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OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Mr. Harlem Désir, presents his biannual report to the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna

22.11.2019  13:40

On 21 November 2019, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, presented his biannual report to the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.

The Representative stressed that not only the physical safety but also the legal safety of journalists needs to be protected, and called on participating States to improve their national legislation to protect journalists.

He welcomed the release, or the acquittal, of several journalists on behalf of whom he had intervened in the past, including Kadri Gürsel, Musa Kart, the whole Cumhuriyet team, Erol Önderoğlu and Fatih Polat in Turkey, Kirill Vyshinsky in Ukraine as well as Oleg Sentsov and Roman Sushchenko in the Russian Federation. At the same time, he stressed that these advances have been shown to be fragile when the reforms of the legal framework to protect media freedom are not completed.

Background

The Representative on Freedom of the Media is an independent OSCE institution and has a unique mandate to protect and promote media freedom in the OSCE participating States. The Representative’s activities include efforts to ensure the safety of journalists, assist with the development of media pluralism, and promote decriminalization of defamation. Furthermore, it includes observing media developments as part of an early warning function and helping participating States abide by their commitments to freedom of expression and free media.

For further background: