Pressure on Tatar media in Crimea must stop, says OSCE representative
VIENNA, 19 September 2014 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed concern about the fate of Avdet, the weekly newspaper of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, following a week of acts of intimidation by the de-facto authorities in Crimea.
“This pattern of hostile behavior against members of the media in Crimea must stop,” Mijatović said. “Independent media should not be subject to intimidation for their work.”
On 17 September editor Shevket Kaibullayev was given an official warning by the effective security services (FSB) for “actions that might incite extremist activities”. A day earlier, the paper’s offices in Simferopol were searched and on 18 September the effective security services reportedly forced all tenants, including Avdet's staff, to vacate the premises. Kaibullayev reportedly received a written warning in June and verbal warning in July related to the newspaper’s reporting.
“Those who introduce censorship of the media have no place in any society. I reiterate my call to those responsible for law and order in Crimea to stop this destruction of freedom of the media and do their utmost to ensure safety of journalists. The final responsibility lies with them,” Mijatović said.
Mijatović also noted with concern the Ukraine’s national post operator Ukrposhta announcement of 10 September that it has to stop all deliveries of Ukrainian press publications to subscribers and retail outlets in Crimea.
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 atwww.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.