Reply to the Opening Session of the RFOM Conference “Media Freedom in Volatile Environments”

We agree that we can all do more to strengthen journalist protections.  We agree that there is a need for more fact-based reporting.  And we agree that these issues need to be addressed democratically and in a manner consistent with OSCE principles and commitments.
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Response to Altai Efendiev, Secretary General of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development

We share the concerns of Organization for Democracy and Economic Development member states about the active and protracted conflicts in this region, and are deeply concerned by continuing violations of member states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.
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Response to Russia’s Criticism of ODIHR Election Observation

Response to Russia’s Criticism of ODIHR Election Observation As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna April 27, 2017 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The Russian Federation’s claim that ODIHR’s determination regarding how to observe the French elections is another example of an “unbalanced” approach by ODIHR is unjustified and ...
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Reply to Russia on the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Reply to Russia on the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna April 27, 201 Thank you, Mr. Chair. The Russian Federation referred to the Office of the High Representative (OHR) as an obsolete international guardian that should be ...
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Russia’s Continued Misuse of Terrorism and Extremism Laws to Restrict the Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief

We urge Russia to respect the human right of all to exercise the fundamental freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief-- including the right to profess and practice one’s religion alone or in community with others -- in accordance with its OSCE commitments and international obligations.
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Russia’s Misuse of Terrorism and Extremism Laws to Restrict the Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief

Mr. Chair, colleagues, let me be clear – the threat to our region from violent extremism and terrorism is real. However, the prosecution of members of peaceful religious minority groups for “extremism” serves only to distract from and undermine our mutual efforts to combat true violent threats.
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Restrictions on the Freedoms of Expression, Association and Peaceful Assembly in the Russian Federation

The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.
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Ongoing Violations of Freedom of Expression in Russia | Statement to the PC

Ongoing Violations of Freedom of Expression in Russia  |  Statement to the PC As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Kate M. Byrnes to the Permanent Council, Vienna January 19, 2017 The United States is concerned about the December 28 decision by Chechnya’s Supreme Court to uphold the conviction of Zhalaudi Geriev, a local independent ...
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Secretary of State John Kerry at the Opening Session of the OSCE Ministerial | Statement to the 2016 Ministerial Council

Friends and colleagues, we meet in Hamburg today to reaffirm the same idea that tied us together in Helsinki 41 years ago: that our collective security is directly linked to the growth of our economies and the protection of basic human rights.
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Reply to Russian Federation on Response to Report by RFoM Dunja Mijatović | Statement to the PC

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Allow me to make a response to the comments just made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, our distinguished Russian colleague said that not a word was said about concerns about journalists in the United States. That is simply false. In fact, my statement started today in recounting an exchange that ...
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On International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists | Statement to the PC

My delegation strongly supports the statement of our European Union colleagues marking the United Nations-declared International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. To do its job, a free press needs protection from violence and intimidation. In too many places around the world, those who threaten, kidnap, beat, and kill journalists do so with ...
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Government Pressure on Freedom of Expression and the Media in Turkey | Statement to the PC

As an ally and friend, we urge the Government of Turkey to respond to the failed coup in ways that reinforce Turkey’s traditions of freedom of expression and pluralism, the very principles and institutions that the Turkish people so courageously defended from a violent attempted coup.
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Response to ODIHR’s Director on the 2016 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting | Statement to the PC

Director Link, the United States welcomes you back to the Permanent Council and thanks you for your report on the 2016 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. On behalf of my delegation here in Vienna, and our colleagues from Washington, Moscow, and Baku who were part of the U.S. delegation to HDIM, I would like thank you, ...
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Closing Remarks | Statement at the Closing Plenary of HDIM 2016

As the 2016 HDIM draws to a close, my delegation wishes to share some observations that will shape our approach to the OSCE Ministerial in Hamburg. First: Helsinki Final Act Principles linking respect for human rights within states to lasting security among states could not be more relevant. These foundational principles are under siege and ...
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Freedom of Expression, Information, and Media Freedom | Right of Reply at Working Session 6 of HDIM 2016

