The Association of European Journalists warmly welcomes the appointment of Harlem Désir, a former French minister for European Affairs and president of SOS Racisme, as the OSCE’s new Representative on Media Freedom. The decision was taken by consensus by the OSCE’s Ministerial Council on Tuesday, at the same times as the announcement of new appointments for the posts of OSCE Secretary-General, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.
AEJ Media Freedom Representative and Vice-President William Horsley said: ‘This appointment will be especially welcomed by journalists and all concerned about media freedom and the physical safety of journalists at risk across Europe, as it follows a period of hiatus since the ending of the term of office of the previous Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic… The independent mandate of the Representative on Freedom of the Media, to provide early warnings and help States to fulfil their commitments to free media and freedom of expression, is vitally necessary now in the face of the well-documented and growing threats of violence, intimidation and arbitrary exclusion or imprisonment faced by journalists in many parts of Europe.’
“Media freedom came under growing threat in several OSCE-countries. Therefore we welcome that the vacancy at this position is over. Harlem Désir has shown a deep commitment to media freedom during his career”, said Otmar Lahodynsky, International President of AEJ. “Soyez les bienvenus à Vienne!”
See the OSCE’s announcement here.