OSCE Representative concerned about obstruction to journalists’ work at Moscow demonstration, calls for respect of media’s role at public events
VIENNA, 29 July 2019 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, expressed his concern today about a series of attacks against journalists and the obstruction to media activities during an election-related demonstration on 27 July in Moscow.
According to various reports, on 27 July at least 15 media workers working or contributing to various media outlets, including Novaya Gazeta, RBK, the Associated Press, Meduza, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Deutsche Welle, Mediazona, The Village, Wikinews and others, were assaulted, detained or had their equipment damaged by police while covering a public demonstration in Moscow. The Representative also noted that the Editor-in-Chief of the Dozhd news channel, Aleksandra Perepelova, was summoned and questioned by the Investigative Committee in relation to the media outlet’s coverage of the rallies in the city.
“I deplore all incidents where media workers were harshly treated or were obstructed by law enforcement while covering Saturday’s demonstrations in Moscow. The media plays an important watchdog role, and journalists should be guaranteed unhindered access to public events as well as safe working conditions at all times, including while covering protests,” Désir said. “I call on the Russian authorities to investigate all incidents involving journalists.”
The Representative recalled the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision on Safety of Journalists, adopted last December, “recognizing the crucial role of journalists in covering elections […], expressing serious concern about threats and violent attacks that journalists can face in this regard”, and calling on participating States to publicly and unequivocally condemn such acts.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. He provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.
For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/representative-on-freedom-of-media/426842
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