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Home arrow newsitems arrow OSCE Representative on Media Freedom, Mijatovic to EF: All Web-News Actors must be Protected

OSCE Representative on Media Freedom, Mijatovic to EF: All Web-News Actors must be Protected

Written by ACM
Friday, 09 September 2016
 
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/-Speaking to "Eurofora" on the sidelines of an Exceptional CoE-OSCE Joint Conference on Internet Freedom and Democratic Security, OSCE's Representative on Media Freedom, Ms Dunja Mijatovic, called, in substance, for all WebNews Actors to be Protected from any kind of serious Aggressions, Oppressive Measures, and/or Threats against Journalists :

    "Eurofora" asked the OSCE's Representative on Media whether she agreed with those who Support for serious WebMedia Actors, who are Regularly Engaged into Investigating, Writing and Publishing Original News about Important Topical Issues (including Human Rights) which Affect the Lives of many People and/or the Society at large, while also Respecting elementary Press Deontology Principles, have their Basic Press Freedomsbe Protected as all Other Journalists, with0ut Limiting that Only to a mainly "Fiscal" Criterium related to...Money,  Commercial Businesses, Job-Markets, Corporatist Lobbies, and so on, (as, f.ex., it's, scandalously, sometimes, still the case in some Countries and/or Quarters). I.e., in other words, to put it in a nutshell, whether it's ECHR's well established Case-Law Principles on Freedom of Expression, (Art. 10 of ECHR), which should be Applied here, or not.

- "..."Definitively, they Need to enjoy Protection", she clearly stressed from the outset.


+ Of course, "We (CoE/OSCE) Need to Find a very Thin Line"on that matter, she noted, however, apparently as far as the Definition of those Media Workers is concerned.


-But, at any case, "It's Absolutely Out of Question that they should Not be Protected !", she strongly Ensured.


+ "They should Also be given Access to Public Events", Mijatovic added, - i.e, such as Press Points, Conferences, etc., as she specifically confirmed, in Reply to a supplemantary, Clarification Question by "Eurofora".


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  OSCE's Representative heard also "Eurofora"s account of the Inter-American Human Rights Court's 2 landmark Decisions  which Unanimously declared illegal 2 Draft Legislative Bills,  tabled at a Parliament by the incumbent ruling Government  of a Latin-America Country, pushed by some Corporatist Lobbies, against Media Workers and even several National and Foreign, or International Media Businesses, Cutting Short to such an attempt to Restrict the Legal Status of Journalist into Only a feeble Grouplet of some Corporatist "Card" Holders, i.e. Regardless of the Substance of the Content that each Person regularly produced in real practice, from the point of view of a Democratic Society's General Interest for Pluralist Debates on Topical Issues affecting many Citizens' Lives, inline also with ECHR's case-law, (Comp. Supra).


Such controversial attempts were Unanimously Condemned by the IACHR as blatant Violations of the Human Right to Freedom of Expression, which us exactly the Same as that which ECHR uses in order to Protect all Journalists, (Art. 10).


Those Historic, landmark 2 IACHR Decisions had been Officialy Published, already as Early as about 30 Years ago, (1985-2016), and were recently Reminded by a CoE's Top Expert, (Experienced former President of CoE's Steering Commitee on Media), during a landmark, 2 Days-long, International Conference on Freedom of Expression Issues, held on Autumn 2015 in Strasbourg, (by a coindidence, shortly before the November 13, 2015, Islamistic Terrorist Attacks killing innocet Civilian People in Paris), who Called the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, to, "at last, acknowledge that the Time has come to Adapt some Older Definitions of Journalism to our New Era").


-"I cannot tell..." before Reading the full text of it, she simply reacted,  for the Moment, withOut Excluding at all that she might, eventually, Use that  interesting IACHR input in the foreseable Future.


-"Thank you so much",  OSCE's Media Freedom Representative said, in conclusion,  to "Eurofora", who had brought to her attention that landmark, Historic Reference of International Human Rights' Law,  (on which, See a through Analysis, with many Abstracts from the Original AICHR Text, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/iachrcoebookandefjsgonjournalismdefinition.html).

 

A relevant Official Stetement was recently issued by UNESCO's Head, Irina Bocova, on the case of a Web-News Site Owner, Do Carmo''s cold-blood Murder, about whom "Eurofora" had already Published an Article one Month earlier, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/brief/brief/webeditorkilled.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/unescoheadslamswebeditorsmurderasksjournalismprotection.html).

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+ Moreover, Mijatovic added a Strong Denonciation, in Wider Terms, against all those who might also attempt to Abuse of some so called "Security Measures", which might, eventualy, "bear the Biggest Threat" againtt Freedom of Expression in the Media. when,  Even if, obviously, "we have to Fight Threats and Terrorism", nevertheless, "Unfortunately, Most of the Times, these (Measures) are Used as a Pretext to Silence Critical Voices !".

- Such Risks may emerge "even in Countries which used to be the Cradle of Democracy", (and not only in some far away African, Asian or Latin-American Countries), as she Criticaly observed Earliea, at her Keynote Speech at the Beginning of Today's PanEuropean Convention, where she was Largely Applauded by the Numerous Participants in an exceptionaly overCrouded CoE's Big Conference Room, which had just been officialy opened by CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland.

 

CoE's Chief focused also on the Question whether "journalists can operate freely and without censorship" at the Internet, and Praised  Dunja Mijatovic as "a tireless Champion for Journalists’ Rights – something we Care Deeply about here at CoE", as Jagland stressed.


Mijatovic, after serving Earlier, also as President of CoE's Group of Specialists on Freedom of Expression and Information in times of Crisis" in Strasbourg, was later Elected by a "Consensus" Decision of OSCE's 57 Member States at Wien, i.e. something which is, usualy, "Not Easy" to obtain, but, once achieved, it gives a large Legitimacy and Political Importance to the Personalities who have managed to Attract such a Widespread Support, obsrved, as a matter of General Principle, Frane Maroevic, OSCE Media Freedom Representative's Office Director.

 

Today's Euro-Atlantic Conference on Internet Freedom and Democratic Security, was co-Organized by the Estànian Presidency of CoE's Committe of Ministers, (i.e.bya Country which is also due to Chair the EU itself Next Year : 2/2017, as an Estonian Government  Officer reminded "Euroforza"), as well as by the Euro-Atlantic OSCE, currently Chaired on 2016 by Germany. 

 

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According to CoE's, 47 Member States-strong Committee of Ministers' latest, April 2016 Recommendation "on the Protection of Journalism and Safetyof Journalists and Other Media Actors", "it is Alarming and Unacceptable that Journalists and Other Media Actors in Europe are Increasingly being Threatened, Harassed, Subjected to Surveillance, Intimidated, Arbitrarily Deprived of their Liberty, Physically Attacked, Tortured and even Killed, because of their Investigative Work, Opinionsor Reporting, particulary when their Work Focuses on the MisUse of Power, Corruption, Human Rights Violations, Criùinal Activities, Terrorism and Fundamentalism".


Indeed, "Journalists and Other Media Actors are Often, specifically Targetedon account of ...(this or) other Particular Characteristics, which may Expose them to Discrimination and Dangers, in the Course of their Work".


Moreover,"these Violations are  incresingly taking place On-Line",  CoE's Ministers observed, in Addition.


In Consequence, "there is a Need for Urgent, Resolute and Systemic Responses", the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", urged.


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(../..)



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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap.
 
 
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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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