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50th Session of the Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

Human Rights Council

50th session

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

Statement delivered by Iceland on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries (NB8)

24 June 2022

 

Mr President,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for her report.

We strongly condemn killing, harassment and intimidation of journalists and media workers. The disproportionate, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and gender-based violence directed at women journalists is extremely worrying. All journalists and media workers must be able to work without fear of reprisals, online as well as offline.

Freedom of opinion and expression is fundamental for resilient and democratic societies and protection of all human rights. Free, independent, strong and pluralistic media helps people make informed decisions and hold governments and public institutions accountable, both in peacetime and in conflict or war situations.

Protecting journalists and media workers requires further attention and constant commitment. We need strengthened cooperation and dialogue between stakeholders across sectors, regions and fora. States have the primary responsibility to protect freedom of expression and ensure the safety of journalists, including ending impunity for crimes against journalists. As media today is dependent on digital platforms, businesses also have a crucial role to play.

Honourable Special Rapporteur, what steps can governments take to strengthen cooperation and dialogue between stakeholders?

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