Public and media organizations opposed Russia Today’s participation in the Strasbourg Democracy Forum

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Permanent Representation of Ukraine to the Council of Europe, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic and the partner international media organizations of the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists.

We found out that RT’s Anna BELKINA is among the speakers on the first day of the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg, which will be supported by the Council of Europe.  In particular, her presentation is scheduled during Plenary session 2: “Restoring trust in the news”.

We would like to friendly warn you that such speakers’ selection practice is extremely dangerous for the following reasons:

  • repeated violation of the rules of impartiality when covering political events by RT
  • proven spreading false news by RT
  • the spread of misinformation produced by RT on a daily basis is a component of the hybrid tactics used by Russia to manipulate public opinion in the West.

We would like to remind you that in July 2019, the UK Foreign Office banned RT and Sputnik news organizations from attending the Global Media Freedom Conference in London because of their “active role in spreading misinformation”. It was reported by The Guardian.

We as the members and speakers of the World Forum for Democracy, ask you not to allow RT propaganda media representatives to participate in the World Forum for Democracy and, particularly, speak at the session about restoring confidence in the news.

In addition, the Council of Europe recognises the important role of media in upholding the fundamental right of freedom of expression as well as promoting the values of democracy, so we ask you not to allow RT propaganda media representatives to participate in the World Forum for Democracy. 

This letter is open to sign. 

  • Diana DUTSYK, Media expert and Executive Director of NGO “Ukrainian Media and Communications Institute” Ukraine
  • Lisa KUZMENKO, Gender expert for the mass media, head of the Ukrainian NGO Association “Women in media Ukraine”
  • Olga YURKOVA, Media expert and co-founder of “StopFake” Ukraine
  • Oleksandr BURMAHIN, Media expert and Executive Director of NGO “Human rights platform”
  • Human Rights Center ZMINA.