Council of Europe Adopts Recommendation to Protect Safety of Journalists
The Council of Europe has adopted guidelines aimed to ensure the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists in its 47 member states.
The Committee of Ministers has recommended to member states to review their national legislation and practice concerning media freedom to make sure they are in conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights, the Council of Europe said in a statement.
“Given the scale and severity of threats and attacks against journalists and other media actors in Europe and their damaging effects on the functioning of democratic society, far-reaching measures are necessary at the international and national levels in order to strengthen the protection of journalism and the safety of journalists and other media actors, and to eradicate impunity,” the Council of Europe said in its recommendation.
The guidelines contain specific measures to prevent violations of media freedom – including physical violence against journalists - to effectively protect journalism and journalists, and to prosecute crimes committed against them.
It also offers guidance to states on how to fulfil their obligations, combining legal, administrative and practical measures, according to the statement
”Journalists and free media play an essential role in any functioning democracy. They must be allowed to scrutinise those in power and expose corruption. It is our duty to defend freedom of expression and to protect journalists,” the organisation's Secretary General, Thorbjorn Jagland, said in the statement.
Bulgaria assumed the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the organisation's decision-making body for a six-month period in November 2015.
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