Dutch Journalist Held Hostage by Amsterdam Court Over Protection of Sources

THE International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest journalists' organisation and its regional organisation the European Federation of Journalists, joined the affiliated NVJ (Netherlands Association of Journalists) in demanding the immediate release of Dutch journalist, Koen Voskuil, who has been detained by the Amsterdam court since Friday because he refused to reveal his sources for two stories published in Spits, concerning a criminal investigation.

"The question of revealing sources is always something for the journalist to decide and this is not a situation where we think a betrayal of principles is justified", said Hans Verploeg, General Secretary of the NVJ

"This is an example of unacceptable pressure on journalists to break their moral obligation not to reveal sources of information. The dilemma journalists face regarding revealing sources is sharply brought into focus when there are crimes of violence or life threatening situations. In this case there are no such pressures. This appears to be the judicial system seeking only to protect to avoid its own embarrassment", said the EFJ. We support the journalist in his action and we call on the authorities to release him immediately.

We call on the authorities to respect the Council of Europe' s Recommendation No. R (2000) 7, on the right of journalists not to disclose their sources of information, and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights specifically with regard to the Goodwin vs. UK case on protection of sources in 1996.

The NVJ has organised an electronic postcard campaign for Koen Voskuil on its website: www.villamedia.nl