EU Attacks Press Freedom in Europe, Advocates for Press Freedom in Mexico

The European Parliament is voicing concern over press freedom and through a resolution, “condemns the frequent attacks on media freedom and journalists” in Mexico⁠—all while Europe itself imposes a general ban on Russian media outlets. 

The resolution, which passed in EU Parliament earlier this month, takes aim at the Mexican government amid outrage over recent murders of journalists and human rights defenders. The Parliament calls on Mexico’s authorities to investigate “crimes against freedom of expression” in the case of journalists and media workers and “urges the EU Delegation [in Mexico] to fully implement the EU Guidelines (..) on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline..”

President López Obrador is accused within the resolution’s text of having “frequently used populist rhetoric in daily press briefings to denigrate and intimidate independent journalists, media owners and activists” and blames the President for “stigmatization” of “critical press”.

Europe’s Parliamentarians admonish Mexico’s authorities, saying “freedom of speech online and offline, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly constitute key mechanisms in the functioning of a healthy democracy”. Authorities are called on “to uphold and safeguard the highest standards for the protection of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of choice.”

In early March, the European Union suspended broadcasting rights of outlets Sputnik and RT as part of the EU sanctions which were swiftly imposed on Russia following the start of the conflict in Ukraine. In addition to the selective censorship of Russian channels, RT and other outlets have been removed from YouTube and from Facebook in the EU. The EU denies that the move constitutes censorship or a general ban.

As reported by redfish, a document leaked from Google shows the EU Commission requested the removal of RT and Sputnik’s content from search engines and the removal, by social media companies, of posts by individuals who reproduce their content.

As for social media, the EU Commission adds that “the posts made by individuals that reproduce the content of RT and Sputnik shall not be published, and if published, must be deleted.”

Sputnik International reporter in Mexico Stephanie Palacios took to President AMLO’s Wednesday morning press conference, calling it “curious” that the EU would censor Sputnik and RT while making proclamations on the situation of journalists in Mexico. Palacios also informed the President that “Sputnik agency in Mexico has suffered a series of violations of freedom of expression.”

López Obrador spoke at length on the topics of censorship, biased reporting and manipulation of information on social media, deeming it a product of big media’s subordination to economic interests. 

The government of Mexico issued a timely response a day after the vote, telling the EU Parliament to leave behind its meddling and reminding the body that it’s not the world government.

Mexican congressman, Gerardo Fernández Noroña, slammed the EU Parliament for smearing AMLO and denouncing the resolution as interventionist, coup-mongering hypocrisy, characteristic of the EU. The PT lawmaker berated the EU for recognizing Juan Guaido and Jeanine Añez while refusing to issue a statement on jailed journalist Julian Assange. Senators of MORENA also voiced their rejection to the European resolution.

The text of the EU Parliament resolution can be read below.

By Kawsachun News

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