Harlem Desir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, is seen in Vienna, Austria, on June 3, 2020. His mandate is up for renewal later this month. (AFP/Alex Halada)

CPJ joins calls in support of OSCE media freedom representative Harlem Désir

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined 28 other press freedom organizations yesterday in a letter expressing support for the renewal of the mandate of Harlem Désir, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Representative on Freedom of the Media.

Désir’s mandate is set to expire on July 19; renewing his position for another three years requires the unanimous support of the organizations’ 57 member states, according to that letter.

The joint letter, led by Article 19, expressed concern that the governments of Azerbaijan and Tajikistan may vote against renewing Désir’s position in “an attempt to weaken the essential watchdog function of the mandate.”

The letter encourages Azerbaijan and Tajikistan, as well as the other member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to support Désir remaining in office and to “confirm their commitment to media freedom at a time when it is threatened.”

The joint statement can be found here