…CPJ meets with EU of­fi­cials, calls for press free­dom

Sunday Trust - - MEDIA - (CPJ)

Adel­e­ga­tion from the Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists (CPJ) last week met with se­nior Euro­pean Union of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Euro­pean Vice Pres­i­dent Frans Tim­mer­mans and urged them to en­sure EU in­sti­tu­tions up­hold press free­dom in mem­ber states.

In a state­ment by me­dia con­tact and EU Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Tom Gib­son, the del­e­ga­tion in­cluded Kati Mar­ton, Hun­gar­ian-Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist and au­thor and a CPJ board mem­ber, Tom Gib­son, CPJ’s Brus­sels-based EU rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and Shazdeh Omari, CPJ’s se­nior pro­gram of­fi­cer.

The team met with eight EU of­fi­cials and called on them to en­sure the safety of jour­nal­ists work­ing in EU coun­tries: in Poland, where jour­nal­ists face le­gal threats, and in Malta and Slo­vakia where in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists Daphne Caru­ana Gal­izia and Ján Ku­ciak were mur­dered in the past year.

CPJ also high­lighted dan­gers to press free­dom in Hun­gary, where Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Or­bán was elected last Sun­day for a third term.

“Or­bán con­tin­ues to defy all EU norms and sti­fle free ex­pres­sion. Sun­day’s elec­tion re­sults con­firm that the op­po­si­tion never had a chance as it was robbed of the oxy­gen of a free and fair me­dia,” said CPJ Board Mem­ber Kati Mar­ton. In an hour-long meet­ing with Com­mis­sion Vice Pres­i­dent Tim­mer­mans on Tues­day, CPJ urged him to ap­ply pres­sure on Poland and sup­port crit­i­cal jour­nal­ists there and in Hun­gary. Tim­mer­mans told CPJ that a democ­racy can­not ex­ist with­out in­de­pen­dent jour­nal­ism. CPJ also urged him to con­tinue call­ing for thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Caru­ana Gal­izia and Ku­ciak’s mur­ders, as press free­dom groups have doc­u­mented that in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists in Eu­rope are fac­ing risks each day while do­ing their jobs.

CPJ also called on Tim­mer­mans to is­sue a di­rec­tive against Strate­gic Law­suits Against Pub­lic Par­tic­i­pa­tion (SLAPPs) that would pro­tect jour­nal­ists from be­ing forced to pay ex­or­bi­tant le­gal fees de­signed to bur­den them fi­nan­cially and si­lence their crit­i­cism.

The del­e­ga­tion also met with Hun­gary’s per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Olivér Várhe­lyi, to dis­cuss press free­dom fol­low­ing the re­cent re-elec­tion of Or­bán.

CPJ aired its con­cerns, in­clud­ing about the vi­tal role of in­de­pen­dent jour­nal­ism in the coun­try, and Várhe­lyi asked CPJ to share re­search with his of­fice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.