Belgium: journalist arrested

Let us hope this is not an example on how Europe is going to define "Freedom of Speech" and "Human Rights" in the future:

Belgian police raid German magazine office

... Journalist Hans-Martin Tillack told reporters as he was being taken away on Friday that the police were looking for documents dating from three years ago related to the European Union's anti-fraud office, OLAF. He said he was "totally shocked".

This may sound like a naive question but ... was it too much to just ... ask him first? And if he did refuse to answer, there still is something called The European Convention on Human Rights, see Article 10:

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information an ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

From the International Federation of Journalists:

The IFJ says that journalists must be able to protect their sources of information without being subject to official harassment and intrusion and if there are problems with journalists work these can be dealt with without resorting to the courts and intervention by the police.

“This affair smacks of intimidation and overreaction and amounts to an appalling assault upon the fundamental rights of journalists," said White. [Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary--ed.]

Of course, if a controlling body like OLAF does not have any "powers of arrest" (I'm quoting The Eire, see the first link above), it's always handy to ask a country that has too much "powers of arrest", to help out:

Under Belgian law, a lawyer is not allowed to be present during questioning on the first day of police custody, said Mr Tillack’s lawyer.

In a ten hour timespan there's a lot to take with you. Wonder whether Mr.Tillack is going to see his documents back ... . From the same article:

In 1996, a number of Belgian media had their offices and private homes raided by police.

This case was brought to the Court of Human Rights, who recommended that Belgium introduce proper legislation and secure the protection of sources.

Yes. May I point the humble people of OLAF, ánd the even humblier Belgian judges --since they apparently have to listen to what Europe's developing CIA is telling them to do-- to the fact that the case of 'Ernst and Others versus Belgium' was decided to the advantage of the people writing our daily newspapers?
May I also ask our dearly beloved politicians to decide in favour of amendments that guarantee the liberty and the protection of journalists and their sources? (link goes to pdf-files in which the amendments are described. They're in French and in Dutch, according to Belgian law, but I think you'll get the gist of them).

Thanks much to Terrance over at Fainting in Coyles, who brought this whole thing to my attention and who's been asking around a bit, including with Hans-Martin Tillack himself.

Additional: forgot the link to the pdf-files, and in digging it up again I noticed there's actually more than one proposal: here's one, which is titled "Proposal to grant journalists the right to keep their information sources secret", and here's a second one titled "Proposal to protect the journalist's information sources". Translation is mine and may be a bit wobbly.

22:20 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (4) |  Facebook |


yawn. META: you have different font sizes for anchor and hover. It's very confusing because the text moves when you point at a link.

Gepost door: dof | 21-03-04

Thanks for the pointer DoF, much appreciated --care for some payed work ;-))?

Strange though, I think this is the code you're referring to:

.post_content a{
color : #990033;
font-family : Verdana;
font-size: 12px;
text-decoration : underline;

.post_content a:hover{
color : #330066;
font-family : Verdana;
font-size: 12px;
text-decoration : underline;

I don't see any problems in that (I don't see any changing fonts on my system neither, only the color of the hyperlinks should be changing ...)

Gepost door: Flint | 22-03-04

Newsmax.com reporting on this story see URL

Gepost door: LVB | 22-03-04

Skins I wrote my own blog skin for skynetblogs, since the predefined skins tend to give me migraine. Of course I had to host all my buttons and buttons on my own domain. So I'm pretty familiar with the skin layout. You should be aware that the hover inherits some attributes.
And if you decide your own skin, save it first bij Notepad on your local disk. Skynet doesn't preserve it when you accidentally or for fun revert to a predefined skin.

Oh and another thing. The referrer system has shut down permanently. Better remove the text box.

Gepost door: VH | 23-03-04

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