OSCE media freedom representative deplores sanctions in Ukraine banning entry of journalists
VIENNA, 17 September 2015 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today said the sanctions introduced in Ukraine, banning several dozen foreign journalists from entering the country, is a severe threat to the rights of journalists to freely collect information.
“I fully respect governments’ legitimate right to fight terrorism and to protect their national security and their citizens,” Mijatović said. “But introducing over-broad restrictions that curb free movement of journalists is not the way to ensure security”.
On 16 September, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree introducing sanctions against several hundred companies and individuals that pose a “threat to national interests” or promote “terrorist activities”. The decree also lists members of the media, primarily originating from OSCE participating States, including United Kingdom, Germany and Russia, and bans them from entry into Ukraine.
“I call on President Poroshenko to amend his decree and exclude journalists from it,” Mijatović said. “The authorities should facilitate the work of journalists and abstain from creating administrative obstacles to the entry."
The Representative also reminded of her recent communique on the denial of entry of journalists from one OSCE participating State to another (www.osce.org/fom/117092).
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 www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.