, a leading English daily established in 1954.

Bhasin was among the few to petition India’s Supreme Court, resulting in a partial restoration of communications services after the 2019 power outage, which the government said was needed to block anti-protests. Indian.

But she soon found herself in the crosshairs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

A d

Bhasin’s legacy newspaper office in Srinagar, operating out of a rented government building, was sealed off by authorities without notice. His staff were not allowed to take out equipment.

“They are killing local media except those who are willing to become government reporters,” Bhasin said.

Under Modi, press freedom in India has steadily declined since its first election in 2014. Last year, India was ranked 142nd in the World Press Freedom Index by the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders behind Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

Nowhere has this slide been more flagrant than in Kashmir.

Authorities pressured newspapers by reprimanding editors and depriving them of advertising funds, their main source of income, to cool aggressive reporting.

For the most part, the newspapers appear to have cooperated and self-censored the stories, fearing they would be branded anti-national by a government that equates criticism with secessionism.

A d

“We have just tried to stay afloat and have barely been able to do proper journalism for various reasons, one being that we mainly depend on government advertisements,” said Sajjad Haider, editor of Kashmir Observer. .

There have been press crackdowns in the region before, especially during times of mass public uprisings. But the ongoing crackdown is significantly worse.

Last week, a few pro-Indian government journalists, with the help of armed police, took control of the only independent media club in the Kashmir Valley. Authorities shut it down a day later, drawing heavy criticism from journalistic organizations.

The Editors Guild of India accused the government of being “brazenly complicit” and called it an “armed takeover”. Reporters Without Borders called it an “undeclared coup” and said the region is “gradually turning into a black hole for news and information”.

The press club is the latest civil society group in the region to face growing government repression. For the past two years, authorities have prevented the Kashmir High Court Bar Association and the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce from holding internal elections.

A d

The government defended its decision citing “a potential public order situation” and “the safety of bona fide journalists”. He said the club had failed to register under a new law and hold elections for a new governing body.

The club said a new registration was granted by authorities after “six months of rigorous police checks” at the end of December, but was “on hold” a day later for unknown reasons.

The government’s move contrasts sharply with its policies in the Hindu-dominated city of Jammu, where another press club continues to operate without having held elections for nearly half a decade.

Majid Maqbool, a local journalist, said the club has extended its institutional support to journalists working in difficult conditions. “It was like a second home for us,” he said.

Kashmir’s local journalists were often the only eyes on the ground for global audiences, especially after New Delhi banned foreign journalists from the region without official approval a few years ago. Most of the reporting has focused on the Kashmir conflict and government crackdowns. The authorities are now seeking to control any rhetoric opposing the broad consensus in India that the region is an integral part of the country.

A d

In this battle of stories, journalists have been reprimanded by authorities for not using the term “terrorists” to refer to separatist rebels. Government statements appear mostly on the front page, and statements by pro-India Kashmiri groups critical of Modi’s policies are barely published.

Newspaper editorials reflecting the conflict are largely absent. Rare reporting on rights abuses is often dismissed as politically motivated fabrications, emboldening the region’s authoritarian military and police to muzzle the press.

Some journalists have been subjected to grueling hours of police questioning, a tactic condemned by the United Nations last year.

Aakash Hassan, a Kashmiri freelance journalist who writes mainly for the international press, said he has been summoned by Indian authorities at least seven times in the past two years.

Hassan said that sometimes officers question his motives for reporting and “lecture me about how to do journalism the right way”.

A d

“It’s a way of deterring us from pressing charges,” he said, adding that police also questioned his parents several times and probed their finances.

“Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth being a journalist in Kashmir,” Hassan said. “But I know, silence doesn’t help.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Press freedom fighter Jodie Ginsberg expands her fight https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-fighter-jodie-ginsberg-expands-her-fight/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-fighter-jodie-ginsberg-expands-her-fight/ Jodie Ginsberg was running a small free speech organization in London in 2014 when Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab walked into her office. He had recently been released from prison for organizing democratic rallies during the Arab Spring and posting tweets that the Bahrain monarchy found offensive. He made Ms Ginsberg realize how important […]]]>

Jodie Ginsberg was running a small free speech organization in London in 2014 when Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab walked into her office.

