OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media to Review BiH Media Situation

Miklos Haraszti, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, agreed to provide an independent assessment of the media situation in the country at a meeting with Christian Schwarz-Schilling, the High Representative and EU Special Representative, today.

Mr. Haraszti is on a three-day visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina between 5 and 7 February 2007.

The HR-EUSR and OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media expressed their satisfaction over the fact that the Government of Republika Srpska appeared to have reversed its earlier decision to boycott BHTV1, the state-level public broadcaster.

“Authorities in a democracy should never ignore the rights of the media and prevent them from attending press conferences” said the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.

“Freedom of the media is critical to the development of a sustainable democracy,” said the HR-EUSR today. “The production of an assessment report focusing on TV, will help improve the climate in which this country’s media operates at a critical juncture when the international community is preparing to change the nature of its engagement”.

Since 1998 the OHR and the OSCE have worked together on media reform; on freedom of access to information; decriminalisation of the country libel legislation; and on regulation of the media through the Communications Regulatory Agency and the Press Council.