COPENHAGEN, 23 May 2013 – The OSCE PA Special Representative on South Caucasus Joao Soares issued the following statement today regarding the arrests of former government officials in Georgia.
"I have followed the arrests and detention this week of the former Prime Minister of Georgia, current Secretary General of the United National Movement, Vano Merabishvili, who is running in the internal primary to become a candidate for United National Movement, and the former Georgian Health Minister, current governor of Kakheti, Zurab Chiaberashvili.
"The OSCE PA expects the Georgian authorities to fully comply with their OSCE commitments related to human rights, and the right to a fair, independent and transparent legal process, free from political motivation," Soares said.
TIRANA, Albania, 21 May 2013 – Governments and parliaments should increase efforts to counter hate speech or racist content on-air and online, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative on South East Europe Roberto Battelli said today at the opening of the OSCE High-Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-discrimination in Tirana.
Speaking at the opening of the Tolerance and Non-Discrimination conference, Battelli said, "Despite the progress made, the OSCE region still remains vulnerable to intolerant behavior and discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnicity and gender."
ASTANA, Kazakhstan, 21 May 2013 – OSCE PA President Wolfgang Grossruck is in Kazakhstan this week for a round of high-level meetings before participating in the Astana Economic Summit Thursday.
Meeting Monday with Speaker of the Senate Kairat Mami and Speaker of the Mazhilis Nurlan Nigmatulin, Grossruck encouraged the full participation of the Kazakhstani delegation to the OSCE PA at the upcoming Annual Session in Istanbul and stressed the importance of speakers of parliament attending such events to strengthen inter-parliamentary dialogue.
WARSAW, 13 May 2013 – Governments must protect media freedom online and off to be in line with international commitments and to ensure respect for citizens' fundamental freedoms, the vice-chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's human rights committee said today at the opening of an international media freedom conference.
Speaking to an audience of diplomats and civil society representatives at the start of the OSCE Human Dimension Seminar in Warsaw, Isabel Santos (MP, Portugal) called media freedom the background for the other commitments related to rights to expression, assembly, and fair elections.