OSCE Representative Mijatović warns of further restrictions to media pluralism and access to information in Crimea, Ukraine

1 April 2015 / By OSCE.org

VIENNA, 1 April 2015 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today said that media pluralism and access to information in Crimea, Ukraine, have been limited even further, following the end of the imposed re-registration period for all media outlets by 1 April 2015.

“Crimean Tatar media outlets are having their registration rejected for subjective reasons, this is yet another proof that the politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing,” Mijatović said.

According to reports, practically all Crimean Tatar media outlets, including ATR and Lale television channels, Meydan and Lider radio stations, QHA news agency, Avdet newspaper and others, have been forced to cease their activities due to the repeated denial of the de facto regulatory authorities to register them under the Russian media legislation. New procedural violations have been repeatedly cited as the reasons for rejection in some of the cases.

“Persons belonging to certain national cultures on their territories have the right to disseminate, access and exchange information at all times, including in their own languages,” Mijatović said. “The events in Crimea are also clear indications of the over-restrictive nature of media registration applied by the Russian Federation.”

Mijatović also noted the concerns of Mikhail Fedotov, Chairman of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights under the President of the Russian Federation, about the issue. Fedotov’s concerns were raised in communications with Alexander Zharov, the Head of Roskomnadzor, the media registration agency in Moscow.

For further reference, a report published in 2007 by the Representative’s Office, “Registration of Print Media in the OSCE area: Observations and Recommendations”, seeks to help clarify both problematic aspects and best practices of the administrative framework for the media in the OSCE area. The report is available at www.osce.org/fom/24436.

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

Source: http://www.osce.org/fom/148881

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