Europe and Central Asia - IFEX Member Campaigns
International free expression groups condemn the government's refusal to allow supporters to visit journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, who are behind bars for reports claiming that Turkey's intelligence agency secretly armed Islamist rebel groups in Syria.
In this letter to Turkish President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Davutoğlu, members of the South East European Network for Professionalization of Media, express grave concerns over the Turkish government’s flagrant violations of media freedoms.
IFEX members call for an immediate investigation into spying operations in Romania incompatible with free and democratic society.
“The judicial system seems to prosecute journalists more often than the accomplices of Daesh (Islamic State). Turkey is a great country, with democratic institutions and a very open civil society. We appeal to the government, as a matter of honour, to restore all the conditions of pluralism, starting with freedom for journalists.”
IFEX members support the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union's draft law to decriminalise libel and defamation of public officials
Members of the IFEX network and other concerned organisations demand justice for wrongful imprisonment of Mohammed Ismael Rasaool
Sport for Rights considers the charges against investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova to be connected to her exposure of corruption among the ruling Azerbaijani elite.
The Sport for Rights coalition condemns the conviction and harsh sentencing of Azerbaijani human rights defenders Leyla and Arif Yunus on 13 August by the Baku Court of Grave Crimes.
One year ago, on July 30, 2014, human rights defender Leyla Yunus was arrested and charged with treason, fraud, forgery, tax evasion, and illegal entrepreneurship. Her arrest marked the start of a period of unprecedented repression in Azerbaijan.
Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev was shot dead on 9 July 2013 as he left for work in Makhachkala, Dagestan. He had actively reported on human rights violations against Muslims by the police and Russian army.
"Quick to praise President Ilham Aliyev's preparation for the inaugural European Games, the EOC leadership has so far maintained a public silence in the face of serious abuse and repression by Azerbaijan's government against its critics."
A defamation reform bill pending before the Lithuanian Parliament would constitute a welcome step in the right direction, but should be further amended to meet international standards, the International Press Institute (IPI) and Article 19 said, following a joint two-day mission to Lithuania.
The introduction of this law only two months after the Charlie Hebdo tragedy is seen as an attempt to broaden surveillance powers under the guise of preventing terrorism.
Following the pre-trial detention of prominent journalist Khadija Ismayilova, civil society groups call upon the Council of Europe to suspend Azerbaijan from its membership until Azerbaijani authorities drop all charges against NGO representatives, lawyers and journalists currently in detention.
Belarusian authorities are being called upon to drop charges against journalists who were accused by the police of holding an unauthorized action. The charges were brought against the group after they took a picture in Vitebsk to support the European Federation of Journalists' Stand Up For Journalism Day.
On 30 October a Baku court sentenced opposition journalist Khalid Garayev to 25 days in detention on trumped-up charges of hooliganism and disobeying the police.
Against the backdrop of the unprecedented crackdown on civil society, Khadija Ismayilova’s arrest on criminal defamation charges seems imminent and would confirm the authorities’ intent to silence all critical voices in the country.
Civil society groups call for an end to repression of IFEX member the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, and urge UNESCO to take action to ensure free expression in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan has been providing leadership in the Council of Europe since last month, promoting and protecting human rights standards in Europe and beyond. In the meantime, back home, arbitrary arrest, torture and unfair trials are widespread.
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The undersigned organisations believe that a balanced and effective international copyright framework should support robust discussion of exceptions and limitations to copyright, as well as protections for creators.