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Use of physical force against journalists: a challenge to democracy

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 13274 | 03 July 2013

Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Josep Anton BARDINA PAU, Andorra, ALDE ; Mr Michael CONNARTY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Paolo CORSINI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Gvozden Srećko FLEGO, Croatia, SOC ; Sir Roger GALE, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Iryna GERASHCHENKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrzej HALICKI, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Ms Olena KONDRATIUK, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Vesna MARJANOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC ; Mr Nicos NICOLAIDES, Cyprus, SOC ; Mr Ludo SANNEN, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Kimmo SASI, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Spyridon TALIADOUROS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Gérard TERRIER, France, SOC ; Ms Sabine VERMEULEN, Belgium, NR ; Mr Piotr WACH, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

During last years’ incidents of brutal physical violence against journalists in different countries are increasing at an alarming pace. In some cases police units are using physical force against media representatives themselves, in some other cases suspicious – allegedly hired – hooligans in sportswear and with short haircuts are being used as attackers whereas policemen are standing nearby and completely ignore the beating. Afterwards both police and prosecutors don’t react to victims who apply for protection and judgment. Such cases were observed in Georgia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and some other countries.

Such non-involvment of law enforcement servicemen when journalists are attacked and beaten and their later ignoring of those incidents is a vivid evidence that in some countries officials and servicemen do not abide to general principles of media freedom which is a direct breach of the law and democracy.

Using its credentials and with effective co-operation of NGOs which care for media freedom, the Parliamentary Assembly would be able to systematise all cases that have occurred for the last 3-5 years and should subsequently elaborate a relevant solution on how to stop the rise of incidents when journalists become victims of physical coercion both from State servicemen and hired hooligans.