Session 3 – Freedom of Expression, Right of Reply

As delivered by U.S. Head of Delegation J. Brian Atwood | OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting | Warsaw September 23, 2014

We are exercising our right to reply to two points made during the Russian Federation’s intervention.

First, the Russian Federation stated that the Committee to Protect Journalists had reported on multiple violations of media freedom in the United States. The United States would like to express its sincere appreciation for the work of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and to urge all countries to take its findings into account. I wish to remind the Russian Federation that the same organization, CPJ, in its “Impunity Index,” has ranked the Russian Federation 10th among the 12 worst countries in the world with regard to impunity for the murder of journalists. According to the CPJ, 36 journalists have been murdered in the Russian Federation — 32 of them murdered with impunity.

Second, the Russian Federation noted the detention of journalists during the events in Ferguson, Missouri in August of this year. In light of these and other concerns, the U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into allegations of unlawful policing by the City of Ferguson Police Department, to determine if it engaged in systemic violations of the Constitution or federal law. We would note that, unlike in the Russian Federation, such issues pertaining to the right to freedom of expression are discussed and debated publicly in the United States.