He had recently been released from prison for organizing democratic rallies during the Arab Spring and posting tweets that the Bahrain monarchy found offensive. He made Ms Ginsberg realize how important it was for her colleagues who remained in prison to know that people were fighting for them.

When Mr. Rajab was again thrown into prison soon after his return to Bahrain, Ms. Ginsberg held vigils outside the Bahraini embassy, ​​stayed in regular contact with his family to document his condition and campaigned vehemently for his release.

“One of the reasons my case became known internationally was Jodie,” Mr Rajab said of Bahrain’s modern capital, Manama, where he is serving the final year of his final sentence, for voicing anti-government dissent on Twitter, from home.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, one of the world’s largest press watchdog organizations, recently announced that Ms Ginsberg would become its new chair in April.

Ms. Ginsberg, veteran journalist and free speech advocate, takes over at a time when journalists are increasingly under threat, with a record number of incarcerations around the world and press freedom attacks on the rise in the United States.

It’s a challenge she’s passionate about, says Ginsberg. An optimist who has helped many outspoken artists and imprisoned activists gain international attention, she believes “journalism is essential if we are to have free, independent and tolerant societies”.

“The experience of being persecuted for your work is extremely isolating,” Ms Ginsberg said, referring to Mr Rajab’s case. “And it’s even worse if you don’t feel that people are showing solidarity.”

Growing up in a middle-class family in Potters Bar, a suburban town just north of London, Ms Ginsberg carried a pencil and paper with her as a child and regularly broadcast newscasts for her grandparents , posing as a foreign correspondent like the BBC’s Kate Adie. Hired by Reuters out of graduate school, Ms Ginsberg soon got her big break by traveling to Johannesburg as a business correspondent. Later, she ran the large London bureau of Reuters, overseeing a team of 45 reporters, writing about the 2008 banking crisis and covering the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Although her former boss, David Schlesinger, described her as passionate and fearless, Ms Ginsberg said she never personally felt threatened because of her work. It was later, after becoming the head of a small free speech nonprofit, Index on Censorship, that she became passionate about protecting journalists, even in the seemingly least likely: the United States.

“In 2018, I was on a press freedom mission in the United States and I clearly remember these two White House correspondents talking about how they received death threats on a daily basis, as if c was normal,” she said from her home in Cambridge, England. “I was horrified.”

“It made me go from a journalist by profession to a journalist lawyer,” she said.

Ms Ginsberg has spent the past two years heading the European branch of Internews, a large non-profit organization that trains and supports freelance journalists around the world. Three days after arriving in March 2020, the company announced a trial lockdown due to a strange new global virus. Employees have still not returned to the London office.

Understanding that freelance journalists already working on shoestring budgets would need to cover the pandemic quickly, she helped launch a new fund that offered some 180 grants to journalists and news organizations around the world.

“I strongly believe that we can only make decisions about ourselves and our world if we have the information to do so,” said Ms Ginsberg, 44, a married mother of two.

The Committee to Protect Journalists was created in 1981 by two American journalists who had worked in parallel to raise awareness about the case of Alcibíades González Delvalle, a Paraguayan columnist and critic of his country’s military government who had been arrested for one of his columns.

A few weeks after their campaign, Mr. González Delvalle was released. Realizing that no other organization was monitoring press freedom from the United States, the two journalists, Michael Massing and Laurie Nadel, assembled a board of distinguished, award-winning journalists from major organizations such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, the Washington Post and CBS. Renowned CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, recently retired, has signed on as honorary chairman of the group. Its mandate was to protect journalists outside America who did not have First Amendment shelter or ready access to human rights lawyers.

“We felt we had those protections and privileges, unlike other countries,” said Massing, who still sits on the board. “We would use our own influence and prestige in America to help journalists in other countries.”