Regarding the Representative’s presentation, we are aware of reports that a journalist covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protests was arrested for allegedly trespassing on private land last week. We have no reason to believe that the arrest was related to her status as a member of the press, nor to the subject matter of her ...
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Freedom of Expression, Information, and Media Freedom | Statement at Working Session 6 of HDIM 2016

In establishing the Representative on Freedom of the Media in 1997, the OSCE participating States recognized that “free, independent, and pluralistic media are essential to a free and open society and accountable systems of government.”
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Freedom of Association and Peaceful Assembly | Statement at Working Session 5 of HDIM 2016

Freedom of association is necessary for the fullest exercise of the freedoms of expression and of religion or belief, and for the conduct of free and fair elections. It is a cornerstone for the rights of persons seeking to form independent trade unions.
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Ongoing Concerns About the Freedoms of Expression and Media in Azerbaijan | Statement to the PC

At the Copenhagen meeting in 1990, participating States affirmed that “everyone will have the right to freedom of expression including the right to communication. This right will include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.” Twenty years later at the Astana ...
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Reply to Azerbaijan on Freedom of Expression Concerns in Azerbaijan | Statement to the PC

I just would like to express my regret at the interpretation that our distinguished Azerbaijani colleague puts on my delegation’s raising our genuinely held concerns. I don’t think that it is accurate to say that there is a permanent focus on any particularly participating State, but rather that we consistently try to use the common ...
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On Freedom of Expression and Judicial Independence Concerns in Turkey | Statement to the PC

As Turkey’s friend, we urge Turkish authorities to ensure their actions uphold the universal democratic values enshrined in Turkey’s constitution, and its international human rights obligations and commitments, including those with respect to freedom of expression.
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Response on Freedom of Expression in Russia, as raised by the European Union | Statement to the PC

The United States would like to align itself with the statement made by the European Union, and we reiterate the importance of protecting freedom of expression online and off, consistent with our OSCE commitments. EU Statement on New Legislation restricting freedom of expression and access to information in Russia 1. On June 10, the Russian ...
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On Findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression in Tajikistan: Statement to the PC

The United States wishes to echo the concerns outlined in the preliminary findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, David Kaye, whose visit to Tajikistan concluded March 10, 2016. During a March 10 press conference on his initial assessments, Mr. Kaye expressed grave concern over widespread blockage of Internet content and cellular ...
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Response to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media: Statement to the PC

Today’s meeting is bittersweet. For while we of course welcome the Representative on Freedom of the Media and thank her for the 15th installment of her always-inspiring remarks, today also marks the end of her second term of exemplary service to the OSCE. For the last six years, Ms. Mijatović has met the highest standard ...
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Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassador Hrebičkova back to the Permanent Council for another comprehensive and detailed report. The United States strongly supports Montenegro’s Euro-Atlantic integration and NATO membership, which offer the best assurances for independence, security, and economic development. Montenegro’s membership in NATO will contribute to the stability of the Balkans and Europe. Ambassador Hrebičkova, ...
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On the Release of Turkish Journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül: Statement at the PC

The United States welcomes the court ruling ending the pre-trial imprisonment of Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dündar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül. Although they are out of jail pending trial, they still face serious charges stemming from their work as journalists. The U.S. government will continue to follow their case closely. Freedom of expression, including ...
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Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Ambassador Schlumberger back to the Permanent Council for another comprehensive and detailed report. The OSCE Mission in Kosovo (OMiK) remains a valuable tool for the international community. At a time of heightened tension and difficult challenges in Kosovo and the Balkans, OMiK’s mission is vital. Ambassador Schlumberger, we applaud OMiK’s ongoing ...
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On Freedom of Expression in Turkey: Statement to the PC

The United States wishes to express its concern about reports in Turkey of academics being investigated and subjected to penalties for expressing their opinions about the conflict in the southeast of Turkey. The United States considers such actions to be part of a troubling trend in Turkey, in which official bodies, law enforcement, and judicial ...
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Response to OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović: Statement to the PC

The United States warmly welcomes OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović to the Permanent Council. Thank you for your comprehensive, clear, and compelling report. With principled independence, you have faithfully fulfilled your important mandate at a time when independent journalists, both online and offline, have come under extraordinary pressure and, in some ...
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International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists: Statement to the PC

