MFRR SUMMIT – Criminalising Europe’s Free Press: Legislative Threats to Media Freedom

Laws that target media freedom reconfigure the landscape away from journalists, media workers and outlets. Throughout 2020, countries across Europe, oftentimes using the COVID-19 pandemic as cover, took to creating, reforming or rescinding different laws with an aim to undermine journalistic safety, media pluralism, as well as the transparency and accountability of those in power. Where the rule of law is weak, these laws are enacted with little opposition and scrutiny, leaving journalists having to navigate a new and curtailed landscape, within which they continue to hold the powerful to account. This leaves too many journalists vulnerable to regulatory abuses, arrest and detention, fines or the closure of outlets or platforms. Led by ARTICLE 19, this panel will dissect the legal landscapes of Albania, France and Turkey, looking at proposed defamation reform, restrictions on the press’s engagement with police and a systemic erosion of the legal foundation that protects journalism.


  • Prof. Dr. Yaman Akdeniz, İfade Özgürlüğü Derneği (Turkey)
  • Besar Likmeta, BIRN Albania (Albania)
  • Sarah Massoud, Syndicat de la Magistrature (France)
  • CHAIR: Sarah Clarke, ARTICLE 19 (UK)

The online panel will take place on Friday, 19 March 2021 from 14.00 to 15.00 – Turkey time.

ARTICLE 19 – A picture of rapid decline: Turkey’s record on freedom of expression – Online Panel

Looking back over the last four years, what lessons can be drawn for civil society and media actors in Turkey? How can NGOs in Turkey, and those who support them around the world, make better use of international human rights mechanisms to hold Turkey accountable? What can tech companies do to protect the rights of their users in Turkey? How can we best challenge the Turkish authorities’ narrative that all detained journalists are terrorists? How can civil society members find the strength to continue their work?

Join ARTICLE 19’s panel of experts to discuss these questions and more. The panel will discuss Turkey’s record over the last four-year cycle, react to Turkey’s adoption of the UPR and give an update on the latest developments.

Moderator: Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia Programme, ARTICLE 19


  • Yaman Akdeniz, Academic, cyber-rights expert and Co-founder of IFOD
  • Nurcan Baysal, Independent Journalist
  • Mehves Evin, IPI representative and Journalist 
  • Andrew Finkel, Journalist and Co-founder of P24 

The online panel will take place on Monday, 28 September from 18.00 to 19.30 – Turkey time.

Digital Censorship: Turkey’s New Social Media Law and Its Implications for Free Media

The IPI Turkish National Committee hosted the English-language webinar “Digital Censorship: Turkey’s New Social Media Law and Its Implications for Free Media” following the passage of Turkey’s controversial new social media regulations in July which dramatically expands government control over free expression on social media and online platforms.

An initial Turkish-language webinar on the social media law was held to mark Turkey’s Press Day on July 24, which marks the abolition of official censorship in 1908 during the late Ottoman Empire.

Speakers included:

  • Banu Güven, Anchorwoman, journalist for DW Turkish
  • Sergey Lagodinsky, MEP (Greens/EFA), Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee
  • Emre Kızılkaya, Vice-chair of IPI Turkey National Committee; Project editor,
  • Yaman Akdeniz, Academic and cyber-rights expert
  • Scott Griffen, IPI Deputy Director