Since then, CPJ has grown into one of the world’s leading press freedom organizations, with an annual budget of $10 million, more than 50 staff and contractors, and a global presence that stretches from the Nigerian capital, Abuja, Guatemala City and New Delhi.

In 2001, it broadened its mandate from raising awareness of journalists under threat to directly helping some of them, offering emergency funds to hire lawyers, obtain medical treatment or flee their country.

Last year, the organization helped around 60 journalists and their families evacuate Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power.

CPJ is currently assisting with the case of Jeffrey Moyo, a Zimbabwean freelance journalist who works with the New York Times and faces criminal charges under the country’s immigration law for helping two Times reporters enter the Zimbabwe last year.

The organization’s successes, however, have been overwhelmed by increasing attacks on journalists, not just in places with authoritarian governments, but in the United States, where former President Donald J. Trump has decried the press several times, a tactic he has continued since his departure. office a year ago.

When CPJ’s longtime executive director Joel Simon announced he would step down effective late last year, he said it was with waning optimism.

“The decline in press freedom has produced more cases – more journalists who need support, so you have to respond to those people,” Mr Simon said in an interview. “But if you do that exclusively, you kind of swim in place. Ultimately, you want the situation to improve. So how do you both support journalists who are currently under threat and address broader challenges to press freedom in a constructive way? »

Ms. Ginsberg agrees. “We want journalists to be safe so that people have access to a free and independent press,” she said. “And that means addressing systemic issues that threaten the safety of journalists, not just working on individual cases.”

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As Biden wraps up his first year in office, press freedom advocates share their priorities https://guwiv.com/as-biden-wraps-up-his-first-year-in-office-press-freedom-advocates-share-their-priorities/ Fri, 14 Jan 2022 04:15:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/as-biden-wraps-up-his-first-year-in-office-press-freedom-advocates-share-their-priorities/ In the days ahead, minute-by-minute stories of President Biden’s wins, losses and struggles will be joined by in-depth critiques of the president’s first year in office. The Fox crowd says he’s already a failure. Some in the progressive wing are almost as critical. More sober or at least less partisan minds, like history professor Julian […]]]>
In the days ahead, minute-by-minute stories of President Biden’s wins, losses and struggles will be joined by in-depth critiques of the president’s first year in office. The Fox crowd says he’s already a failure. Some in the progressive wing are almost as critical. More sober or at least less partisan minds, like history professor Julian Zelizer, say Biden’s current challenges are very real, but “they shouldn’t be taken as a clear indication of where his presidency is headed.” . In this CNN Opinion column, Zelizer notes that “we’ve seen many presidents recover from a rocky start.”
For the purposes of this analysis, I want to zoom in on Biden’s relationship with the press corps, which is the subject of this new special report from the Committee to Protect Journalists by Leonard Downie Jr.

Downie has previously assessed Donald Trump’s damaging attacks on the media. Clearly, Biden’s rhetoric “stands in stark contrast” to Trump’s malice, he wrote. “However, a year into the Biden administration, press freedom advocates remain concerned about issues such as the president’s limited availability for journalists, the administration’s slow response to requests for information, its plan to extradite Julian Assange, restrictions on media access at the US southern border, and its limited assistance to Afghan journalists.”

Downie spoke with more than 30 reporters, academics, advocates and White House officials. His report is a comprehensive look at the back and forth between the presidency and the press. It concludes with some recommendations from CPJ…

Biden’s Topic #1: Covid

Ahead of Biden’s first anniversary in office, CNN’s Sam Fossum and Betsy Klein compiled recordings of his public remarks. Since inauguration day, Biden has made remarks at least 263 times, not counting interviews. “Biden spoke about the coronavirus pandemic most often (56 times), followed by his domestic agenda (48 times) and the broader economy (31 times),” they found. “The President has made remarks on foreign policy 26 times and has spoken 15 times on various natural disasters. Other topics of note include political speeches (10), gun violence (5) and the right to vote and democracy (4).”

