'Vague wording for media fines': OSCE recommends Kyiv to abandon the Law on Media

Source : 112 Ukraine

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir criticized the Law on Media, which also provoked indignation of Ukrainian journalists
17:25, 5 July 2020

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir
Open source

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir criticized Ukraine's Law on Media, which also provoked the indignation of Ukrainian journalists. He writes that the law needs to be changed so that it is more consistent with international law. Désir writes about it in his report on work in Ukraine and in the world over the past seven months, ZIK reports.

Désir says his office in February commissioned a legal review of the law to independent expert on media freedom, Dr. Joan Barata Mir. The report provided emphasized that this bill should be brought into line with international standards in order to avoid any negative impact on media freedom in the country.

In addition, the legal analysis states that some of the restrictions that the law imposes may be subject to national security. But at the same time, they should be exactly defined in each case, that is, the law should be prescribed more clearly.

Related: Russian State Duma appeals to Prosecutor’s Office concerning number of foreign mass media

"The legal analysis also raised concerns about the possibility of fines being imposed on certain media outlets, prohibiting their distribution on the basis of very broad and vague language," writes Harlem Désir. He sent his analysis and proposed amendments to the authorities in Kyiv in March.

In January, the office of the OSCE representative commissioned an expert on freedom of information, Dr. David Goldberg from the UK, to analyze Ukrainian law in terms of international relations.

The analysis showed that the amendments will reduce the freedom of the media and adversely affect the freedom of expression and access to information in Ukraine.

The review recommends abandoning the proposed set of amendments, and emphasizes that a bill needs to be developed with the participation of civil society experts and international media.

Related: Expanding possibilities of blocking and banning: How MPs rewrite the law on media

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