The new year brought some hope for the three al-Jazeera journalists, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed jailed last year in Egypt on charges of spreading false news. On 1 January a court in Cairo order a retrial after prosecutors acknowledged there was serious problems with the verdicts. 

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The NUJ rejects the new draft code of practice for the UK Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which allows the police and other authorities to access journalists' communications without any independent process or judicial oversight. The new draft denies journalists an opportunity to defend the confidentiality of their sources, and information that deserves to be in the public domain won't see the light of day as a consequence. The NUJ believes that RIPA powers have been systematically abused and the law must change.

Source: RIPA – amendments are not enough, UK government needs to change the law

 

Six NUJ members in the UK have discovered that their lawful journalistic and union activities are being monitored and recorded by the Metropolitan Police. They are now taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the British Home Secretary to challenge this ongoing police surveillance.

The surveillance was revealed as part of an ongoing campaign, which began in 2008, during which NUJ members have been encouraged to obtain data held about them by the authorities including the Metropolitan Police 'National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit' (NDEDIU). The supposed purpose of the unit is to monitor and police so called 'domestic extremism'.

In the course of the campaign, a number of NUJ members have obtained data held about them and the union fears there are many more journalists and union members being monitored.

Read full story: NUJ members under police surveillance mount collective legal challenge.

Police forces in Turkey raided media outlets known to be close to a US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. At least 23 people, including journalists and television producers, have been detained so far in Istanbul and elsewhere in the country and are apparently being accused of forming a criminal organization. The NUJ joins the International Federation of Journalists and European Federation of Journalists in condemning the attack on Turkish journalists.

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Long-overdue legislation protecting journalistic sources has now been submitted to the Dutch Lower House. Thomas Bruning, general secretary of the Dutch Union of Journalists, has reacted positively.

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