An investigation by the ECPMF has revealed that journalists and camera crews are being threatened by right-wing and left-wing political activists, especially when they cover demonstrations, but also in their private lives and social media.
Therefore the ECPMF asks the German security authorities and members of government to acknowledge their responsibility towards journalists and press freedom by securing their work against offenders from all extremist groups.
This is important, because the massively increasing number of reported incidents affects press freedom in three ways. Firstly, when people accuse journalists of belonging to the “Lying Press” and refuse to talk to the them, people won´t be informed because journalists can`t cover the issue. So the right of freedom of information is violated. Secondly, if journalists are under threat and afraid to cover certain issues as populist demonstrations, press freedom is in danger because journalists are restricted in their options, how and what to report. And in the third place, if a journalist is physically attacked or severely threatened due to his or her work, it’s a crime which has to be prosecuted.
As Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom I ask the heads of the German security authorities and politicians to use their power to prevent more of these alarming incidents against journalists and press freedom from happening.