Balkans | Journalists in Europe are persecuted and investigated for their reporting

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Balkans |  Journalists in Europe are persecuted and investigated for their reporting

In Europe, there are journalists who have been accused of the news they make and for various reasons, have been prosecuted and prosecuted.

On May 3, World Press Freedom Day was celebrated in Europe.

In some countries in Europe, journalists face treatment such as detention for their reporting. These countries include Poland, Finland, France, England and Italy.

In Poland, Spanish journalist Pablo González was arrested for “being an agent of Russia” just after the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War.

It is reported that Gonzalez, who was considered a “dangerous prisoner” and was allegedly held in harsh conditions, was able to meet his family for the first time after nine months of imprisonment.

According to information in the Polish media, the detention of González, who allegedly had Spanish and Russian passports, was finally extended for another 3 months in March.

Two journalists in Finland have been found guilty of revealing national secrets

In Finland, a court convicted two journalists in January of divulging national secrets through coverage of the Finnish Defense Intelligence Agency in the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper on December 16, 2017.

While the news was submitted to the court about 4 years after the date of its publication, it was met with reactions, and after a long investigation and judicial process, the matter became final with the court’s decision that the journalists Tomo Pitelainen and Laura Hälmainen disclosed state secrets.

Journalist Pietilainen was fined around €4,200, while Halminen, who was said to have played a lesser role in the news, was not punished.

The charges against Kaleigh Silverberg, who was the paper’s political editor at the time, were dismissed.

It was also decided that Helsingin Sanomat would remove the news from its website.

– Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, imprisoned in the UK since 2019

WikiLeaks, founded by Julian Assange, revealed dark facts such as the indiscriminate killing of large numbers of civilians by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the concealment of these massacres and the torture of prisoners, and the release of 251,000 secret documents on October 28, 2010, proving the crimes. committed by the United States.

Assange was arrested on April 11, 2019 from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had taken refuge in June 2012, and was arrested for “breach of bail conditions” and placed in Belmarsh Prison in London.

Assange, imprisoned in the United Kingdom since 2019, continues his legal struggle against the United States, as he exposed his massacres.

3 journalists summoned to testify by an intelligence unit in France

Three journalists in France were called to testify by France’s domestic intelligence unit (DGSI) in 2022 because of their 2018 reporting that some senior officers in the French army had been nepotistic for many years in agreements related to the service of transporting military personnel, including operations. in the Sahel region of Africa.

The journalists, including Disclose co-founder Geoffrey Levolci, charged with criminal charges and reporting on France, face up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to €75,000 if found guilty of revealing the identity of a soldier.

The exposure of many local and foreign journalists to police violence during weeks of anti-pension reform demonstrations in France has also generated controversy.

The trial of a journalist in Italy for insulting Meloni

The recent debate about freedom of the press in Italy has been triggered by the libel trial of journalist and writer Roberto Saviano.

Journalist and investigative writer Saviano, known for his articles on human rights and against the mafia, is on trial for insulting Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who was the leader of the opposition party at the time, on the TV show in which he participated in 2020.

The litigation process, which began in November 2022, is still ongoing.

Journalists covering protests in Belgium arrested

In Belgium, reporters from the national channel RTBF and 3 people from the technical team were arrested while covering the protest of the new refugee center being set up outside Brussels in 2018. The incident sparked a public reaction.

Journalist Yassin Akouh, who followed the demonstrations after the Morocco-France match in the 2022 World Cup, was arrested. No official statement was issued by the authorities regarding the reasons for the arrest of Akoh and RTBF correspondents.

It is noteworthy that journalists who followed the protests with wide participation in the country were subjected to police violence.

It is common for police to stop journalists on duty from shooting with harsh interventions.

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