COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
ON THE PROTECTION OF JOURNALISTS
IN SITUATIONS OF CONFLICT AND TENSION
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 3 May 1996,
at its 98th Session)
1. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe condemns the growing number of killings, disappearances and other attacks on journalists and considers these to be also attacks on the free and unhindered exercise of journalism.
2. The Committee of Ministers appeals to all states, in particular to all member states of the Council of Europe, to recognise that the right of individuals and the general public to be informed about all matters of public interest and to be able to evaluate the actions of public authorities and other parties involved is especially important in situations of conflict and tension.
3. The Committee of Ministers solemnly reaffirms that all journalists working in situations of conflict and tension are, without qualification, entitled to the full protection offered by applicable international humanitarian law, the European Convention on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.
4. The Committee of Ministers reaffirms the commitments of governments of member states to respect these existing guarantees for the protection of journalists.
5. The Committee of Ministers, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, draws attention to Recommendation No. R (96) 4 on the protection of journalists in situations of conflict and tension and the appended basic principles.
6. The Committee of Ministers shall consider, together with the Secretary General, ways of strengthening, in general, existing arrangements within the Council of Europe for receiving information, and taking action on, infringements of rights and freedoms of journalists in situations of conflict and tension.
7. The Committee of Ministers considers in this context that, in urgent cases, the Secretary General could take speedily all appropriate action on receipt of reports on infringements of rights and freedoms of journalists in member states in situations of conflict and tension and calls on the member states to co-operate with the Secretary General in this regard.