European Commission calls for protection of journalists

Reacting to Greek website’s threats to Anadolu Agency staff, spokesman says attacks on journalists need to be investigated

Agnes Szucs  | 04.09.2020 - Update : 05.09.2020
European Commission calls for protection of journalists


Journalists need to be protected during their work, and national authorities should investigate all kind of attacks against them, the European Commission’s press service said Friday. 

The institution’s chief spokesman, Eric Mamer, and his colleague responsible for justice and rule of law affairs, Christian Wigand, reacting to a Greek website targeting Anadolu Agency staff, said the European Union has “a clear commitment to media pluralism and media freedom”.

“Journalists need to be protected during their work,” Wigand said.

“Journalists must be allowed to operate … even when there are tensions [between two countries] in a manner which allows the public to be informed,” Mamer added. He also pointed out that EU member states have the responsibility to ensure these rights of press freedom.

“In the EU, we have rule of law and a system in place where the member states are responsible to carry out investigations on allegations or acts of violence against journalists,” he said.

The Greece-based anti-Turkish website published Wednesday a provocative editorial, threatening Turkish journalists from Anadolu Agency and calling them “spies”.

The Athens correspondent and photojournalist traveled to the Meis island to cover recent developments of energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Greek website published the passport identity page of one of the journalists which should only be kept by Greek authorities and not shared with anyone.

“Why do we allow Turkish spies of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to go to Meis? Why did we let them set foot on the island? Don’t we know what these MIT spies are trying to do? We hope the authorities will do what is necessary!” it said.

The Global Journalism Council Thursday condemned the “act of targeting press members”.

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