We are all a little closer to death at this time of a global killer pandemic. Yet, the fatal restraint of George Floyd by a US police officer was a shock that brought grief and anger to millions of people. In that grief and anger, journalists and media workers are being attacked arrested and vilified. That is unacceptable. We stand in camaraderie with them as we stand for justice for Floyd. We salute their courage in publicising the actions of police and protestors – the good and the bad actions.

Here in Europe too, death threats have forced a UK local newspaper editor to go into hiding with her daughter and demonstrations by environmental campaigners and anti-lockdown protestors put media workers in harm’s way, most recently in France 
and two locations in the Spanish capital, Madrid. Please share our joint statement to assert the rights of journalists to cover demonstrations freely and safely and report new incidents confidentially to the Media Freedom Rapid Response, through our monitoring platform here.
In addition, w are haunted by the death of Bulgarian journalist Georgi Alexandrov and we urge the authorities to make a swift and thorough investigation in all directions. 
Threats of extinction - or at least state capture - hover over some of Europe’s Public Service Media, with Czech Republic  joining Turkey on the danger list. Turkey’s RTÜK regulator has also blacked out the Diyalog TV channel in Northern Cyprus. And a journalist at Slovenia’s RTV has received a number of letters containing a white powder in a clear attempt at intimidation.
Meanwhile, the very existence of many of Europe’s news outlets hangs in the balance. The Coronavirus lockdown is throttling their income and throwing journalists out of work, with freelancers especially hard hit. So our call for help add published link from the EU is heartfelt and urgent. This is an emergency. The Multi-annual Financial Framework could provide a lifeline. And if policymakers are looking for models of best practice in how to build sustainable independent media, they need look no further than our Scandinavia report.
Stay safe and healthy. And remember, anguish must be followed with action if we are to create a more just and equitable world.

Investigative reporter Georgi Alexandrov was found dead in the town of Varna, Bulgaria where he had been investigating a water pollution scandal. The apparent cause of death is drowning. More details here 
Press freedom on trial
There must be no impunity for crimes against journalists. So the long-delayed re-start of the trial in Malta of Yorgen Fenech is welcome. He is accused of ordering and paying for the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. You can listen to the background in an interview by our Advocacy Officer here  (in German) and follow the latest developments, implicating the Deputy Prime Minister Chris Cardona, here, in English. 

The trial of four people accused of complicity in the murders of investigative reporter Jàn Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírova at their home in Slovakia was interrupted by the COVID 19 lockdown but is now continuing. And the journalists who have worked to continue Jan’s unfinished investigations have won an international prize.

Because of the Coronavirus lockdown, the latest hearing in the extradition case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was held by telephone link to the court. Even so, the defendant was reported to be too ill to even listen to the proceedings. They are stalled because COVID-19 restrictions mean that his legal team cannot meet him to prepare his defence. 

Politicians must face critical questions

MFRR partners call on the UK government to defend press freedom by allowing reporters from all sides of the political spectrum to question the Prime Minister.

Hungary has been found in breach by the European Court of Human Rights for stripping parliamentary journalists of their accreditation back in 2016.
Croatia: Government minister publicly smears TV journalist.

ECPMF is recruiting...

Advocacy Officer

Event Manager 

We are also inviting applications from media workers under threat in EU Member States and Candidate Countries to apply for our Journalists-in-Residence programme.
Free Press Unlimited launches new campaign to provide facts on COVID-19. Read more.
SLAPP:  the laws that threaten to strangle free reporting. New report by Index on Censorship

Article 19 examines the rights and wrongs of marking social media posts as ‘false news’ 
If you spot a press freedom violation, please sound the alarm!
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The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) is a non-profit European Co-operative Society, based in Leipzig, Germany. The ECPMF was founded in 2015 to promote the European Charter on Freedom of the Press throughout Europe. The ECPMF helps to shape a common European media space. It preserves, defends, protects and expands press and media freedom by monitoring violations of free media in Europe, advocating on media freedom issues, initiating a diverse range of activities and providing practical support to journalists at risk.

The ECPMF is supported by: European Commission, Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, Free State of Saxony, the City of Leipzig and diverse project funding.

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European Centre for Press and Media Freedom SCE ltd

Menckestraße 27
04155 Leipzig, Germany

Phone: +49 341 200 403 13

Cooperative register of the District Court Leipzig: GnR 534

Executive Board:  
Henrik Kaufholz (Chair),
Stephan Seeger, 
Ljiljana Smajlović,
Mogens Blicher Bjerregårds, 
Galina Arapova

Chair of Supervisory Board:
Lucie Sýkorová

Managing Director: 
Dr Lutz Kinkel