VIENNA, 22 October 2020 – The Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (RFoM) launched today a report on the handling of the media during public assemblies. The report elaborates on the role of both law enforcement agencies and journalists during such public events, and offers observations and recommendations in order for the media to be able to provide coverage without undue hindrance.
In recent years, there has been a worrying number of instances where journalists received particularly harsh treatment at the hands of law-enforcers while covering public assemblies in the OSCE region. On top of this, a rise in verbal and physical attacks on journalists committed by demonstrators and bystanders in several OSCE participating States has been observed.
“All people have a right to be informed about all public assemblies, including violent and unlawful ones, that are being held in their societies and about the reaction of the public authorities thereto,” said Jürgen Heissel, Director of the Office of the OSCE RFoM. “Since journalists play a crucial role in providing information, it is paramount that the media should be able to access and report on public assemblies safely and without undue interference.”
The report can be found here: https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/2/f/467892.pdf