EMMA

Protests in Poland over press freedom restrictions

Monday, December 19, 2016
Brussels, 19 December 2016

On Friday and Saturday protests against press freedom restrictions resumed in Poland after the ruling Law & Justice (PiS) party pushed through regulations that would limit journalists’ access to the Parliament building as from 1 January. The protests that followed saw opposition MPs block access to the main parliamentary chamber and the forced removal of demonstrators who blocked the building's exits by police.

While the plans have been put on hold following a meeting with media representatives late Saturday, they would have significantly restricted the access of journalists to parliamentary proceedings by limiting the ability to broadcast debates to just five officially-approved TV channels, forcing journalists to work from a media center as opposed to conducting interviews throughout the building, and by limiting accreditation badges to two journalists per media organization.

EMMA condemns these attacks on media freedom, and considers such restrictions to be in violation of the founding values of the European Union, particularly those of liberty, democracy and the rule of law.

Since coming to power at the end of 2015, the PiS party has increasingly attempted to tighten control over Poland’s media. This trend towards less media freedom in Poland has caused it to fall 29 places on the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index since 2015. It is now placed 47 out of 180 countries.

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For further information contact:

Karin Fleming
EMMA Communications Manager

karin.fleming@magazinemedia.eu

+32 2 536 0607