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High Commissioner and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights discussed protection of journalists' rights and picketing during pandemic

23 June 2020
High Commissioner and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights discussed protection of journalists' rights and picketing during pandemic

On June 23, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatiana Moskalkova and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović discussed protection of journalists' rights at the videoconference meeting.

During the conversation, Tatiana Moskalkova and Dunja Mijatović raised the issue of the detention of journalist Ilya Azar. According to the Russian Commissioner, a single-person demonstration cannot be considered a rally even in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

"There was a debate about the status of picketing during the pandemic. And we expressed our point of view on picketing: the law must be respected in that sense that the authors enshrined it in the law and the President signed. There can be no derogations, a single-person demonstration cannot be considered a rally, " the federal ombudswoman noted.

Tatiana Moskalkova also thanked the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights for help in protecting the rights of Sputnik Estonia journalists.

"I want to thank you that my appeals to you about protecting Sputnik Estonia have resonated. Unfortunately, the journalists were threatened with criminal prosecution for working under a contract with an organization that is under sanctions. Of course, this is a far-fetched pretext for restricting freedom of speech," the High Commissioner said.

According to the federal ombudswoman, only wide discussion and the opportunity to express one’s opinion can ensure freedom of speech.

The High Commissioner also expressed hope for further cooperation in the field of protecting the rights of journalists.

"I am very glad that thanks to your support, Kirill Vyshinsky returned, that people who were persecuted for their beliefs are at home today and continue to work, and we will continue to defend them," Tatiana Moskalkova noted.

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