OSCE Media Freedom Representative concerned about sanctions in Ukraine

 

OSCE Media Freedom Representative concerned about sanctions in Ukraine that endanger media freedom and free flow of information.

Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro today, 25 August 2021, expressed her concern regarding Ukraine’s practice of applying sanctions that negatively affect the work of media outlets and journalists.

Ribeiro’s comments follow last week’s decisions of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on the application of sanctions against several individuals and legal entities, which resulted in the banning of access to various news outlets, including, among others, Strana, Vedomosti and Moskovsky Komsomolets.

“While Ukraine has a legitimate right to protect its national security, the authorities should find a balanced and proportional solution in addressing media related concerns, a solution that preserves media pluralism, free flow of information and diversity of opinions in line with relevant international standards and OSCE commitments,” Ribeiro said. “Media freedom is dependent on a healthy, vibrant and competitive landscape, which includes voices that provide a variety of news. Any sanctions on media should be subject to careful scrutiny, accompanied by effective procedural safeguards to prevent undue interference.”

Ribeiro pointed the authorities to her Communiqué “On the right of the media to freely collect, report and disseminate information, news and opinions, regardless of frontiers,” published in May 2021, in which she recommended participating States to “promote more debate and an open, diverse and dynamic media environment, also on issues that they deem ‘foreign’ or ‘not correct’.”