AMBASSADOR'S BLOG - FREEDOM OF SPEECH - IN IRAN

Kyiv
30.09.10




Amidst the debate on freedom of speech and the media ahead of the local elections in Ukraine, I learn that Hossein Derakhshan, a well-known blogger in Iran, has been sentenced to 19 years of prison, banned from political and journalistic activity for a further five years, and fined €30,000.  He was convicted of a string of offences - you can read more about the case at the "Reporters without frontiers" web-site here

This kind of shocking action against a blogger is a reminder of why all governments need to respect freedom of the media and be ultra-cautious about any actions which constrain, or which could be seen to constrain, freedom of expression.  It's also a reminder of why the Copenhagen Criteria, which set out the economic and political conditions for accession to the European Union, state that membership requires, amongst other things, "that the candidate country has achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities" .
Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine


NOTE:  You can read all of Ambassador Turner's blogs by visiting: http://blogs.fco.gov/roller/turner 


Ukrayinska Dumka

IN THE LATEST UKRAYINSKA DUMKA

Great Britain The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain has many branches throughout the country. Select a branch below to find out more information.