US leads coalition of over 40 countries supporting media freedom

US leads coalition of over 40 countries supporting media freedom

Representatives of 46 UN Member States on Monday joined a statement led by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, denouncing Russia’s crackdown on freedom of expression, including unjust detentions of journalists.

“Let this statement send a clear message: Journalism is not a crime,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “We, along with more than 40 other countries, are calling on Russia to immediately release Evan Gershkovich and to end its draconian crackdown on free press. In the face of these efforts to limit and contain the media, the United States will continue to advocate for press freedom worldwide.”

The freedom of access to information and the work of journalists and media is fundamental to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In the Joint Statement, the co-signers noted, “the widespread outcry from both Russian and international journalists in response to this recent arrest, including an open letter signed by dozens of prominent independent media figures from Russia that calls the case against him 'preposterous and unjust.’”

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also raised that Russia has wrongfully detained not only Evan Gershkovich, but also others including Paul Whelan. The United States will not stop fighting for their release.

The Joint Statement was led by the United States and signed by Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.