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Rossiya Segodnya Urges OSCE to Oppose Journalists Discrimination in Ukraine

© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov / Go to the photo bankRossiya Segodnya
Rossiya Segodnya - Sputnik International
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The OSCE should oppose discrimination against journalists, specifically in relation to Ukraine.

WARSAW (Sputnik) – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) should continue to press for the upholding of free speech in all its member states, specifically in relation to Ukraine, and actively oppose discrimination against journalists, International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya's deputy editor-in-chief said Thursday.

"Freedom of expression should not be restricted. We call on [our] colleagues from all the OSCE member countries, as well as civil society, to exert an active influence on the Ukrainian authorities to stop the suppression of freedom of expression and information," Dmitry Gornostaev said.

The ability to address issues where freedom of expression and information is threatened is highly important in terms of democracy and freedom of the media, he added.

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Addressing the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) working session in the Polish capital, Gornostaev highlighted the example of a freelance Rossiya Segodnya journalist whose press accreditation in Poland was revoked late last year.

"Leonid Sviridov was told he posed a threat to Poland’s national security. However, the authorities presented no specific arguments and declared all the information related to the case to be classified," he stressed.

The agency’s deputy editor-in-chief said the charges against Sviridov could be considered to be "completely unfounded" in the absence of any facts, and added that, unlike most European countries, it is impossible to challenge the annulment from within Poland.

"Polish law offers to do it from outside the country, which severely limits the possibility of a fair trial," Gornostaev underscored.

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In Ukraine, he highlighted a similar situation where the organization had so far been unable to resolve disputes over accreditation for Rossiya Segodnya correspondents in court.

"They were stripped of accreditation in the Ukrainian parliament and, moreover, were blacklisted in 11 departments where they are denied access," Gornostaev stressed.

Around 1,400 delegates from the 57 OSCE member states, partner states and civil society groups are taking part in the September 21-October 2, 2015 HDIM in Warsaw. Up to 20 panel discussions and scores of accompanying events are devoted to freedom of expression, free media and information.

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