MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. The Russian delegation will express its protest during the upcoming session of the OSCE Permanent Council, demanding that the US government observe the rights of reporters in relation to the recent attack on Russia’s Channel One reporters in the US city of Portland, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Media Policy Commission Alexei Pushkov told TASS on Wednesday.
"I have just contacted our OSCE envoy, we have agreed that during the next session of the OSCE Permanent Council, where representatives of all OSCE member states, including the USA, are present, our delegation will express its protest and demand that the US government observe the rights of reporters and adhere to its international obligations," Pushkov said.
He noted that senators had closely cooperated on this issue with the OSCE, and former OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir "closely monitored such violations." The senator lamented that the OSCE is currently undergoing a change in leadership: Desir no longer holds this position, and new representatives will be appointed only in the fall, which is why it is impossible to address the OSCE representative on media freedom right now.
The Russian senator also informed that he plans to write a letter to Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic. "I plan to call on Ms. Mijatovic to address the US government on behalf of the Council of Europe with a protest, demanding that the US establish order among its law enforcement on matters related to the treatment of reporters," he said, adding that while the US does not form part of the Council of Europe, the rights of reporters from Russia and other Council of Europe member states are violated in the USA on a regular basis.
He added that the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) could raise this issue during the fall session. "I think that we will discuss this matter with the leadership of the Russian delegation. I think that it will be appropriate. The USA should be subjected to serious international pressure here. This must receive a corresponding reaction from the side of international organizations," Pushkov said.
He stressed that the USA is turning into a country where the rights of reporters from Russia and other states are violated on a regular basis. "The US law enforcement acts as if they aren’t reporters, as if they are participants of protests and riots, disregarding the fact that their clothing says "press," their accreditation, their rights and credentials guaranteed by international documents signed by the USA. This is becoming common practice, and to my mind, serious international influence on the USA is required on this issue," the senator concluded.
Earlier, the press service of Russia’s Channel One informed that the channel’s crew had been attacked by "people in camouflage" in the US city of Portland. The crew was covering the Black Lives Matter protests held in the city in response to the death of an African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May.