What the press wants

More access. As this recent AP story shows, Biden is holding fewer press conferences and granting fewer interviews than his recent predecessors. It hosts informal question-and-answer sessions more often, but in the words of White House Correspondents Association president Steven Portnoy, “the historic record of a presidency requires more than fleeting questions and answers.”
“The free people of the world benefit when the American president demonstrates his willingness to answer questions,” Portnoy told VOA. “We believe that more formal opportunities to engage the president on a broad range of public concerns would be in the public interest.”

>> Patsy Widakuswara’s story for VOA is titled “Under Biden, Press Given Respect but Not Access…”

Further reading

– NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell: “The President declined to take questions today and continued his COVID briefing off-camera. As I left, I said, ‘Maybe a press conference soon, Mr. President We are looking forward to that.’ And the president said, ‘Me too.'” (Twitter)
– Zachary B. Wolf said “two breaking news stories on Thursday clearly showed President Joe Biden just how limited his power really is…” (CNN)
– NYT’s WH Chief Correspondent Peter Baker writes, “It hasn’t been a good season for Biden’s soft powers. He couldn’t convince the Senate to pass Build Back Better or the right to vote, the Supreme Court to approve his vaccination plan or the Russians to roll back Ukraine. What will be plan B?” (Twitter)
— Vice President Kamala Harris’ response to Craig Melvin’s questions about the administration’s response to the pandemic “quickly became a meme” on Thursday, “with comparisons to scenes from TV shows like The Office and Veep…” (Politico)
— Mike Memoli has struck a deal with Twelve Books to write “The Long Run,” a book on Biden, to be published after the 2024 election… (Axios)

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Media watchdog calls on India to release Kashmiri journalist https://guwiv.com/media-watchdog-calls-on-india-to-release-kashmiri-journalist/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 11:41:02 +0000 https://guwiv.com/media-watchdog-calls-on-india-to-release-kashmiri-journalist/ The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Indian authorities to immediately release a journalist in disputed Kashmir, days after police arrested him for posting a video clip of a protest against the indian domination ThroughThe Associated Press 8 January 2022, 12:48 • 2 minutes to read Share on FacebookShare on twitterEmail this […]]]>

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Indian authorities to immediately release a journalist in disputed Kashmir, days after police arrested him for posting a video clip of a protest against the indian domination

SRINAGAR, India – The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Indian authorities to immediately release a journalist in disputed Kashmir, days after police arrested him for posting a video clip of ‘a demonstration against Indian domination.

The media watchdog said on Saturday it was “deeply disturbed” by the arrest of Sajad Gul, a freelance journalist and media student. He wrote on Twitter that he was calling on Indian authorities to “drop their investigation into his work as a journalist.”

Indian soldiers picked up Gul from his home in the northeastern village of Shahgund on Wednesday evening and then handed him over to police, his family said. He had posted a video of family members and relatives protesting the murder of a rebel commander on Monday.

Initially, police said he would be released, but on Friday his family learned that an official case had been opened against Gul for criminal conspiracy and working against national integration. If found guilty, he risks life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

Journalists have increasingly expressed concerns over harassment and threats from the police which effectively restricted reporting after India revoked Kashmir’s semi-autonomy and divided the region into two federally ruled territories in 2019.

Many journalists have been arrested, beaten, harassed and are sometimes investigated under anti-terrorism laws.

The Kashmir Press Club, an elected group of journalists in the region, has repeatedly urged the Indian government to allow them to report freely, saying security agencies are using physical attacks, threats and summons to silence the hurry.

India’s decision to strip the region of special powers in August 2019 virtually crippled journalism in Kashmir for months. India began implementing a policy in 2020 that gives the government more power to censor independent reporting.

Fearing reprisals from government agencies, most of the local press has faded under the pressure. Journalists have also come under scrutiny through anonymous online threats which the government says are linked to rebels battling Indian rule.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both claim it fully.

