OSCE media freedom representative concerned by attempts to force Polish journalists to reveal sources
VIENNA, 19 June 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed her concern about attempts by law enforcement in Poland to confiscate materials and force journalists to reveal confidential sources.
On 18 June the editorial office of Wprost magazine was repeatedly raided by the Prosecutor’s Office and Internal Security Agency officers. The purpose of the raids was to confiscate recordings of alleged private conversations between the head of the Polish Central Bank and the Interior Minister. The editor-in-chief of Wprost, Sylwester Latkowski, was forced to hand over recordings and electronic devices to the authorities.
The raids, conducted without a previous court decision, followed an investigation which was launched by the Prosecutor’s Office into the wiretapping of officials.
“These kinds of investigation methods are unacceptable as they have a chilling effect on investigative journalism and could stifle media freedom,” Mijatović said.
“I call on the authorities to act in strict compliance with media freedom commitments. Journalists’ rights to protect their confidential sources must be safeguarded and media’s pivotal role to any democracy must be ensured.”
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on facebook.com/osce.rfom.