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Russia and Turkey bring the most cases to Europe’s human rights bodies

European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights found 77 violations of freedom of expression (Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights) in 2018: 1 by Azerbaijan, 1 by Bulgaria, 2 by Croatia, 1 by France, 2 by Greece, 2 by Hungary, 1 by Lithuania, 2 by Malta, 1 by Moldova, 1 by North Macedonia, 1 by Poland, 2 by Romania, 14 by Russia, 1 by Slovenia, 2 by Spain, 1 by Switzerland, 40 by Turkey, 1 by Ukraine, and 1 by UK.

The Court also found 31 violations of the right to assembly and association: 1 by Armenia, 3 by Bulgaria, 1 by Hungary, 1 by Moldova, 3 by North Macedonia, 10 by Russia, 11 by Turkey, 1 by Ukraine.[1]

Council of Europe’s Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists

In 2018, 140 alerts concerning 32 Council of Europe Member States were submitted to the Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists.[2] 35 alerts regarding attacks on journalists’ physical safety and integrity were posted on the Platform in 2018 – an upward trend.[3]

Of the 140 alerts, 35 (25%) fall under the category of attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists, 17 (12%) under detention and imprisonment, 34 (24%) under harassment and intimidation, 3 (2%) under impunity, and 51 (37%) under other the category of acts having chilling effects on media freedom. Since the Platform’s launch in 2015, the top five countries that have been the subjects of reports are Turkey (121), Russia (69), Ukraine (50), Azerbaijan (35), and France (34).[4]

At the end of 2018, the Platform had recorded 130 journalists in detention in the Member States of the Council of Europe,[5] while the number of alerts about serious threats to journalists’ lives has almost doubled on an annual basis since the launch of the Platform. There was a clear trend in 2018 towards verbal abuse and public stigmatisation of the media and individual journalists in many Member States – including by elected officials, and especially in the run-up to elections.[6] In 80 alerts (57%), the state is the source of the threat. Of the remaining threats, 29 (21%) originate from a non-state actor, and 31 (22%) from an unknown source.

 

 

[1] European Court of Human Rights, Statistics for 2018, available at https://www.echr.coe.int/Pages/home.asp.x?p=reports&c=

[2] Council of Europe – Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and the Safety of Journalists, Statistical Breakdown, 2019, available at https://www.coe.int/en/web/media-freedom/statistical-breakdown

[3] Partner Organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists, Annual Report: Democracy At Risk: Threats And Attacks Against Media Freedom In Europe, February 2019, available at https://rm.coe.int/annual-report-2018-democracy-in-danger-threats-and-attacks-media-freed/1680926453

[4] Council of Europe – Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and the Safety of Journalists, All Charts, 2019, available at https://www.coe.int/en/web/media-freedom/all-charts

[5] Partner Organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists, Annual Report: Democracy At Risk: Threats And Attacks Against Media Freedom In Europe, February 2019, available at https://rm.coe.int/annual-report-2018-democracy-in-danger-threats-and-attacks-media-freed/1680926453

[6] Partner Organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists, Annual Report: Democracy At Risk: Threats And Attacks Against Media Freedom In Europe, February 2019, available at https://rm.coe.int/annual-report-2018-democracy-in-danger-threats-and-attacks-media-freed/1680926453

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