OSCE’s document on protection of journalists adopted thanks to Russian efforts — diplomat

Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Russia’s efforts allowed participants in the session of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Milan to coordinate a document on protection of journalists, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.

On Friday Italy’s Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi said that for the first time in 27 years, the OSCE Ministerial Council adopted a document on protection of journalists. The details of the document will be announced in the nearest future. An OSCW declaration can only be adopted with unanimous support of all 57 member states.

“The OSCE Ministerial Council did the impossible. Despite the extreme degree of fragmentation in the world community, a document on protection of journalists was coordinated for the first time. This was done thanks to unprecedented efforts of the Russian side,” Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page.

Russia’s priorities of protecting the rights of domestic media in OSCE member states were included in the resolution, she noted. The diplomat added that the Ministerial Council confirmed the importance of unhampered access of media and citizens of OSCE member states to foreign sources of news and information services. The resolution also reflected concern over the spreading practice of targeted campaigns aimed at discrediting journalists, Zakharova said.

“Concern was registered over imposition of restrictive measures on journalists, which leads to increasing risks to their security and limiting their freedom of expression. Such measures now take very different forms, from revoking or refusing accreditation, banning entry and deportation, to adopting laws aimed at clearing the information space under the pretext of fighting against propaganda,” she noted.

The document also mentions links to UN Security Council resolutions that condemn violence against journalists in armed conflicts. “We plan to continue consolidating international efforts to protect the rights and interests of the media in OSCE,” Zakharova concluded.

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