Media Defence is providing emergency support to Grzegorz Rzeczkowski, an investigative journalist with Poland’s prominent political weekly Polityka. Rzeczkowski is facing multiple lawsuits as a result of his reporting into the “wiretapping scandal”, which rocked Polish politics in 2014.
The case typifies the legal harassment of the independent media in Poland through vexatious litigation. This type of litigation is designed to drain resources and chill critical reporting. Such lawsuits have increased significantly since Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power in 2015. PiS officials and their allies have systematically pursued critical media outlets with expensive and time-consuming litigation. Moreover, journalists have also been targeted in their personal capacity – many facing heavy fines, bans from journalism, and even custodial sentences as a result of baseless legal claims.
These tactics are not restricted to Poland alone, but are increasingly applied across Europe, and further afield. They represent a serious threat to freedom of expression and press freedom. Media Defence is committed to providing support to ensure journalists are able to resist these abusive tactics.
If you are a journalist or citizen journalist in need of support, please click here.
The partnership The Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) has now launched its Advisory Services microsite. This microsite builds on the network’s existing work, offering a range of resources and services to better support watchdog journalists. As part of the project, we’ll be providing legal defence to selected watchdog media organisations in partnership with GIJN. We […]
Media Defence has filed an application to the European Court on behalf of Gulnara Mehdiyeva. To read the blog summarising the case, click here. The Azeri campaign against journalists The context in which Gulnara Mehdiyeva works is a difficult one. Azerbaijan is one of the most restrictive environments for freedom of expression in the world. […]
Criminal Court in Lecce acquits journalist in case supported by Media Defence’s partner Ossigeno per L’Informazione A Lecce court has acquitted the journalist and editor in chief of the online newspaper Il Tacco d’Italia, Marilú Mastrogiovanni, of charges of aggravated defamation. Three individuals, including a former mayor and a former council member of Salento, brought […]