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Council of Europe alerts Member states against threats to freedom of expression of new media

Submitted by on December 9, 2011 – 14:00No Comment

On Decem­ber 7th, the Com­mit­tee of Min­is­ters alerted Mem­bers states against threats to free­dom of expres­sion and infor­ma­tion, in a Dec­la­ra­tion on the pro­tec­tion of free­dom of expres­sion and free­dom of assem­bly and asso­ci­a­tion with regard to pri­vately oper­ated Inter­net plat­forms and online ser­vice providers.

The Com­mit­tee of Min­is­ters reaf­firmed the impor­tance of free­dom of media for gen­uine democ­racy, and stressed the new essen­tial role of ‘peo­ple, notably civil soci­ety rep­re­sen­ta­tives, whistle­blow­ers and human rights defend­ers, increas­ingly rely on social net­works, blog­ging web­sites and other means of mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion’, as part of the ‘new media ecosys­tem’.

high­light­ing the risks of polit­i­cal pres­sures and cyber attacks on those inde­pen­dant new medias, they pointed out the neces­sity to recog­nise ‘these actors as facil­i­ta­tors of the exer­cise of the right to free­dom of expres­sion and the right to free­dom of assem­bly and asso­ci­a­tion’, and to aknowl­edge their role of ‘social watch­dog’, as much as tra­di­tional media.

So they under­lined the ‘neces­sity [for Mem­ber states] to rein­force poli­cies that uphold free­dom of expres­sion and the right to impart and receive infor­ma­tion, as well as the right to free­dom of assem­bly and asso­ci­a­tion’.

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