November 2 marked the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. A free press is an essential foundation for prosperous, open, and secure societies, assisting citizens to access information, exposing abuses, and holding their governments accountable. In these and other ways, journalists play a critical role in sustaining comprehensive security. All participating States ...
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Developments in Montenegro: Statement to the PC

The United States is following closely incidents that took place in Podgorica on October 17 and 18 in relation to ongoing public demonstrations in the Montenegrin capital. We fully support freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, including the right to peaceful protest. We also urge those involved in any public demonstration or peaceful protest to ...
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Freedom of expression, free media and information: HDIM 2015, Session 1

The United States extends its deep appreciation to Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFoM) Dunja Mijatović for her exemplary service. Thank you for your statement today, for your regular public statements, and for your reports to the Permanent Council and Human Dimension Committee on the issues within your mandate. We gather again in Warsaw ...
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Concerns about the Constriction of Freedom of Expression in Azerbaijan: Statement to the PC

The United States is deeply troubled by Tuesday’s decision by an Azerbaijani court to sentence prominent investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova to seven-and-a-half years in prison. We are further concerned by reports of irregularities during the investigation and trial, including the apparent exclusion of witness testimony and other key evidence. This case is another example in ...
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Response to OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic: Statement to the PC

The United States warmly welcomes OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović to the Permanent Council. Thank you for your comprehensive, clear, forceful report. As you noted, journalists in the OSCE region continue to be subject to incarceration and acts of violence, and we’ve seen that impunity for murders and other attacks is ...
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Reply to Russia on the report by OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media: Statement to the PC

Because my country was mentioned I’d like to take the opportunity to reply to a few points made by our distinguished Russian colleague. First, with respect to the treatment of journalists covering Ferguson and Occupy Wall Street, I have spoken on this in the past in this forum, and I would just reiterate that the ...
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In Celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2015: Statement to the PC

On May 3, the world will mark World Press Freedom Day, a day designated to raise awareness of governments and their citizens of the necessity to uphold and protect the right of freedom of expression. Today, regrettably, free press is under assault in some places, and the journalists, bloggers, photographers, editors, publishers, broadcasters, commentators, essayists, ...
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Chairmanship Conference on “Protection of Safety and Integrity of Journalists in the OSCE Region”: Joint Concluding Statement

This statement is being made on behalf of the following 46 participating States: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, the European Union and its member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, ...
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Opening Statement at the Chairmanship Conference on “Protection of Safety and Integrity of Journalists in the OSCE Region”

The United States joins others in thanking the OSCE Chairmanship in Office, Minister Ivica Dačić and the Serbian Minister for Culture and Information, Ivan Tasovac for hosting this conference and for their opening remarks. We also warmly welcome the participation of OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Ms. Dunja Mijatović. This year has begun ...
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Constrictions on media freedom and freedom of expression in OSCE States over the past few months: Statement to the PC

A free press is an essential foundation for prosperous, open, and secure societies, allowing citizens to access information and to hold their governments accountable. Journalists play a critical role in fulfilling this function, and all participating States should support efforts to ensure their safety. Unfortunately, some journalists in the OSCE region continue to be subject to ...
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U.S. calls on Macedonia authorities to address concerns and ensure democratic integrity: Statement to the PC

The United States continues to follow with concern the unfolding events in Macedonia. We call on authorities to demonstrate their commitment to the rule of law, respect for the freedom of expression, and the integrity of democratic processes in Macedonia.‎ We note the serious allegations that have called into question the independence of the media and ...
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Arrests of Journalists in Turkey: Statement to the PC

The United States is concerned by the December 14 raids and arrests in Turkey, which appear to target media outlets that have been openly critical of the current Turkish government. Media freedom, due process, and judicial independence are key elements in every healthy democracy and are enshrined in the Turkish constitution. On the Istanbul Pride Parade (July 10) On Media Freedom in Turkey (Apr. 3) On Blocking of Social Media Sites in Turkey (Mar. 27) We echo the Representative ...
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Response to OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović: Statement to the PC

The United States warmly welcomes OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović to the Permanent Council. Thank you for your comprehensive report. As you noted, journalists in the OSCE region continue to be subject to acts of violence, and we’ve seen that impunity for murders and other attacks is all too common. In ...
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