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ONE IN FIVE JOURNALISTS SIGNS PETITION AGAINST MEDIA RESTRICTIONS

Nearly one in five professional journalists in Slovenia has signed a petition against censorship and political pressures in the country, report the International Press Institute (IPI), the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).

A "Petition against Censorship and Political Pressures on Journalists in Slovenia" has been signed by 438 journalists from major media outlets in Slovenia and sent to the governments of all E.U. member states.

The petition cites instances of censorship against individual journalists who have written articles critical of President Janez Jansa's government. Even assigned articles are often left unpublished, usually without proper justification, says IFJ. Journalists complain of being given notice without reason, removed from working areas they have covered previously, transferred and discriminated against.

The petition follows an IPI call a month earlier for the Slovenian government to hold an independent inquiry into allegations of political pressure on the media. IPI says the government indirectly influences the media through its part-ownership and business relations with companies that own media organisations -- "improper conduct" for a country due to take over the E.U. presidency in January 2008.

Visit these websites:
- Petition Against Censorship: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/86690/
- SEEMO/IPI press release: http://tinyurl.com/2g7zz4
- EFE/IFJ: http://www.protectionline.org/400-Journalists-sign-petition.html?pmv_nid=1
(9 October 2007)

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