Gotham City is an independent media outlet based in Lausanne, specialising in reporting on international financial crime, corruption, fraud and money laundering in Switzerland and abroad.
Founded in 2017, the online magazine is facing more and more legal threats as its audience grows. In 2020 Gotham City faced five lawsuits, all involving requests for ‘super injunctions’ in order to prevent publications. On four occasions Gotham City was able to demonstrate that their reporting involved matters of public interest, however facing multiple cases has a cost and can impact on their ability to carry out their work. It can also lead to self-censorship.
Media Defence supported Gotham City as they faced legal action following the publication of an article about the tax affairs of an Indonesian businessman with family ties to the Indonesian government. The businessman filed an application for an emergency injunction, seeking an order preventing any further publication that mentioned him or his business activity in the palm oil sector. An injunction was granted by the Swiss court. This took place a few days before a referendum on a new free trade agreement between Indonesia and Switzerland, which included provisions for palm oil imports.
On 11 June 2021, the Court lifted the ban. Although the outcome in this case is positive, Gotham City has faced a range of legal challenges brought by politicians, businessmen and other high profile officials for their reporting on public interest matters. This has had a serious impact on their ability to carry out their journalistic work.
Media Defence supported this case and remains committed to providing support to journalists facing SLAPP type cases.
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