Deutsche Welle article about the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

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The Russian version of the article about the vacant position of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, which was published on March 11 after Dunja Mijatovic left the post, differs from the German version. This difference is crucial, because the Russian speaking audiences have been offered a very strange explanation of why the post has been left vacant for the first time in OSCE history.

According to Deutsche Welle, the fault is entirely Russia’s. To prove this, the publication provides a quotation from interpretative statements made by the EU countries and Canada that are OSCE members. However, the authors of this article did not cite any quotation from the statement made by Russia, which is part and parcel of the March 23, 2016 decision by the OSCE Ministerial Council. Acting in the best traditions of fake news, Deutsche Welle “forgot” to write that these statements concerned the coordination of candidates that took place in 2016.

Under Permanent Council Decision No. 193 of November 5, 1997, an OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media is elected for a term of three years with a possible three-year extension. Since no consensus could be reached to appoint a new Representative on Freedom of the Media last year, Russia supported the decision to extend, as an exceptional measure, the mandate of Ms Dunja Mijatovic as OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media for one year.

A year later, no consensus could be reached either, because of a stance taken by one country. But this country is not Russia. However, Deutsche Welle obviously had no intention of writing the truth.

Furthermore, the unhealthy atmosphere created in the article is based on false assumptions and is damaging to Ms Mijatovic’s reputation. Her relations with the Russian partners have always been constructive, close and businesslike. Russia promptly responded to the requests of the OSCE’s Representative office, while Ms Mijatovic never refused to discuss issues of interest to us, that is, the media situation in the OSCE countries.

Lastly, Deutsche Welle did not even bother to ask Russia about its opinion on the problems with electing a new Representative on Freedom of the Media.



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