Since 1989, a full-fledged armed rebellion has raged in Indian-controlled Kashmir in search of a united Kashmir, either under Pakistani rule or independent of the two countries. The region is one of the most militarized in the world. Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government forces have been killed in the conflict.

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With freedom of the press, “American leadership really matters” https://guwiv.com/with-freedom-of-the-press-american-leadership-really-matters/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/with-freedom-of-the-press-american-leadership-really-matters/ The work of journalists is becoming increasingly dangerous, with record numbers of arrests for their coverage and dozens of deaths each year. As of December, more than 290 journalists were in jail for their work and at least 24 had been killed, according to the US Committee to Protect Journalists. The group’s data reflects an […]]]>

The work of journalists is becoming increasingly dangerous, with record numbers of arrests for their coverage and dozens of deaths each year.

As of December, more than 290 journalists were in jail for their work and at least 24 had been killed, according to the US Committee to Protect Journalists. The group’s data reflects an increasingly dangerous environment for the media.

As CPJ’s executive director, Joel Simon has seen how journalists have changed the world while becoming targets of repressive forces.

In an interview with VOA last month, Simon spoke about the heightened risks to global media.

“Just doing journalism — especially responsible journalism, journalism that threatens those in power — is inherently dangerous,” he said.

After nearly 25 years at CPJ, including 15 as executive director, Simon will step down on December 31, but says he remains committed to defending press freedom.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Question: How has press freedom around the world changed during your tenure as CPJ’s executive director?

Joel Simon: When I started at CPJ in 1997, it was a time of deep optimism, about democracy, human rights, freedom of the press. After all, journalists played a crucial role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. Reporting in Latin America contributed to the collapse of military governments in that region.

There was a feeling that independent journalism could really change the world, and I think it might. But then there was this tremendous backlash.

FILE – Reporting equipment lies on the ground outside Ankara’s government offices and protesters hold a banner that reads ‘We can’t breathe. Journalism can’t be drowned’ during a rally calling for to the protection of journalists against the police, 29 June 2021 .

Repressive governments, autocratic governments all over the world understand this, not least because of technology. And in the information age, those who control the power of narrative control.

Journalists help shape public perception. They help shape stories. Thus, they are in conflict with governments around the world – both repressive governments that use violence and legal action, but also in democracies.

Increasingly, people live under partially free governments and live in an environment where press freedom has deteriorated, in which their ability to access independent information and media and to hold governments to account is more limited.

This is the moment we find ourselves in now. And I think the pendulum will swing one day. It’s always like that. But we must recognize this moment in history.

The environment for independent journalism has changed everywhere, including in the United States. The challenges are greater. This period of deep optimism that existed when I started this profession 25 years ago… unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

Q: What remedies should exist to protect and support journalists?

Simon: It must be recognized that these are long-term trends and the reasons why they occur are complex. There are simply no short-term solutions.

The only thing we can do that is really critical is that the United States be able to assert its global leadership. And this is not currently the case.

I think American leadership is really counting on these issues.

When (former) President (Donald) Trump started using the term ‘fake news’ and calling journalists ‘enemies of the people’, we saw autocratic governments around the world adopt the same rhetoric and use to suppress independent journalism.

When we have seen the (George W.) Bush administration embrace the rhetoric of the war on terror, we have seen governments cracking down on the media under the guise of suppressing terrorism.

In the Biden administration, what happened in Afghanistan really undermined the credibility of the United States. Journalists who have built a vibrant media community in this country have been gravely threatened by the collapse of the regime, and the US government has failed to take the lead in protecting them.

These journalists were disappointed. Journalists around the world saw what happened, and I think it further damaged the credibility of the United States.

Q: Are there any particular cases that really affect you?

Simon: This job as CPJ’s executive director is a job of learning about grief and loss.

I have lost so many friends. I have lost journalists who come to my office, some of them have won the International Press Freedom Award (from CPJ). And they won it because they’re so brave, they’re not afraid of anything. But this fearlessness sometimes means that they fail to understand, identify and respond to the threats facing them.

