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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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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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