EFJ Slams French President-candidate over Attack on Freedom of information in France

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today expressed its deep concern

following numerous attacks by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is seeking a

second term, against several French media outlets which undermine freedom of

information in the "homeland of human rights".
The outgoing French president has, for the first time since the start of his

five-year term, decided to lodge a complaint against the website Médiapart,

following claims of Libyan funding for his presidential campaign in 2007. The

candidate labeled the website " a nest" and accused its director of " making up


Mr. Sarkozy also took a swipe at AFP for no obvious reason, saying he was

"ashamed by the decision of the AFP to publish a press alert based on fake

document" (the one that was revealed by Médiapart).
These latest outbursts come after his recent criticism of L'Humanité newspaper 

which he called "stupid", "pathetic", "filthy and

disgusting" after a controversy over the organisation of a demonstration

by the ruling party to celebrate  "real work" on 1 May , in a

challenge to traditional trade unions' demonstrations.
The EFJ stands firmly by French colleagues who were criticised and demands that

the party in power respect the freedom of the press as defined in the European

"These attacks must stop," said Arne König, EFJ President. 

"Democracy in a country is judged in terms of the behavior of political

rulers towards journalists."
EFJ recently denounced the violation of confidentiality of sources in France,

especially in connection with the spying on journalists in the political and

financial Woerth Bettencourt case.
The EFJ supports its member unions and stands in solidarity with them on the

eve of May 3, World Press freedom Day, and a few days ahead of the decisive

Presidential poll in France.
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, please contact the EFJ at +32 2 235.2200