MOSCOW, 7 November 2019 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, condemned today the targeting of six journalists in Spain.
On 6 November, a number of posters and leaflets appeared in the streets of Barcelona portraying six Catalan journalists as “traitors” and “information terrorists at the service of Ibex” referring to large corporate financial companies. The journalists, who work for centre-left and conservative media outlets, are viewed by pro-independence groups as providing biased coverage of the current situation in Barcelona for not supporting independence. They include the journalists Xavier Sardà, a contributor to El Periódico and the TV station La Sexta, Joan Guirado from OkDiario, Mayka Navarro from La Vanguardia, Xavier Rius of E-notícies, Laura Fàbregas of Crónica Global, and Estefanía Molina from the TV station La Sexta.
“I strongly condemn this targeted act of intimidation against journalists in Spain. Portraying journalists as “information terrorists” and “traitors” is unacceptable and poses a considerable threat to their safety,” said Désir. “I call on the authorities to investigate these threats thoroughly, in order to bring those responsible to justice.”
The Representative also called for calm ahead of national elections due to take place on 10 November, stressing that: “it is important to provide journalists with a safe and enabling environment to work in, free from intimidation or fear of attack, and to show solidarity with the media community.” He also welcomed the response by the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, who stated that: “freedom of information is a fundamental right, a basic and inalienable pillar of democracy that must be respected and guaranteed.”
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. He provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.
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