Freedom of Press

Politics • European
The Journalist Deniz Yücel sentenced to two years and nine months in prison by the Turkish court
Deniz Yücel in Berlin, October 2011
Deniz Yücel in Berlin, October 2011 Credit: Schreibkraft (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In today's trial, the journalist was sentenced to prison for propaganda for the PKK party, which is banned in turkey. His lawyer was acquitted of charges of propaganda for the Gülen movement and sedition. Yücel himself was not present at the trial. His lawyer, Vesel Ok, has already announced an appeal and says: "We do not accept this judgment." The verdict is not binding yet.

Yücel's case had a heavy impact on the German-Turkish relationship. He was held without charge in a high-security prison in Turkey from February 2017 to February 2018. For months he was in solitary confinement. In May 2019, it was announced that he was maltreated in prison.

Politics • American • US
CNN and Buzzfeed obtain more records of Robert Mueller's investigation
Robert Mueller at the White House, 2021
Robert Mueller at the White House, 2021 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

CNN and Buzzfeed obtained further reports and notes from "special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election [...] in response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits by BuzzFeed News and CNN." The notes contain interviews with major witnesses during Robert Mueller's investigations, including Steve Bannon and multiple witnesses whose names had been retracted.

Some of the key takeaways of these notes are:

  • Steve Bannon, Trump's former campaign manager, expressed severe mistrust of Roger Stone, accusing Stone of having leaked damaging information to the press to get Paul Manafort as a replacement for Corey Lewandowski as campaign manager. Bannon called Stone a "nasty piece of work" with a "sketchy background."

  • Bannon described Trump asking frequently about "dirt" on Hillary Clinton and her missing emails to hurt her campaign. According to Bannon, Trump assumed the emails could contain information that would link "crooked Hillary" to the conspiracy theory about an illicit uranium deal.

  • FBI agents visited a male, unnamed witness who asked "if the agents were there to inquire about the campaign, and about Erik Prince, a military contractor and unofficial adviser to Trump’s campaign."
Politics • European • Germany
German interior minister Horst Seehofer announces that he will file police report over news article
Picture of Horst Seehofer from 2019
Picture of Horst Seehofer from 2019 Credit: Patrick Büttgen, phoenix (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The German minister of the Interior, Building and Community Horst Seehofer has publicly announced that he plans on filing a formal report to the police over an opinion piece that was published by the Berlin newspaper "tageszeitung" (taz). In the German publication "Bild" he stated that (translated) "A disinhibition of words inevitably leads to a disinhibition of deeds and to excesses of violence, just as we have now seen in Stuttgart. We must not accept this any longer". The satirically meant article in question had discussed the topic of abolishing the police and mentioned the option that they instead could be put on a landfill.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook blocks article from "The Guardian" and bans users through automated anti-nudity system

The social media network has blocked a link of the British daily newspaper "The Guardian" on the grounds of nudity because the preview image of the article contained a historical photo of Aboriginal men in chains even though it did not show naked people. Facebook took down the post of at least one user and multiple are reporting that they are unable to share the link even after a Facebook spokesperson apologized for the "mistake" made by an automated system.

Politics • American • US
ACLU Minnesota files class-action lawsuit against police on behalf of attacked journalists

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has announced that the ACLU Minnesota has "filed a class-action lawsuit overnight on behalf of journalists who were targeted and attacked by Minneapolis and Minnesota police". This follows the repeated attacks on journalists from different publishers and agencies by the police during the protests.

Politics • American • US
Australian embassy contacts US government over attacked journalists
A screen-capture shows Network Seven cameraman Tim Myers and reporter Amelia Brace as they were assaulted by police officers while covering protests outside the White House
A screen-capture shows Network Seven cameraman Tim Myers and reporter Amelia Brace as they were assaulted by police officers while covering protests outside the White House Credit: Video Reproduction

After Tim Myers and Amelia Brace, journalists of the Australian Channel 7, were beaten by police outside the White House while covering the ongoing protests the Australian embassy has contacted the US State Department to shed light on the situation.

One of the journalists has stated that "It was an absolutely terrifying experience but we came through it together" when they were beaten with a truncheon, hit with a riot shield and punched in the face by the police.

Channel 7 is yet to make a formal police complaint.

Politics • American • US
Police arrests CNN team reporting from Minneapolis protests

CNN has announced via their twitter account that a reporter and his production team have been arrested by the police as they were reporting from the violent protests in Minneapolis. The media company claims that the arrest is a "clear violation of their First Amendment rights" and that the reporter and team had identified themselves as journalists.

Politics • European • Germany
Highest German court rules that internet surveillance of foreigners in foreign countries is unconstitutional

The German Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that the current regulations regarding the surveillance of foreigners outside of Germany are unconstitutional. The judges remarked that the "strategic international telecommunications surveillance" conflicts with the constitutional rights protecting the secrecy of telecommunications and the freedom of press.

Politics • European
Second Hungarian Taken by Police for Writing on Facebook

Five policemen showed up at a man's home in the town of Gyula, Hungary, to take him in. The reason: he posted on Facebook about the 1170 beds that were emptied in the local hospital. This is the second time Orbán's "war on fake news" has resulted in action by the police since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in Hungary, when the government bill giving the Prime Minister near-total power was passed, including a section that criminalizes the spread of misinformation about the virus. During the four hours of questioning at the local police precinct, the man kept asking for his lawyer until he got released but was left to get home on his own means, regardless of his physical disability.

Law
Suspects of attack on German camera team stay silent

After the attack against the ZDF-Team and three security guards on 1st of May 2020 the investigators are still searching for an attack motive. All suspected persons are using their rights to remain silent and further investigations haven't brought up conclusive evidence so far.