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Ukraine’s information security concept threatens freedom of speech — OSCE

July 22, 2015, 16:42 UTC+3 VIENNA

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media however called the Kiev authorities’ concerns regarding information security legitimate

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© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin

VIENNA, July 22 /TASS/. The provisions of Ukraine’s draft concept of information security will have a negative impact on the freedom of speech in Ukraine, according to Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.

"Despite the authorities’ legitimate concerns regarding information security, certain provisions of the draft Concept could have a chilling effect on media and hinder its important watchdog role," Mijatovi· said.

"Freedom of expression is a prerequisite for exercising other human rights and fundamental freedoms, and proportionality and necessity of any restrictions in the legislation are essential at all times," Mijatovic wrote in her analysis of the draft Concept commissioned by her office on Wednesday.

The analysis which was handed over to Ukraine’s Ministry of Information Policy contains several main recommendations:

"The existing rules on freedom of expression and their lawful limitations should be effectively applied, instead of introducing new binding rules and interpretative comments."

"The authorities should not be given broad powers which might limit freedom of expression and freedom of the media."

"The Concept shall not indicate that, in balancing freedom of expression against possible reasons for restricting this freedom, there should be a presumption of allowing restrictions."

"Prohibitions on compromising authorities should be deleted from the document."

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