State Of Media Freedom In Ukraine Worst Among OSCE States - Russian Official

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State of Media Freedom in Ukraine Worst Among OSCE States - Russian Official

The state of media freedom and freedom of speech among the member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is "far from satisfactory," but the situation in Ukraine remains the most strained, senior official with the Russian Foreign Ministry Maxim Buyakevich said Tuesday.

WARSAW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 11th September, 2018) The state of media freedom and freedom of speech among the member states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is "far from satisfactory," but the situation in Ukraine remains the most strained, senior official with the Russian Foreign Ministry Maxim Buyakevich said Tuesday.

"We have to state that the situation with freedom of speech and freedom of the media in the OSCE space is far from satisfactory ... The Kiev authorities continue a policy of completely cleansing the information space and further promotion of anti-Russian hysteria in the media space of the country," Buyakevich said at the OSCE meeting on human rights in Warsaw.

He cited the arrest of the head of the RIA Novosti Ukraine portal Kirill Vyshinsky as an example.

Buyakevich also noted the tendency to keep treating Russian media in France worse, citing the restrictions on the work of journalists from the Sputnik news agency and RT broadcaster.

Vyshinsky has been under arrest in Ukraine for over 110 days on charges of treason, and supporting the self-proclaimed people's republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine's embattled Donbas region.

Pyotr Lidov, the Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency's Corporate Relations Directorate head, who attended the OSCE meeting in Warsaw, stressed that Vyshinsky has never taken part in anything resembling espionage and that a lot of journalists are in prison under false pretexts in Ukraine.

"The only crime that Kirill committed was doing his job as the RIA Novosti Ukraine head. Kirill's situation is now very grave ... What is going on in Ukraine is, in our opinion, completely beyond reason. Journalists are being held in jail on absolutely far-fetched charges," Lidov said.

Vyshinsky's detention has prompted widespread criticism by journalists and rights groups, which said that such moves were unacceptable in a democratic society.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Vyshinsky's arrest was politically motivated, adding that the incident demonstrated an unprecedented and unacceptable policy of Ukrainian authorities targeting journalists who were just doing their jobs.

The OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) is one of Europe's largest annual human rights conferences. This year, the forum is being held on September 10-23 in Warsaw.

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