OSCE media freedom representative expresses concern about police treatment of media at “Blockupy” protests in Germany
COLOGNE, Germany, 6 June 2013 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, expressed today concern about police treatment of the media covering demonstrations in Frankfurt.
According to media reports, riot police that was dispatched to monitor “Blockupy” protesters assaulted media members reporting on the event. One photographer was hit with pepper spray from close distance and an RTL cameraman was pushed by a policeman. Other journalists with media identification cards were required to provide personal information to the police.
“It is incumbent upon police to allow the media to report on events that are in the public’s view and interest. I hope that the authorities take steps to ensure that law enforcement agencies respect the rights and duties of the media,” Mijatović said, reiterating her message delivered in a letter today to Boris Rhein, Interior Minister, and Jörg-Uwe Hahn, Minister of Justice, of the German state of Hessen.
Mijatović noted that the incident on 1 June was the second time the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observed infringements on journalists’ rights in relation to covering demonstrations in Frankfurt by the police.
“I hope that the understanding and awareness among law enforcement agencies about journalists’ rights in Germany will be strengthened,” she said.
The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media issued a special report in 2007 on how to treat media during public protests. It is available at www.osce.org/fom/25744
Mijatović is in Cologne attending the 25th Medienforum.