OSCE media freedom representative urges full transparency in Gongadze murder trial


VIENNA, 6 October 2011 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, said today that the Ukrainian and international media should have access to information about the ongoing trial related to the murder of Ukrainian journalist Georgiy Gongadze in 2000.

“Unfortunately, the trial that has resumed today remains closed to the media. This raises concerns about transparency. In my 13 September letter to the Ukrainian authorities, I emphasized the importance of free reporting in this ‘case of the decade’. All the circumstances surrounding the cruel murder of Georgiy Gongadze should become known and public officials implicated should not be shielded using secrecy arguments. Gongadze’s colleagues and family deserve this, ” said Mijatović.

“I accept that some court proceedings require the protection of confidential data related to national security. But the fruitless efforts of the last decade to find the instigators of this killing require the judiciary to show maximum openness at this final stage to ensure the credibility of the final verdict, ” said Mijatović.

The OSCE Representative emphasized that only vocal and resolute responses from governments to violence against journalists, bringing both perpetrators and instigators to justice, could relieve media from fear when reporting on sensitive issues of public interest.

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