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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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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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