Reporters Without Borders
Fugitive former judge Gholamreza Mansouri has been arrested in Romania over corruption charges pressed by Tehran, which is seeking his extradition, media reported.
Press freedom activists are demanding meanwhile that Mansouri be tried in Bucharest for allegedly ordering the arrest and torture of at least 20 journalists.
But rights groups and the opposition now fear a repeat of events in 2015. In that year, the Orban government introduced controversial "crisis" measures to stop an influx of migrants that are still in force today - despite the dramatic decline in the number of migrants and refugees coming to Hungary since then.
'Crisis' measures that risk becoming permanent:
"And once again this thesis has emerged that authoritarian regimes which want to establish greater power are taking on those who have different opinions," Maksuti told BIRN.
Governments exploiting pandemic to curb media freedoms
A cyclist wearing protective mask passes in the almost empty Preseren square, in Ljubljana. Photo: EPA-EFE/IGOR KUPLJENIK.
Today, it is more important than ever for journalists to be able to work freely and accurately to combat misinformation and to provide citizens with access to vital information. This was stated by a European Commission spokesman at a press conference in response to a question related to Reporters Without Borders' annual media freedom ranking.
Media freedom in Turkey, Bulgaria and Montenegro is the worst in the region, according to the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, published on Tuesday by Reporters Without Borders - but other Balkan countries have largely failed to improve.
"In southern Europe, a crusade by the authorities against the media is very active," the report warns.
International media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, RSF, has called on the Serbian authorities to investigate how much surveillance goes on in the country - after the Serbian news agency Tanjug on February 16 published a response written by the Defence Minister to a never-published opinion piece by a former defence minister.
Since then, however, the fight to defend journalistic freedom has flagged, and public mobilisation has proved to be fleeting — including in the case of Charlie Hebdo.
In January 2019, the magazine's staff complained in an editorial that people no longer wanted to hear about the shootings. "Perhaps you should move on!" they were reportedly told.