This briefing note, prepared by the International Press Institute (IPI) on hehalf of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), provides an update of all press freedom violations documented in Europe throughout August and September 2020, on a country-by-country basis.

It follows previous briefings published in May, June and July which focused on the emerging Covid-19 crisis and attacks on journalists and media workers covering protests.

The document highlights key trends observed by members of the MFRR and presents key documents and reports from consortium members. It covers EU Members States and Candidate Countries

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– Over the last two months, the overall number of violations linked to Covid-19 and state’s responses to the virus remains low compared to early stages of the pandemic.

– Bulgaria emerges as a hotspot after MFRR monitors four incidents including press access restrictions in parliament and various incidents of police violence towards journalists covering ongoing anti-government protests challenging corruption.

– Seven press freedom violations documented in Serbia in August and September, including online and physical death threats, hacking and destruction of property.

– Three serious physical attacks on journalists resulting in hospital treatment documented in Italy, Sweden and Bulgaria.

– License renewal refused for Klubrádió by FIDESZ controlled media council and implosion of Index accelerates government control over Hungarian media.

– Attacks on journalists and media workers covering protests and demonstrations have continued, with six cases documented. Overall numbers down compared to months following lifting of lockdowns.



This briefing was co-ordinated by IPI as part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) project and produced in cooperation with other press freedom partners. The MFRR is supported by the European Commission.