OSCE “expresses concern” over expulsion of Russian journalists from Latvia

07.01.2017, Latvia.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir addressed a letter to the Latvian authorities on January 5 urging them to revise their decision to deport Russian journalists Olga and Anatoly Kurlaev, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports.

 “I recall that OSCE participating States have committed themselves to facilitating the work and accreditation of journalists coming from other OSCE States. Free access to information and free flow of information between the participating States contribute to the freedom of the media in the OSCE region and are an essential part of the broad concept of security on which the organization is based. That’s why I call on the authorities to reconsider the use of restrictive and selective measures in relation to foreign journalists who pursue their professional activities,” Harlem Désir said in his address to the Baltic State’s authorities.

The letter underlines that, both in the expulsion of VGTRK correspondent Olga Kurlaeva on January 4, 2018, and similar measures against her husband, Anatoly Kurlaev, who works for TVC, “the reasoning for such restrictive actions in both cases lacks transparency and remains unclear”.

According to the Latvian authorities, the reason of their detention and expulsion was the fact that they were “lawfully” included on a list of undesirable aliens.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova previously said that Russia would have to take measures in response unless the OSCE has “a clear public stance” on this issue.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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