IFJ Calls For European United Front in Battle to Free Dutch Journalist

THE International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest journalists' organisation and its regional organisation the European Federation of Journalists, today called on European publishers and broadcasters to support the Dutch media's demand for the immediate release of journalist, Koen Voskuil, who has been detained by the Amsterdam court since Friday for refusing to reveal his sources.

Publishers, broadcasters, editors, and journalists in the Netherlands have united to sue the Dutch government for the immediate and unconditional release of Koen Voskuil who was prosecuted over two stories published in Sp!ts, concerning a criminal investigation. Media organisations say the decision to continue the detention of the journalist 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.

"This pressure on journalists to break their moral obligation not to reveal sources of information is intolerable, and should be opposed by all publishers, editors, and broadcasters in Europe," said the IFJ.

The IFJ and other groups are calling 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. "The principles being defended here are at the core of the struggle for press freedom and democracy," said the IFJ. "That is why we need a united front to defend them."