Human Rights Council drafts amendments to media law to strengthen protection of journalists

posted 14 Jul 2014, 06:21 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 14 Jul 2014, 06:22 ]
4 July 2014

Source: (info)
The Presidential Council of the Russian Federation on Civil Society and Human Rights (‘Human Rights Council’) reports that a draft federal law ‘On amending Articles 47 and 49 of the federal law “On the media” ’ has been introduced to the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

The text of this bill was developed by the Human Rights Council, but as the Council does not have the power to introduce the bill to Parliament, it has been introduced dto the Duma by deputies Mikhail Markelov, Vadim Dengin, Yaroslav Nilov, Boris Reznik and Robert Shlegel.

The draft bill, published on the Council’s website on 20th June 2014, sets out the responsibilities of editorial staff and mass media founders to ensure for the staff, in cases of assignments to conflict zones, counter-terrorist operations and military operations:

· means of individual protection, relevant specialist equipment and ‘Press’ markers;

· the possibility of gaining specialist safety training;

· an agreement on insurance cover in case of illness, injury, repatriation or death;

· voluntary DNA registration;

· an international ID for ‘Journalist on dangerous assignment certificate’ as provided for by the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention of 12th August 1949 regarding the protection of victims of international armed conflicts (in the event of travel beyond Russian Federation borders).

Head of the Human Rights Council, Mikhail Fedotov, welcomed the introduction of the bill in to the State Duma. He is currently taking part in a Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting of the OSCE on the promotion of freedom of expression regarding rights, responsibilities and OSCE commitments in Vienna.

The text of the draft bill amending the Russian federal law on the media will be distributed to all those participating in the conference. Delegates include the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, Chairman-in-office of the OSCE Permanent Council, Swiss Ambassador Thomas Greminger, chief of section for freedom of expression at UNESCO, Silvie Coudray, President of Reporters Without Borders Switzerland Thérèse Obrecht Hodler, Judge of the European Court of Human Rights Luis López Guerra and the Head of the Executive Committee of the International Press Institute Galina Sidorova.

Translated by Elisabeth Wright