AHEAD OF WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY, OSCE OFFICIAL CALLS ON GOVERNMENTS TO LIFT RESTRICTIONS, PROTECT JOURNALISTS FROM VIOLENCE

May 2nd, 2008
Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, called on the OSCE participating States today to protect press freedom by curbing violence against journalists and abolishing undue restrictions on free speech and reporting.

In the statement, Haraszti states, "In revenge for critical coverage, or because of attempts to prevent it, journalists have suffered physical violence ranging from beatings to murders in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.”  


Haraszti then goes on to call on governments to protect the safety of journalists by effectively assisting them as they cover demonstrations, including unsanctioned ones.

Arbitrary, politically motivated restrictions on dissenting or offensive speech also endanger media freedom.

The complete text of this statement can be viewed at

http://www.osce.org/item/30943.html