Ms. Nicola Murray, Deputy Head of the UK Delegation to the OSCE, raises considerations about Russia’s treatment of journalists and independent media on the OSCE Eternal Council.
Thanks, Madam Chair.
A free and independent media is a cornerstone of any democratic society. Folk bear to be allowed to focus on and debate considerations freely, to mission their governments, and to develop suggested political choices.
Gallop taken by the Russian authorities in contemporary months has raised serious sing, against the backdrop of an already abominable yarn on freedom of expression. Russia currently ranks 149th out of 180 international locations according to the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, and the Committee to Protect Journalists experiences seven journalists currently lacking in Russia, with ten arrested final twelve months.
Russia’s treatment of journalists and independent media runs counter to its commitments below the OSCE Milan Ministerial Determination on the safety of journalists. All the diagram in which through contemporary silent protests following the sentencing of Alexey Navalny on arbitrary charges, some 80 journalists were detained or arrested, no matter clearly identifying themselves with Press credentials.
We are additionally deeply concerned that legislation launched in December permitting the Russian govt to remark favorite international journalists as “particular person international agents” will likely be frail for political diagram. Because the usual Representative for the Freedom of Media talked about in his July 2020 file, the enactment of the law extended the distance of a “international agent” to private folk when they submit written or audio-visible recordsdata for a broader public target market, and launched contemporary restrictions on the distribution of recordsdata from media retail outlets classified as “international agents”. This represents a unhealthy regulatory practice, which narrows the dwelling for independent media.
It is as valuable as ever that Russian citizens bear a call within the media they employ, that they’re ready to fetch entry to unswerving and purpose recordsdata, and that native, public and independent media which encourage Russian-speaking audiences can flourish.
The persisted suppression of independent media is unacceptable and confirms a continuous negative pattern of panicked dwelling for independent voices in Russia. Russia need to respect its citizens’ appropriate to freedom of expression and display its commitment to its world obligations, and OSCE commitments.
Thanks, Madam Chair.
Printed 18 March 2021