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Open letter to the leaders of Republic North Ossetia - Alania and the Republic of South Ossetia

I consider unacceptable any kind of pressure on journalists and the mass-media in the process of reporting elections.

BATAL KOBAKHIYA

Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights and Compliance with the Rule of Law of the National Assembly-Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia.

I have just been informed of the detention in Vladikavkaz of famous Ossetian journalist Maria Plieva. We are all anxiously following the events surrounding the presidential elections in the Republic of South Ossetia.

It is unfortunate that these elections have been accompanied by a stoking of passions and by tension in society. However, I hope that all the actors in the electoral process will have sufficient political will and courage not to go beyond the legal framework set out by legislation and to act in compliance with the basic constitutional right — the supremacy of the right of a people to express their will in an election.

In these circumstances, I consider to be totally unreasonable the pressuring of the mass-media and journalists, who are obliged to carry out their professional duty that are committed and to cast light upon events of public interest, especially elections. I consider any forms of pressure upon, and threats towards, journalists to be unacceptable, and I appeal to the leaders of North and South Ossetia to take a sober look at this issue and not to deprive citizens of their rights, enshrined in the constitutions of both republics, to freedom of speech, of expression, and of access to information.

In this regard, I declare the detention of the journalist Maria Plieva in Vladikavkaz, who covered the circumstances surrounding the elections in South Ossetia, to be a direct infringement upon freedom of speech and the activity of the independent mass media. I appeal with a call to the leaders of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and the Republic of South Ossetia to reconsider their decision and not to escalate the already heated and stressful situation through similar actions.

Source: Apsny Online (Открытое обращение к руководству Республики Северная Осетия - Алания и Республики Южная Осетия) &  Batal.livejournal

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