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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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(../..)



***


("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap.
 
 
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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
-------------------------

CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

tomllinson

Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

woldsteth

"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

hancock

"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

curtis

PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

vries

Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

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