Letter to Council of Europe

Dear Mr Jagland, In the first place, we welcome your appointment as the new Secretary General of the Council of Europe and wish you every success in promoting human rights and democracy across Europe in the coming five years of your tenure in the position.

As civil society organisations working to promote human rights, freedom of expression and access to information across the Council of Europe region, we are writing to enquire about follow-up to the commitments made at the 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Media and New Communication Services held in Reykjavik, Iceland on 28 and 29 May 2009.

A commitment was made in the conference resolution entitled “Developments in anti-terrorism legislation in Council of Europe member states and their impact on freedom of expression and information” which reads as follows:

Resolve to review our national legislation and/or practice on a regular basis to ensure that any impact of anti-terrorism measures on the right to freedom of expression and information is consistent with Council of Europe standards, with a particular emphasis on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights;

We are writing to find out the status of this promised review of anti-terror measures and in particular how the Council of Europe plans to work with member states to ensure that the review takes place and produces meaningful outcomes that are genuinely protective of the rights enshrined in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

From the perspective of civil society, we offer our expertise and combined know-how in the process of defining the benchmarks for such a review. We also call for the review process to be fully transparent and for it to be structured in such a way that it is both open to and takes into full consideration the facts and analysis presented by civil society organisations.

Yours sincerely

Helen Darbishire, Executive Director, Access Info Europe

Andrei Soldatov, Editor, Agentura.Ru

Francesco Diasio, Secretary General, AMARC Europe


Barbora Bukovska, Senior Director for Law, Article 19

William Horsley, Media Freedom Representative, Association of European Journalists (AEJ)

Mark Muller QC, Chair, Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales

Sahib Mammadov Chairman of the Executive Committee, Citizens’ Labor Rights Protection League (Azerbaijan) and Member of the Board of Azerbaijan Lawyers Confederation

Bill Bowring, Barrister & Professor of Law; Chair, European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC); President, European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH)

Aidan White, General Secretary, International Federation of Journalists and European Federation of Journalists

Ioana Avadani, Director, Center for Independent Journalism (Romania)

Maja Daruwala, Director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative

Pieter de Wit, President, Community Media Forum Europe

Yaman Akdeniz, Director, Cyber Rights, and Cyber Liberties

Preben Sørensen, President, EURALVA (European Alliance of Listeners’ and Viewers’ Associations)

Thomas Schmidt, Secretary General, European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH)

Valtteri Niiranen, Executive Director, European Newspaper Publishers’ Association

Jon Silverman, Professor, University of Bedfordshire, Fair Trials International

Vladimir Milcin, Executive Director, Foundation Open Society Institute–Macedonia

Tamar Khidasheli, Chairperson, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association

Liz Davies, Barrister, Chair, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Róisín Pillay, Senior Legal Adviser, International Commission of Jurists

David Dadge, Director, International Press Institute

Osman Gunduz, President, Internet Forum, Azerbaijan

Dirk Voorhoof, Professor of Law, Human Legal Academy

Vanja Calovic, Executive Director, MANS (Montenegro)

Andrei Richter, Director, Media Law and Policy Institute, Moscow
Peter Noorlander, Legal Director, Media Legal Defence Initiative

Stewart Chisholm, Senior Program Manager, Open Society Media Program

Brankica Petkovic, Programme Director, Peace Institute (Slovenia)

David Banisar, Director the Freedom of Information Programme, Privacy International

Klime Babunski, President, PRO MEDIA (Macedonia)

Jim McDonnell, Director of Development, SIGNIS (World Catholic Association for Communication)

Tony Bunyan, Director, Statewatch

Tamuna Karosanidze, Executive Director, Transparency International Georgia

Noémi Alexa, Managing Director, Transparency International-Hungary

Volodymyr Yavorskyy, Executive Director, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Ronald Koven, European Representative, World Press Freedom Committee

Sahib Mammadov Chairman of the Executive Committee, Citizens’ Labor Rights Protection League (Azerbaijan) and Member of the Board of Azerbaijan Lawyers Confederation

Vasile Spinei, President, Acces-info Center (Moldova)


À titre personnel


Nico Carpentier, Media Sociologist, Free University of Brussels

Gert-Joachim Glaessner, Professor of German Politics, Humboldt University Berlin

Richard N. Winfield, Chair, World Press Freedom Committee

Peter Molnar, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Media and Communication Studies, Central European University (Budapest)

Arkadiy Buschenko, Chairman of the Board, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

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