Mapping Media Freedom: In review 9-15 September
Each week, Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project verifies threats, violations and limitations faced by the media throughout Europe.
16 Sep 16

The media_cameras

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.

Greece: Journalist assaulted at Golden Dawn protest against refugee centre

Members of the Greek far-right Golden Dawn party assaulted a journalist at a protest against the presence of a refugee detention centre on the island of Chios on 14 September.

Editor-in-chief of, Ioannis Stevis, was covering the events at the entrance of the camp when a local representative of Golden Dawn, Mattheos Mermigousis, assaulted him and threw his camera on the ground where it broke.

Greek riot police were close by when the assault happened but refused to arrest Mermigkousi despite his request. Stevis has pressed charges against local Golden Dawn representatives.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: TV editor assaulted by masked individual after leaving station

Ismar Imamovic, an editor at local broadcaster RTV Visoko, was assaulted by a masked individual after he left the TV station on 14 September.

The incident occurred shortly after midnight. As Imamovic told Patria, a few seconds after he had left the building a masked man attacked him from behind. “First he struck me down and then beat me brutally,” Imamovic said.

The incident was reported to the police but so far there is no information regarding the culprits’ identity. Political parties have condemned the attack.

Netherlands: Dutch-Turkish journalist arrested while reporting on police

A Dutch-Turkish journalist for the Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah was arrested in the city of Zaandam while reporting on a police operation on 12 September.

Fatih Ozyar was filming a police raid in an area of Zaandam when he was asked by the police to leave. He told the police that he was a journalist but was arrested with eight other people.

“I was treated roughly by four police officers and brought to a police cell where I was left for 15 hours,” he said. Ozyar was released the following day with a fine for not following police instructions.

Italy: Charlie Hebdo to be sued for earthquake cartoon

The municipality of Amatrice announced on 12 September it plans to sue Charlie Hebdo magazine for a cartoon published about the 24 August earthquake that killed 295 people, Le Figaro reported.

The Amatrice municipal officials announced they were suing for libel.

“This is an unbelievable and senseless macabre insult made to victims of a natural disaster,” the municipality’s lawyer said.

Serbia: Journalist association president receives death threats on social media

Nedim Sejdinovic, the president of the Independent Journalist Association of Vojvodina, received death threats and threats of violence via Facebook on 12 September.

The threats came after Sejdinovic participated in a roundtable discussion about challenges in modern day Serbia. He compared Serbia in the 90s with the IS today. He also said that he believed Serbia’s ruling party was deeply corrupt and had destroyed society.

The Independent Association of Journalists in Serbia condemned the threats and urged a special prosecutor for cyber crime to identify those who are responsible.

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