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Estonian Ambassador Spoke about Internet Freedom at OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting

27.09.2013

Nr 296-E

Today, 25 September, at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting taking place in Warsaw, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ambassador Mariin Ratnik presented a statement on behalf of the members of the Freedom Online Coalition who are also OSCE members. This year, Estonia is the coordinator of the Freedom Online Coalition.

In her speech, Ambassador Ratnik stressed the necessity of protecting fundamental rights and freedoms and the importance of a safe and secure internet. “All states must abide by the responsibilities they have recognized under international humanitarian law and ensure freedom of expression both online and in public spaces,” said Ambassador Ratnik. “Freedom of opinion and expression is a cornerstone of every democratic society,” she added.

Ambassador stressed the importance of a ministerial initiative supporting internet freedom brought before the OSCE. It is already supported by 51 countries. “We hope that the decision will be taken at the OSCE ministers’ meeting in Kiev,” added Ambassador Ratnik.

The ambassador spoke also about the protection of the rights of journalists and bloggers in OSCE countries, and called on all states to maintain open access to the internet. Unfortunately, this freedom is limited and harassment of journalists and bloggers occurs in some countries.

The next Freedom Online Coalition conference will take place in Tallinn in April 2014.

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