Montag, 19.08.2019 08:14 Uhr

Statement of the OSCE Representative Harlem Désir

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome/Vienna, 04.02.2019, 17:41 Uhr
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Rome/Vienna [ENA] The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, today expressed his concern as regards a court verdict to end the activity of the newspaper Novye Kolesa Igorya Rudnikova in Kaliningrad. On 1 February the Kaliningrad Regional Court, upon the request of the local branch of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media of Kaliningrad region (Roskomnadzor),

a governmental watchdog, ordered to terminate the activity of the newspaper following two warnings issued by the same authority.   According to reporters without borders, the editor of the now-closed weekly Novye Kolesa in Russia’s western enclave of Kaliningrad, Rudnikov has been held for the past year on a clearly trumped-up charge of extortion. An order was issued on 26 September extending his preventive detention by another six months. “This decision, along with other negative developments around the newspaper in recent years, has a negative impact on media pluralism and access to information and I hope it will be reversed on appeal,” stated Désir.

“Any restrictive sanctions imposed on the media should be strictly necessary and proportionate to the actual harm caused, and the case law should take note of the freedom of the media in line with international standards and OSCE commitments.” Earlier, in April 2018 the Representative also expressed his worry about the seizure of copies of the Novye Kolesa Igorya Rudnikova newspaper and vendors’ refusal to distribute it following the arrest of its editor Igor Rudnikov, who continues to serve a pre-trial detention since November 2017 (see:  and Reportedly, the publishing house has also declined to print the newspaper.

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