Can Dündar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyyet, one of Turkey’s most popular newspapers, was awaiting an appeal on his case in Turkey from Germany when the news of the coup d’etat in his homeland came. Scores of arrests followed, and his lawyer advised that Dündar, who had just narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in May 2016 outside a courtroom and was facing over five years in prison for allegedly leaking state secrets, stay in Germany. He recalls that it was the hardest decision in his life, 40 years of which he had devoted to working as a journalist in Turkey.
Journalists covering the G20 Summit in Hamburg in July were subject to assaults, intimidation and some lost their accreditation, according to verified incidents documented by Index on Censorship’s project Mapping Media Freedom.
What is worse: intelligence services gathering data without any legal basis or secret services operating within a legal framework that allows them to obtain vast amounts of personal information?
Pressure on journalists in Europe increased substantially during the first quarter of 2016, reports submitted to Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom platform show. Between 1 January and 31 March 2016, Mapping Media Freedom’s network of 19 correspondents and other journalists submitted a total of 301 violations of press freedom to the database, a 30 per cent rise over the fourth quarter of 2015.
Freedom of the press has always been a pretty reliable litmus test for the state of any democracy. However, as Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project shows
Over a month after the Berlin-based blog Netzpolitik.org was charged with treason for publishing leaked government documents, details are trickling out about the extent German authorities went to in order to build a case against the journalists running the website. The German federal attorney general’s legal case turned out to be flimsy and ultimately collapsed on 10 August. Leading up to the decision to drop the case, public outrage soared over the treason accusation. Journalists associations jumped to the cause and a Berlin protest attracted thousands of supporters. Donations poured in to help the bloggers’ legal battle.