The European Federation of Journalist (EFJ), the
European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), today expressed
its strong support in an initiative request by its Austrian affiliate, the
GPA-djp to the government to strengthen freedom of expression and protection of
sources in Austria.
reference to the European Human Rights Convention and its Article 10 (right to
freedom of expression) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the EFJ
affiliate gpa-djp today criticised in a letter to the President of the National
Council Barbara Prammer and to Federal
chanceler Werner Faymann the lack of respect for press freedom and protection
of sources in Austria. "Only Turkey was considerably more often condemned at
the ECHR", the letter says and requests from the government to take effective
measures in order to guarantee protection of sources, and this through legal
measures but also training and awareness-raising of concerned officials.
events, such as moves by the Austrian prosecuting attorneys to accuse innocent
journalists or the attempts by the judicial authorities to take hold of TV
material without respecting protection of sources, are bad signs that in the
Austrian legal systems the democratic function of journalism and its watchdog
function are not guaranteed.
"We are concerned that in Europe's heartland, protection of sources is not respected, said EFJ
President Arne König", and we fully support our colleagues in their decision to
demand more legal guarantees on protection of sources to be in
line with the case law of the European Court of Human rights. Today's Stand up
for Journalism Day is a day to stand up for journalists' professional rights,
where protection of sources is a central issue."
The EFJ recently organised together with
its British affiliate, the NUJ, a roundtable on protection of sources and
updated its policy document on protection of sources. europe.ifj.org/en/articles/efj-policy-document-on-protection-of-sources;
The EFJ supports the Gewerkschaft der
Privatangestellten, Druck, Journalismus, Papier Journalistengewerkschaft in der GPA-DJP and calls on the Austrian authorities to respect
press freedom and protection of sources.
EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists in 30 countries.
For more information contact the EFJ at
+32 2 235.2200