PACE urged to guarantee media freedom and safety of journalists

PACE urged to guarantee media freedom and safety of journalists

The winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted Resolution 2532 "Guarantees of Freedom and Safety of Journalists in the Member-States of the Organisation".

In a number of countries, state bodies and political forces in power are a source of threats to media freedom and safety of journalists, there is non-compliance with judgements of the European Court of Human Rights, criminal actions against journalists, including murder, legal harassment and smear campaigns, and media hijacking.

In November 2023 alone, 68 journalists and media workers were detained in Europe, the document says.

The PACE expresses grave concern about these numerous attacks on media freedom and the high number of impunity.

Note that the Council of Europe member-states have an obligation to ensure effective protection of journalists and a safe environment for media independence and pluralism.

PACE calls on the Member-States to develop national strategies for the protection and safety of journalists and media actors and to review legislation restricting media freedom.

It is also essential to improve the legislative and regulatory framework to prevent political interference and concentration of media ownership; support public media by ensuring their viability and editorial independence,

It is also important to ensure fair funding for private media; state support for private media should be aimed at enhancing pluralism and access to quality information.

The Assembly is concerned about the high level of harassment of journalists in Azerbaijan, the growing numberm of media hijacking in Hungary, Poland and Serbia, as well as  the alarming number of journalists detained in Turkey. The Assembly calls on these countries to participate in the Council of Europe Campaign for the Safety of Journalists and to take adequate measures within its framework to address these problems, the document said.

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