FILE - Journalists and protesters hold up photos of slain journalist Javier Valdez Cardenas, at the Interior Ministry building in Mexico City, Mexico, May 16, 2017.

FILE – Journalists and protesters hold up photos of slain journalist Javier Valdez Cardenas, at the Interior Ministry building in Mexico City, Mexico, May 16, 2017.

I will talk about a friend of mine — Javier Valdez Cardenas, in Mexico. He was honored with an international press freedom award for his courageous coverage.

Several years after receiving the award, he received threats. We had conversations with him. We wanted to evacuate him. He said he couldn’t leave. He said he had to stay and keep covering the story.

He was killed (in May 2017). And it was so tragic, because it was really ultimately preventable.

We understood why he wouldn’t leave, but we were heartbroken. All we can do is fight for justice.

It’s always a tough fight. But some of the people who committed this crime are in prison today, and we will continue to fight for justice in his case and in so many others around the world.

Q: What types of coverage can lead to attacks on the media?

Simon: When you see journalists killed, they tend to report on organized crime. Daphne Caruana Galizia, the blogger murdered in Malta (in 2017), had denounced the official protection network in Malta.

FILE - People hold pictures of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia as they protest, in Valletta, Malta November 29, 2019.

FILE – People hold pictures of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia as they protest, in Valletta, Malta November 29, 2019.

Or if you look at some of the journalists who were murdered in Russia, or in Mexico, or Jan Kuciak (in Slovakia in 2018). They were all talking about the intersection of organized crime and government protection that facilitates and enables these criminal networks to operate.

When journalists expose this network, they threaten the bottom line. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, this can get you killed.

Q: What motivates you to continue?

Simon: What inspires me is that I truly believe that there is nothing more essential to how humans connect with each other… (than) the sharing of information. And journalism is absolutely essential for that.

So I am deeply optimistic that this need will persist and that people will continue to fight for access to the information they need to make sense of their lives. And support the journalists who do this work.

Where I am less optimistic is that these kinds of efforts threaten entrenched power structures, including authoritarian states. And they become more adept at managing and controlling and retaining their ability to define the narrative.

We must continue to fight, because freedom of the press is the battle of the information age and we must win.

My optimism stems not from an examination of current reality, but from an acknowledgment of what is at stake. I believe that many people around the world recognize that they ultimately support independent journalism. They finally recognize the value of what journalists do. And they are finally ready to fight for it.

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Greek journalists denounce the decline in press freedom https://guwiv.com/greek-journalists-denounce-the-decline-in-press-freedom/ Sun, 19 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/greek-journalists-denounce-the-decline-in-press-freedom/ Athens (AFP) – The killing of a journalist, the prime minister publicly reprimanding a foreign journalist, and alleged state surveillance. It was a bad year for media rights in Greece. The southern European country fell five places in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index compiled by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and now ranks […]]]>

Athens (AFP) – The killing of a journalist, the prime minister publicly reprimanding a foreign journalist, and alleged state surveillance. It was a bad year for media rights in Greece.

The southern European country fell five places in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index compiled by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and now ranks 70th out of 180 countries, behind Poland and Mongolia.

George Pleios, head of media studies at the National University of Athens, said the deterioration over the past year was alarming.

“Freedom of the press has become a concern,” he told AFP.

Pleios said a series of press freedom violations in recent years have included journalists being detained or intimidated, and police beating photographers during protests.

But in April, a prominent crime journalist, Giorgos Karaivaz, 52, was shot dead outside his home in Athens. The government ordered an investigation, but no arrests were made.

Prominent crime journalist Giorgos Karaivaz was shot dead outside his home in Athens in April Yiannis PANAGOPOULOS Eurokinissi/AFP

Over the past year, the government has ignored requests for information on key stories and pressured journalists for unfavorable stories, while parliament in November passed a new law punishing misinformation with a penalty. up to five years in prison.

People can now go to jail for alleged fake news ‘capable of causing public concern or fear’, in a move Athens newspaper journalists’ union Esiea said was too vague and risked restricting freedom of speech.

