OSCE calls on governments to ensure journalists’ safety

Dunja Mijatović, speaking at a conference on the safety of journalists, Warsaw, 23 April 2013.

San José, Costa Rica – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, today called upon all 57 OSCE participating States to take real action to ensure journalists’ safety.

“It is deeply worrying that we, in the 21st century, mark yet another World Press Freedom Day where the theme is journalists’ safety. Threats, intimidation, harassment and physical assaults on the members of the media are escalating,” Mijatović said in San José at a UNESCO conference marking World Press Freedom Day.

“I call upon all OSCE participating States to take real action to defend media freedom. We need to ensure that each and every member of the media, online and offline, is able to work without fear of violence and intimidation. Safety is a fundamental prerequisite for free expression and free media.”

Mijatović pointed to OSCE commitments on free expression and free media and said that a joint effort is required to stop the rising number of imprisonments, detentions, beatings and murders of members of the media.

“We – international organizations, governments, NGOs, journalists and societies – have an obligation to act. And we need to act now; there is no time to wait,” Mijatović said.

Mijatović, along with three special rapporteurs on media freedom from United Nations, the Organization of American States and the African Commission on Human and People’s rights, are attending the UNESCO conference, where they launched a joint declaration on the protection of freedom of expression and diversity in the digital terrestrial transition.

“This is a pressing issue not only for the OSCE region, but globally,” Mijatović said. “The digital switchover gives us all a unique chance to embrace and foster media pluralism which is a longstanding OSCE commitment. I call upon the OSCE participating States to proactively seize this opportunity.”

The Joint Declaration is available here.

Source: OSCE.