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Safety of Journalists Weekly

19 – 25 September 2023
Alerts

Member states
Denmark: Private Address and call for attacks Against President of Danish Union of Journalists Published on X. On  September 14, 2023, the President of the Danish Union of Journalists, Tine Johansen, received an email with a screenshot of a tweet calling for attacks against her, as well as disclosing her private address.

Czech Republic: iStories journalists Alesya Marokhovskaya and Irina Dolinina threatened and surveilled in Prague. On September 19, 2023, it became known that Alesya Marokhovskaya and Irina Dolinina, two journalists with the news website iStories, have been receiving threats from unknown persons since the beginning of March.

FranceDisclose journalist Ariane Lavrilleux searched and taken into custody. At 6 a.m on September 19, 2023 in Marseille, officers of the Directorate-General for Internal Security (DGSI), accompanied by a judge, searched the home of Ariane Lavrilleux, a journalist with the French investigative media Disclose, and took her into custody. After 39 hours of police custody she was released.

AzerbaijanMikroskop Media’s Website hacked. On September 16, 2023, the news outlet Mikroskop Media reported a hacking attempt. Its website was taken down and the administration panel and the backups were deleted.

Other countries 

Belarus: Belarusian Investigative Centre labelled as “extremist”. On September 15, 2023, the Belarusian Supreme Court, acting on the request of the Office of the Prosecutor General, labelled the Belarusian Investigative Centre, an investigative media outlet based in the Czech Republic, as “extremist”.

Russian Federation: Ukrainian TV presenter Maria Efrosinina sentenced to seven years in prison. The Basmanny District Court of Moscow has convicted the Ukrainian TV presenter Maria Efrosinina in absentia of “dissemination of knowingly false information about the use of the Armed Forces motivated by political, ideological and national hatred” and sentenced her to seven years in prison.

Updates, Member States

Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot journalist Ali Kismir Faces up to 10 years in prison for “insulting” Security Forces. On September 20, 2023, the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Union, Basın-Sen, Bay-Sen, KTAMS and Dev-İş announced a new protocol and a joint committee to work together in defence of press freedom. The organisations said in a statement: “The threatening policies and attitudes that have been tried to be implemented by the political power in recent times have become a threat to all segments of society, including journalists who use critical expressions”.

Türkiye: Four Turkish journalists sentenced on criminal charges ahead of elections. On September 19, 2023, ruling in a regular trial, the Tatvan 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced Aygül to six months in prison. The journalist told CPJ that he will appeal the judgment once the court publishes the grounds of the verdict. A few days before two men seen on video assaulting Aygül were released from prison pending trial, which is the subject of another Platform alert.

Ukraine: Journalist Arsen Chepurnyi injured in Russian missile strike in Ukraine. On September 15, 2023, the editorial offices of the online media Cheline were destroyed in the strike.

Other countries

Russian Federation*: Wall Street Journal Correspondent Evan Gershkovich Arrested in Russia on Spying Charges. On September 19, 2023, the Moscow City Court deferred consideration of Gershkovich’s latest appeal against his extended pre-trial detention, on grounds of ‘procedural irregularities’. The court did not specify the nature of the irregularities. It ruled for the case to be returned to the Lefortovo District Court for the irregularities to be removed.

Russian Federation: On September 12, 2023, an unspecified government agency blocked four webpages from the Kyrgyzstani news website 24.kg about the Russian aggression on Ukraine and two articles from Payom. Roskomnadzor also informed that some webpages of those outlets were blocked. However, according to Payom’s head of broadcasting and a 24.kg report, both websites were fully blocked in the Russian Federation. 24.kg informed that it refused several requests by Roskomnadzor for removal in 2022 because the articles did not violate Kyrgyz law. Payom, which is Europe-based and blocked in Tajikistan but broadcasts to Tajik nationals in the Russian Federation, did not receive any takedown demands.

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