Journalists say that, throughout 2021, police and government departments routinely ignored their emails seeking answers about the coronavirus pandemic, police abuse and the migration crisis.

“Self-censorship”

In November, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis found himself embroiled in a public spat with a Dutch journalist who accused him of “lying” after Athens denied carrying out illegal pushbacks of migrants at sea.

In November, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis became embroiled in a public row with a Dutch journalist who accused him of having "lie" after Athens denied carrying out illegal pushbacks of migrants at sea
In November, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis found himself embroiled in a public spat with a Dutch journalist who accused him of “lying” after Athens denied illegally turning back migrants at sea Louisa GOULIAMAKIAFP

“You will not enter this building to insult me…or the Greek people with accusations and expressions that are not supported by material facts,” he told a press conference. with visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The journalist, Ingeborg Beugel, later said that she had received threats and temporarily left the country.

On November 13, the left-leaning daily Efsyn published what it said were internal intelligence notes gathering information on anti-vaxxers and activists helping migrants – but also on a journalist later hired by AFP.

In response to letters from AFP, Minister of State George Gerapetritis insisted “there is no surveillance of journalists in Greece”.

“Greece fully adheres to the values ​​of democratic society and the rule of law, in particular pluralism and freedom of the press,” he said.

He later added that media independence was “sacrosanct”.

“While we don’t always agree with what the media writes, we will defend…the right of a free press to report unhindered and independent of outside interference,” he said. -he declares.

But Greece has not opened an investigation into Efsyn’s alleged leaks.

The Efsyn reporter who published the story, Dimitris Terzis, accused the government and supporting media of “trying to bury the matter”.

Journalists say throughout 2021, police and government departments have consistently ignored their emails seeking answers about the coronavirus pandemic, police abuse and the migration crisis
Journalists say throughout 2021, police and government departments have consistently ignored their emails seeking answers about the coronavirus pandemic, police abuse and the migration crisis Document Hellenic Coast Guard/AFP

In February and December last year, journalists received letters of complaint from the government after reporting on two instances where Mitsotakis had apparently broken lockdown rules.

Fabien Perrier, correspondent for French-language media in Greece, says his editors received a letter from the Ministry of Culture in May about an article criticizing a new concrete walkway at the Acropolis.

He said journalists in Greece were under pressure to “practice self-censorship”.

Two journalists working for Greek media resigned last year, accusing the government of attempted censorship, allegations it has denied.

“Cloud of Fear”

Lambrini Papadopoulou, a media professor at the University of Athens, says Greece has a long history of collusion between the Greek media and political and financial elites.

Fabien Perrier, a French-language media correspondent in Greece, says his editors received a letter from the culture ministry in May regarding an article criticizing a new concrete walkway at the Acropolis
Fabien Perrier, a French-language media correspondent in Greece, says his editors received a letter from the culture ministry in May regarding an article criticizing a new concrete walkway at the Acropolis Petros Giannakouris swimming pool/AFP

“Problematic relations between the media and power are not new,” she said.

“There is little room for critical and independent journalism in Greece.”

George Tzogopoulos, a researcher at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy think tank, says coverage of the pandemic in some Greek media is simply producing government announcements.

Dozens of outlets closed during the 2010-2018 Greek debt crisis, leaving survivors desperate for any form of support.

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, the government introduced a program to support the media with funds as part of a containment campaign.

But opposition parties say the money disproportionately benefited pro-government media. A parliamentary inquiry into the matter is underway.

Overall, RSF says the authorities have taken insufficient steps to protect journalists.

The 2010 murder of another journalist, 37-year-old Sokratis Giolias, also remains unsolved.

Pleios, the academic, says such failures leave journalists “under a cloud of fear”.

