From: Exit Staff
Attacks on Women Journalists Increase in Europe During 2021

According to data published on Friday (14 October) in the Europe Report by the Coalition For Women In Journalism, attacks on women journalists in Europe are increasing.

According to data processed by the Coalition, 149 violations against women media workers were documented between January and October 2021, a 16.7% increase in the total number for 2020. This demonstrates a concerning rise in the number of reported cases while noting that many go unreported.

Threats included detention, physical and sexual assault, violence and intimidation, organized troll campaigns, arrest, harassment, state oppression, sexism, and racism, amongst many others.

Albania made the list of offending countries with the case of Exit journalist Alice Taylor who received a death threat in August. The case has still not been adequately investigated or concluded by the Albanian police.

In the Western Balkans, Montenegro had three violations, and Croatia witnessed two. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia both had one incident each.

During the last nine months, the worst offender was Belarus with 46 cases, followed by Russia with 28 and Georgia with 16. Surprisingly, the UK noted 11 cases and Northern Ireland an additional one.

The most common violation was detention, followed by legal harassment and physical assault. The Coalition reported that during the time surveyed, at least 42 women journalists were detained in Europe.

Seeing the large number of cases where journalists’ rights have been violated, The Coalition For Women In Journalism calls on European countries to consider the concerns and take necessary measures against those interfering with freedom of speech and expression. 

The report was launched just before the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist who was murdered on 16 October 2021. The Coalition created a video, bringing together members of the Caruana Galizia family and international media stakeholders to remember her.