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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".


----------------------


  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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(../..)



***


("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 incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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