AEJ backs top international lawyers’ panel on ‘safe refuge’ for persecuted journalists worldwide
The Association of European Journalists today joined other organisations across the world in officially endorsing a far-reaching Enforcement Report being published today by the independent High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom. If implemented, the Report’s recommendations will enable journaists who face persecution in their own countries to obtain safe refuge elsewhere.
The full Report is available here:
The report, authored by leading human rights lawyer Can Yeginsu, recommends that willing states should introduce emergency visas for journalists at risk and their immediate families; Interpol should require states to clarify if any journalists is the subject of a request for an individual to be arrested internationally through the ‘red Notice’ system.
It also calls for a radical strengthening of in-country mechanisms to protect journalists from violence, arbitrary detention, or other abuses; and for more effective ways of providing effective remedies and justice for the immediate dangers they face.
This is the third report of the 15-member Independent High Level Legal Panel set up in 2019 and backed by the Media Freedom Coalition established at last year’s international conference in London hosted by the UK and Canadian Governments. So far, forty governments have joined the coalition and signed the Global Pledge on Media Freedom. Today’s report calls for those countries to take a lead by becoming “regional champions” to spearhead the provision of safe refuge for journalists at risk.
The remit of the multinational Panel is to provide advice and recommendations to governments to prevent and reverse abuses of media freedom. The Panel will propose initiatives that can be taken by governments to ensure existing international obligations relating to media freedom are upheld, disseminate elements for model legislation to promote and protect a vibrant free press, and report on means of raising the cost to those who target journalists for their work.
International Standards Reports
The Hihg-Lelel Panel is working with leading academic and legal partners around the world to provide advice on model elements for the drafting and interpretation of legislation in line with international human rights standards.
The Panel says this involves:
(1) reviewing the laws that are most frequently used to target media freedom and studying their use in prosecutions around the world;
(2) reviewing national and international standards relevant to such laws;
(3) reviewing existing guidance issued by international experts and bodies; and
(4) providing practical advice to governments, legislators and judges on drafting legislation, including specific guidance on penalties and language that would comply with international human rights law and reflect best practices in this area.
For more information go to: