Mapping Media Freedom: In review 30 June-7 July
Each week, Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project verifies threats, violations and limitations faced by the media throughout Europe
08 Jul 16

Click on the dots for more information on the incidents.

Each week, Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project verifies threats, violations and limitations faced by the media throughout the European Union and neighbouring countries. Here are five recent reports that give us cause for concern.

Turkey: DIHA reporter arrested in Batman

4 July 2016: Dicle News Agency reporter Serife Oruc was sent to court on the charges of being “member of an illegal organisation”, news website Bianet reported. Oruc was arrested with two other men who were in the same car with Oruc, Emrullah Oruc and Muzaffar Tunc.

All three were transferred to a prison in Batman.

UK: Journalist claims Telegraph censored article critical of Theresa May

2 July 2016: The Daily Telegraph pulled a comment piece critical of Theresa May as May fought to become the leader of the Conservatives.

The piece was published on 1 July in the news section of the Telegraph but was subsequently taken down from the website. It was entitled “Theresa May is a great self-promoter but a terrible Home Secretary”.

“Daily Telegraph pulled my comment piece on Theresa May ministerial record after contact from her people #censorship”, journalist Jonathan Foreman tweeted on 2 July.

The journalist authorised Media Guido to republish the piece and it can be read on their website.

Russia: Free Word NGO declared a “foreign agent”

1 July 2016: The Pskov office of the Russian justice ministry declared Svobodnoye Slovo (Free Word), an NGO which publishes the independent newspaper Pskovskaya gubernia, a “foreign agent”.

The decision was made after an assessment of the organisation was conducted by the Pskov regional justice ministry department. It established that the organisation “receives money and property from another NGO which receives money and property from foreign sources”.

In addition, the statement said the NGO is running “political activities” because the newspaper is covering political issues.

Independent regional Pskovskaya Gubernia became well-known after a series of articles revealing Russian casualties in eastern Ukraine in the beginning of the Donbass conflict in the summer of 2014.

Azerbaijan: Editor sentenced to three months in jail for extortion

1 July 2016: Fikrat Faramazoglu, editor-in-chief of, a website that documents cases and arrests related to the ministry of national security, was arrested last Friday. He has been given a three-month sentence after being accused of extorting money by threats.

Faramazoglu’s wife said a group of three unidentified men showed up at their home, confiscating his laptop. Documents and even CDs from his children’s weddings were confiscated without any warrant. The three men informed Faramazoglu’s wife that her husband had been arrested.

Russia: Police detains Meduza freelancer covering death of children in Karelia

30 June 2016: Police detained Danil Alexandrov, a freelance journalist for Meduza news website working in Republic of Karelia reporting on the death of 14 children in a boating accident on Syamozero Lake. He was accused of working “without a license“.

Alexandrov was detained on his way out of the Essoilsky village administration building, where he spoke to the head of the town. The police reportedly approached Alexandrov and threatened to confiscate all his equipment unless he signed aan administrative offence report. He signed the document.

“They hinted that it might be necessary to confiscate ‘evidence of my journalistic activities’,” Alexandrov told Meduza, adding that the police insisted the publication was a foreign media outlet and had to be accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Foreign Ministry’s rules on accreditation discuss full-time staff members of foreign media outlets but do not comment on freelancers. Alexandrov’s court case is scheduled for 6 July. He faces a maximum penalty of 1,000 rubles (€14) for working “without a license”.

Mapping Media Freedom

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By Ryan McChrystal

Assistant Online Editor at Index on Censorship Ryan McChrystal is Assistant Editor, Online at Index on Censorship, where he provides support for the news and online team in addition to creating content. He has previously held various editorial roles, including as a local reporter, a market reporter and most recently as a features writer at an SME-focused magazine. He graduated in history and politics from Queen’s University, Belfast. Contact: [email protected] | public key