Dutch Journalist Released After Europe-wide Protests

THE IFJ and its regional organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), join their affiliated Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) in welcoming the release of Koen Voskuil yesterday. The Amsterdam Court of Justice had detained Voskuil since 22 September for refusing to reveal his sources.

Publishers, broadcasters, editors, and journalists in the Netherlands stood united and sued the Dutch government for the immediate and unconditional release of Koen Voskuil who was prosecuted over two stories published in Spits, concerning a criminal investigation. Media organisations said that continued detention of the journalist was unreasonable and contrary to article 10 of the European Treaty of Human Rights, as there is no overbearing interest to deny the journalist's right to protect his sources.

The journalist still has to appear in the criminal court case to give testimony, so, notwithstanding his immediate release, the issue at hand over the protection of sources still stands.

The Dutch Association of Editors and the Dutch Association of Journalist have decided to set up a joint commission to study legal procedures concerning protection of sources, including legal standards used internationally.