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IFJ denounces "blatant" breach of protection of sources

(IFJ/IFEX) - 8 May, 2009 - The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the searches carried out by the Luxembourg police at the weekly Contacto.

"Protection of sources is a right guaranteed both by the European Convention on Human Rights and by the Luxembourg Law of 8 June 2004 on press freedom," said Arne König, EFJ President. "We protest against such a blatant breach of these rights and principles by the authorities in Luxembourg."

On Thursday 7 May, three police officers searched the offices of the Contacto, a Portuguese weekly popular among the vast Portuguese-speaking community in the country. The search followed a complaint for "defamation and libel" made by a social worker against a journalist who had published an article about child custody. The police took a note-book, 18 pages of documents, a computer file and CD-Rom belonging to the journalist.

The EFJ says these measures were not only disproportionate, but also totally contrary to national and international standards of protection of sources.

The EFJ supports the Association of Journalists of Luxembourg and the Press Council and calls on the authorities to respect press freedom and protection of sources.

The EFJ recently published a policy document on protection of sources in Europe available at: http://europe.ifj.org/en/articles/efj-policy-document-on-protection-of-sources

The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in more than 30 countries of Europe.

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