In the conversation, Ribeiro referred to the developments in December 2020 when Latvian journalists and publicists, reportedly collaborating with the online websites Baltnews and Sputnik (founded and/or owned by Rossiya Segodnya, the Russian state-run news company), were obstructed in their work by the State Security Service of Latvia who searched their apartments and briefly detained them. The two also discussed the most recent incident regarding the suspension of the rebroadcasting of seven of Moscow’s TV channels by the national Latvian telecom operator TET, reportedly due to the legal risks caused by charges of violating EU sanctions against its co-owner.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media underlined the need to enable all journalists to freely report on all matters of public interest in their country and abroad – in line with the international freedom of expression standards and the relevant OSCE commitments – adding that applying economic sanctions should not interfere with media freedom.
The RFoM suggested engaging the Latvian authorities and other stakeholders in joint efforts on how to align the national counteractions towards, in particular, hate speech, with the standards on media freedom. In this regard, the RFoM noted that further communication with concrete proposals would follow.
Document data: 01.02.2021. Link: https://www.osce.org/representative-on-freedom-of-media/477241