UK / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in UK since 1992

  
A police car is seen in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 26, 2020. CPJ recently joined a statement calling on the region's police and politicians to thoroughly investigate threats made against journalists. (Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)

CPJ joins call condemning threats against journalists in Northern Ireland

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined 20 free expression groups, activist organizations, and journalists in a joint statement condemning recent threats against journalists working for the Sunday Life and Sunday World newspapers in Northern Ireland.

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Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, British then-Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and Canadian then-Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland address a news conference on media freedom in Dinard, France on April 5, 2019. A panel of legal experts led by Clooney recommend more sanctions targeted at press freedom violators. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe)

CPJ welcomes call for targeted sanctions to protect journalists

When the U.K. launched an initiative to support media freedom in the waning days of Jeremy Hunt’s tenure as foreign minister, CPJ was skeptical that this government-led effort would be more than a feel-good campaign. However, we chose to engage, given the current vacuum of leadership on press freedom globally. As the U.S. pulls back…

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Members of the media prepare a broadcast report outside Sandringham Estate, the private residence of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, in eastern England, on January 13, 2020. A plan by Duke and Duchess of Sussex to change the rules of media engagement raised issues of access and what constitutes “credible media” in the United Kingdom this week. (AFP/Ben Stansall)

In the UK, ‘Megxit’ and Downing Street briefing change put focus on press access

Journalists and press associations in the United Kingdom this week debated issues of access and what constitutes “credible media,” as royal correspondents scrutinized the fall out from “Megxit”—the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s plan to step back from royal duties and the pool system of news coverage—and the Society of Editors raised concerns with Prime…

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A mural memorializing journalist Lyra McKee is pictured in central Belfast on May 7, 2019. Leona O’Neill was harassed online after reporting from the scene when McKee was shot. (AFP/Paul Faith)

Q&A: Leona O’Neill on the aftermath of Lyra McKee’s killing in Northern Ireland

Leona O’Neill was reporting in Londonderry’s Creggan estate on April 18, 2019, the night Lyra McKee, 29, was struck by a bullet. Considered a rising star in the British and Irish media, McKee was the first journalist to be killed in Northern Ireland since 2001, CPJ noted at the time.

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Metropolitan Police officers carry WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his arrest, following the Ecuadoran government's termination of asylum, in London on April 11, 2019. (Adrian Cotterill/Daily Dooh via Reuters)

Why the prosecution of Julian Assange is troubling for press freedom

After a seven-year standoff at the Ecuadoran embassy in London, British police yesterday arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange–a development press freedom advocates had long feared.

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Theresa May, pictured in Brussels in March 2016. Her government is proposing an Espionage Act under which journalists who obtain leaked information could face lengthy prison sentences. (AP/Virginia Mayo,File)

UK’s proposed Espionage Act will treat journalists like spies

Journalists in Britain are becoming increasingly alarmed by the government’s apparent determination to prevent them from fulfilling their mission to hold power to account. The latest manifestation of this assault on civil liberties is the so-called Espionage Act. If passed by parliament, it could lead to journalists who obtain leaked information, along with the whistle…

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Labour MP Chris Bryant holds copies of the Leveson Report into press ethics in 2012, which led to the creation of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act. A consultation on enacting the restrictive legislation, which came about as a result of the inquiry, ends January 10. (AFP/Justin Tallis)

UK’s Section 40 press law would curb independent, investigative journalism

British journalists say the future of independent and investigative journalism in the U.K. is at stake, as a deadline for public consultation on press regulation ends tomorrow. If it is implemented, Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 would leave news outlets not signed up to an official press regulator liable for the…

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The EU flag hangs in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. A series of votes on legislation could impact journalists in member states. (AFP/Patrick Hertzog)

EU rulings on whistleblowers and right-to-be-forgotten laws puts press freedom at risk

European journalists were reminded today that their freedom to report is not only determined by national laws, but increasingly by European institutions. Today, after years of political battle, the European Parliament adopted the Passenger Name Record directive, the Data Protection Package, and the Trade Secrets Protection Act. The stakes were immense and the debates long…

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As police seize Newsnight laptop, concerns grow at reach of UK counter-terrorism measures

For journalists investigating jihadist networks, the UK is proving to be no safe haven. British police used special powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 in August to seize the laptop of Secunder Kermani, a reporter for BBC Two’s flagship news show “Newsnight,” according to reports. “They required the BBC to hand over communication between the…

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Classifying media and encryption as a threat is danger to press freedom

The U.K. prides itself on its commitment to free expression, but the latest revelations of surveillance of journalists and calls by Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, to ban secure messaging belie the country’s drift toward a more restrictive environment for the press. The revelations further underscore the threat surveillance by Western democracies poses to journalism,…

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