IFJ and EFJ Welcome Latest Victory for Protection of Sources

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European group the Federation of

Journalists (EFJ) have welcomed the decision of the European Court of Human

Rights (ECHR) on 28 June in case of protection of sources brought by

journalists against France, following the searches of the newsrooms of the

French newspapers, L’Equipe and Le Point, and the confiscations

of material conducted on 13 January.


“This is a victory for all

European journalists,” stated Stephen Pearse, EFJ General Secretary. “But it is

also a wake-up call for the political, judiciary and police authorities of all

Member States, particularly France, which haven’t yet understood the rules of

the democratic game concerning press freedom”.


This case arose as the

French  magistrates and investigators wanted to access to the sources in a

doping affair within the Cofidis team. Given that the French judiciary system

failed to recognize a violation of article 10 of the European Convention on

Human Rights (ECHR) in the case, the International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) and its affiliate in France, the National Union of Journalists (SNJ)

lodged an application before the European Court of Human Rights. 


The European Court not only

reaffirmed its jurisprudence in this regard but also extended it, stressing

that “the rights of journalists to protect  their sources  shall

not be considered as a privilege that can  be granted or withdrawn on the

basis of the legality or illegality of these sources, but shall be considered

as an inalienable  right to information commanding the highest  considerable.


In other words, the protection of

sources is an inherent feature of the right to information, which has nothing

to do with the nature of these sources.


The EFJ is the European group of the

International Federation of Journalists
The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists

in 30 countries
 For more information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235.2200