OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media condemns further crackdown on media freedom in Russia

VIENNA, 8 March 2024 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Teresa Ribeiro, has condemned the imprisonment of Roman Ivanov, a journalist with RusNews, an online media outlet, and expressed concern regarding other setbacks related to freedom of expression and media freedom in the Russian Federation.

Reports indicate that on March 6, a court in the Moscow region sentenced Roman Ivanov to seven years in prison for allegedly disseminating “false” information about the Russian military. Ivanov’s prosecution appears to be linked to his online posts sharing information of public interest related to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

“The ongoing abuses targeting the safety of media workers, media freedom, and overall freedom of expression within the Russian Federation are deeply troubling,” stated Ribeiro. “I call for the immediate release of all detained journalists and stress the imperative to cease the suppression of their legitimate work.”

Ribeiro also expressed concern over recent legislative measures banning advertising on the platforms of individuals and organizations labelled as “foreign agents,” and permitting property confiscation for the dissemination of “false” information about the Russian military or any action deemed to “discredit” it. Additionally, she noted ongoing efforts to brand media outlets and freedom of the press organizations as “undesirable,” resulting in the subsequent suppression of their operations. “I once again urge the Russian authorities to uphold all OSCE commitments aimed at respecting, promoting, and safeguarding the freedom to seek, receive, and disseminate information regardless of borders and to cease the pervasive practice of eliminating critical voices,” Ribeiro emphasized. “It is crucial that the authorities ensure that their laws, policies, and practices pertaining to media freedom fully comply with international obligations and commitments.”

Earlier, amidst a range of adverse developments, Ribeiro condemned the prosecution of another RusNews journalist, Maria Ponomarenko, who received a six-year prison sentence. She also denounced the designation of the ARTICLE 19 international freedom of expression organization as “undesirable” and reiterated the necessity of repealing legislation targeting “foreign agents.”

See Representative’s previous statements here, here and here.

Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/694456886/osce-representative-on-freedom-of-the-media-condemns-further-crackdown-on-media-freedom-in-russia