The recently amended martial law prohibits the publication of reports criticising the actions of the government, officials and local bodies. It also gives increased power to the police to hand out fines, freeze assets and request removal of content from media outlets.
The High Court of Montenegro sentenced investigative journalist Jovo Martinović to one year in prison for participating in drug trafficking, despite clear evidence that he was working undercover as part of an investigation at the time.
On 1 October police raided Slavina’s apartment looking for materials related to the pro-democracy group Open Russia. They seized flash drives, her laptop, her daughter’s laptop, and phones belonging to both her and her husband.
“Every alert makes sure that journalists and media workers do not have to suffer in silence. To effectively support journalists across Europe, we need everyone’s help to ensure that every violation is reported on Mapping Media Freedom.”
On 17 August, a car belonging to a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty team was set on fire. Police found an explosive substance on the wreck of the car, which was completely destroyed.
Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), comprised of press freedom groups, publishes report charting worrying decline of media freedom in Europe. Key factors in the decline were COVID-19, police violence and online harassment.
Free press groups and journalists call on the police to ensure that threats to the press from terrorist groups are investigated fully and on policy-makers in Stormont and Westminster to commit to protecting journalists and media workers in Northern Ireland.
Scandinavia always leads the press freedom rankings in Europe. Check out the region’s six best practises which can serve as an inspiration to restore and improve the media freedom environment in Europe once the pandemic is over.