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Greek journalists denounce decline in press freedom https://guwiv.com/greek-journalists-denounce-decline-in-press-freedom/ Sun, 19 Dec 2021 07:54:38 +0000 https://guwiv.com/greek-journalists-denounce-decline-in-press-freedom/ The murder of a journalist, the Prime Minister publicly reprimanding a foreign journalist and alleged state surveillance. It has been a bad year for media rights in Greece. The southern European country lost five places in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index established by the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and now ranks 70 […]]]>

The murder of a journalist, the Prime Minister publicly reprimanding a foreign journalist and alleged state surveillance. It has been a bad year for media rights in Greece.

The southern European country lost five places in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index established by the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and now ranks 70 out of 180 countries, behind the Poland and Mongolia.

George Pleios, head of media studies at the National University of Athens, said the deterioration over the past year was alarming.

“Press freedom has become a concern,” he told AFP.

Pleios said a series of press freedom violations in recent years have included journalists detained or intimidated, and police beating photographers during protests.

But in April, a prominent criminal journalist, Giorgos Karaivaz, 52, was shot dead outside his home in Athens. The government ordered an investigation, but no arrests were made.

Over the past year, the government has ignored requests for information on key stories and lobbied journalists for unfavorable reporting, while parliament passed a new law in November punishing the disinformation of a sentence of up to five years in prison.

People can now go to jail for alleged false information “which may worry or frighten the public,” in a move that the Athenian newspaper Esiea’s journalists’ union has called too vague and threatens to restrict freedom of expression.

Journalists say that, throughout 2021, police and government ministries have systematically ignored their emails seeking answers on the coronavirus pandemic, police abuse and the migration crisis.

– ‘Self-censorship’ –

In November, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was embroiled in a public row with a Dutch journalist who accused him of “lying” after Athens denied having carried out illegal push-backs of migrants at sea.

“You will not enter this building to insult me ​​(…) or the Greek people with accusations and expressions that are not supported by material facts,” he said at a conference press release with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Journalist Ingeborg Beugel later said she received threats and temporarily left the country.

On November 13, the left-wing daily Efsyn published what it said were internal intelligence memos collating information on anti-vaccines and activists helping migrants – but also about a journalist subsequently hired by the ‘AFP.

In response to AFP letters, Minister of State George Gerapetritis insisted that “there is no surveillance of journalists in Greece”.

“Greece fully adheres to the values ​​of a democratic society and the rule of law, in particular pluralism and freedom of the press,” he said.

He later added that the independence of the media was “sacrosanct”.

“Although we do not always agree with what the media write, we will defend (…) the right of a free press to report unhindered and independent of any outside interference,” he said. he declares.

But Greece has not opened an investigation following the alleged leaks of Efsyn.

The Efsyn reporter who revealed the story, Dimitris Terzis, accused the government and supporting media of “trying to bury the case”.

In February and December last year, journalists received letters of complaint from the government after reporting two cases where Mitsotakis had apparently broken lockdown rules.

Fabien Perrier, French-speaking media correspondent in Greece, said his editors received a letter from the Culture Ministry in May regarding an article criticizing a new concrete footbridge at the Acropolis.

He said journalists in Greece were under pressure to “practice self-censorship”.

Two journalists working with Greek media resigned last year, accusing the government of attempted censorship, claims it denied.

– ‘Cloud of fear’ –

Athens University media professor Lambrini Papadopoulou says Greece has a long history of collusion between Greek media and political and financial elites.

“Problematic relations between media and power are not new,” she said.

“There is little room for critical and independent journalism in Greece.”

George Tzogopoulos, a researcher at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy think tank, says coverage of the pandemic in some Greek media is simply to produce government announcements.

Dozens of outlets closed during Greece’s 2010-2018 debt crisis, leaving survivors desperate for any form of support.

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, the government introduced a program to support the media with funds as part of a home support campaign.

But according to opposition parties, the money has gone disproportionately to pro-government media. A parliamentary inquiry into the matter is underway.

Overall, RSF believes that the authorities have taken insufficient measures to protect journalists.

The 2010 murder of another journalist, Sokratis Giolias, 37, is also unsolved.

Pleios, the academic, says such failures leave journalists “under a cloud of fear”.

hec / chv / jph / ah

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