Dear xxx xxxx
Demonstrations across the world have shown solidarity with Black people killed, injured or wrongfully arrested by police. Some have turned violent. The violence has also been turned against journalists, because racist thugs and rogue police officers prefer to avoid the cameras. Our Media Freedom Rapid Response has swung into action, recording the injuries to an Italian press photographer in London and the horror faced by a TV crew in France as youths with what appeared to be a Kalachnikov rifle threatened them and smashed up their van. In Belgium, journalist Jeremy Audouard was intimidated by Brussels police while filming an arrest. There are many other similar incidents. Some are already on the Mapping Media Freedom website and you can add more, confidentially, here. All reports are verified before publication by our Europe wide network and they trigger offers of support from our team.
Launched this week are a number of support programmes available for exiled media professionals in Germany, irrespective of their origin. And we have not forgotten the programme coordinators, who are the first and sometimes only contacts with exiled journalists. Please learn more about the offer and apply before the deadline, 15 July 2020. For media houses, we provide support to cover security measures, owing to the fact that at times they are the direct targets of attacks.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to haunt Europe. After its passing, the chill of unemployment means that millions cannot enjoy the summer even though the lockdown is lifting. On Friday, Heads of EU Member States will meet to discuss recovery fund to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the new EU long term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework. Here is our joint call to adopt an ambitious EU budget to support independent journalism and the media sector. Together with Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners, and others, we have written to German authorities on matters of media freedom across Europe ahead of their presidency of the Council of the EU starting July 2020.
For Hungary, there are two pandemics – one health-related and the other a fatal contagion attacking press and media freedom in the shape of the ’state of danger’ decrees. ECPMF commissioned a Legal Opinion, which revealed that Hungary’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic fails to live up to domestic or European legal standards and entrenches the country’s attacks on independent media outlets, journalists and media workers. We welcome the parliament’s call to rescind the decrees. There’s a small sign of progress on other legal threats to media freedom at the Constitutional Court in Italy and in the widespread support for our anti-SLAPP initiatives
We joined more than 40 organisations with a renewed call for the immediate and unconditional release of Kurdish journalist Nedim Türfent, who is unjustly imprisoned. 21 June marks his 1,500th day in jail. Additionally, MFRR partners, joined by Cartooning for Peace (CfP) and Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI), condemned the attacks against press cartoons across Europe, which have grown in number as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and reiterated their support to all cartoonists under threat.
But on TV we still seem to be losing the war of words. We’ll be in the Czech capital Prague next week to tackle political interference in Public Service Media. Meanwhile the Turkish RTÜK broadcasting regulator continues to block and ban critical coverage including exiled journalist Can Dündar’s Özgürüz (it means ’We are free’ in English) whilst Slovenia’s Prime Minister stoops to insulting public broadcasters and Britain’s BBC prepares to axe all its regional investigative programming
Looks like now is not the time to relax and enjoy the summer – the enemies of press and media freedom never rest.
Stay safe and healthy,
ECPMF's news highlights
We support exiled media professionals in Germany, irrespective of their origin.
Read more about the offers available.
Read full details of the legal opinion
News from our networks
Trade unions provide COVID-19 safety kit for journalists in North Macedonia. Read more
International Press Institute condemns death threats against Bosnian journalist. Read more

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT) outlines how Albania has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and what that means for media freedom. Read more
From a care home whistleblower to the Church of Scientology, legal threats to media freedom are becoming more innovative.
Read more from the Media Legal Defence Initiative...

What more must Kosovo do to prove its readiness for EU membership?
Read OBCT’s interview with Viola von Cramon MEP
Dates for your diary
Support for programme co-ordinators in Germany - Apply before 15 July 2020

Turkey Panel: IPI, PEN Intl, MLSA hold joint panels to mark Kurdish journalist #NedimTürfent's #1500DaysBehindBars.
Date & Time: June 21 | 13:00 (Tur) & 16:00 (Eng)
 Panels will be broadcast live. More

The next IJ4EU call for our Investigation Support Scheme opens in August. In the meantime teams of cross-border investigative journalists can apply to the IJ4EU Publication Support Scheme
Free Press Unlimited's Award scheme is now open, closing in August. Full details of how to apply here
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