Austria: Interior Ministry wants to restrict information for “critical media“


The Association of European Journalists condemns a proposal by the Austrian ministry of Interior to restrict information for what they called „critical media“. A ministry spokesman close to Minister Herbert Kickl (Freedom Party FPO) told police authorities to favour media outlets which report friendly about the ministry and police affairs and withhold information to those newspapers which report „one-sided and negative“ about the Ministry and police.

In an e-mail leaked to the press Monday evening the spokesman recommended to „restrict communication with these media to only the most necessary (legally required) degree”.

With these proposals the Austrian minister once again showed his disrespect of media freedom“ says AEJ-President Otmar Lahodynsky, an Austrian journalist. „A few weeks ago , in the scandal about the Austrian Anti-Terror and Intelligence office BVT, which was raided by police loyal to Mr Kickl, there were rumours that private homes of investigative journalists might be searched by police.“ Five Austrian editors-in-chief and AEJ warned of any such attacks on press-freedom.

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